Checklist for ADA Ramp Requirements
An ADA ramp is required in commercial applications so that the public can have equal access to all buildings. Make sure your ramp is compliant by using this checklist; download the .pdf version at the bottom of the article.
1. Slope: The steepest slope that an ADA ramp can have is 1:12 which means for every inch of threshold rise, the ramp must be at least 12″ (one foot) long.
2. Length: the length of the ramp is directly related to the height between the ground and the bottom of the door along with the required slope. For example, you want a ramp that will give access to a building that is set above ground level, and when you measure from the bottom of the door to the ground, the rise is 40″. To make sure that your ramp is not steeper than the 1:12 ratio, your ramp needs to be 40′ long (40″ x 12″).
3. Number of platforms: One additional platform is required for every additional 30 feet of ramp. Why? Because the platforms serve as resting areas, and the Americans with Disabilities Act determined that after 30 feet of continuous run, a resting area is needed.
4. Platform size: The platforms at the top and bottom of a ramp must be at least 60″ x 60″. If there are platforms in the middle of the ramp run, the platforms must be as wide as the widest part of the ramp run that it connects to, and it must be at least 60″ long. For example, if you have an 8-foot wide ramp section that leads into a landing and then continues on to a 6-foot wide ramp section, the platform must be at least 8′ wide. If the ramp changes directions, the platform(s) in between the direction change must be at least 60″ x 60″. View the recommended platform sizes for specific ramp layouts and the various door swing options.
5. Clearance between handrails: The minimum clearance between the ramp handrails is 36″ so that a wheelchair can fit between the handrails with ease.
6. Handrail length: The handrail must be at least 24″ longer than the total length of the ramp. For freestanding ramps, handrails should extend 12″ past the ramp on both the top and bottom of the ramp. It must also be continuous within the entire stretch of the ramp.
7. Handrail perimeter: The handrail perimeter must be between 4″ and 6.25″ to be compliant. View a composite list of all handrail requirements.
8. Baluster spacing: Balusters are required on ADA ramps to provide protection against falling. The balusters must not be spaced farther than 4″ apart from one another so that a child cannot slip through the space.
9. Guardrail: The guardrail, which is different than the handrail, must be at least 42″ from the walking surface to prevent people from falling over the side of the ramp.
10. Kick-plate: The kick-plate is located along the edges of an ADA ramp, and it must extend upward from the walking surface so that there is no more than 4″ between the top of the kick-plate and the lower guardrail.