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Part 3 — Planning For Handicapped Ramp Landings

When building a home wheelchair ramp, landings are required at the top, bottom and sometimes at intermediate locations along the ramp.

These landings allow a person to maintain balance while performing tasks such as opening doors, resting or changing direction of travel if the wheelchair ramp turns.

Top landings should be nearly flush with the exterior door threshold. If not, the wheelchair’s relatively small front wheel will abruptly stop. It is also a tripping hazard for walkers.

Top landings should be at least 60-inches by 60-inches if there is a door that swings out, with at least a 12-inch by 24-inch space at the right of the door’s handle. These dimensions give enough room for a person to move off to the side while opening the door without having to get out of the way of its swing.

Intermediate landings are needed when there is a change in direction of a ramp or — in general terms — after a ramp covers more than a 30-inch change in rise.
An intermediate landing which does not change a ramp’s direction can be the same width as the ramp.

When an intermediate landing is used for a wheelchair changing direction, the dimensions are usually 48-inches by 48-inches for a 90-degree turn. If the landing is used for a 180-degree turn, 48-inches times by the width of the two ramp sections is a typical measurement.

Bottom landings are typically 60-inches by 60-inches for wheelchair users, but larger-width landings may be called for it the user has to make a direction change (a 90-degree turn, for example). Also, make sure the intersection between the landing and the ramp doesn’t have a “lip” greater than 1/2-inch, which would become a tripping/rolling hazard.

Next: Other safety features