How to Build an ADA Railing for a Ramp
If you're looking for an ADA railing for the ramp outside your home or business, you typically have two options. You can hire a fabricator to weld a custom railing, which will likely cost you quite a bit of money. Or, you can build one yourself and save a lot of money in the process.
Building your own ADA railing isn't as difficult as you might think. Using our ADA fittings and pipe, you can assemble an ADA compliant railing yourself using just a few basic tools.
If you're unfamiliar with how our fittings work, they use a set screw (which can be tightened or loosened using an Allen Wrench) to secure the fitting to the pipe railing. This allows just about anyone to build their own railing without the need for any welding.
We've had many customers build railings outside their homes or businesses using one of our railing kits or by designing their own custom solution (sometimes with the help of our free design assistance).
The ADA railing you see here today was built by one of our customers, Merenzio. The railing starts at the base of the ramp and terminates into the brick wall at the top. It is ADA compliant and the railing features a top handrail, midrail, and bottom rail.
The mid and bottom railing work to prevent a wheelchair from slipping out from under the railing when going up or down the ramp. This is just one of the ADA requirements for building a compliant railing for a ramp.
In this post, we'll cover the rest of the ADA requirements for ramp railings, and how each of our fittings are used to create an ADA compliant railing, so you can build your own.
First, let's take a look at the ADA requirements you'll need to know...
ADA Railing Requirements at a Glance
This list is a summary of the major ADA guidelines you should know before building your railing. Please refer to this page for a full reference to ADA requirements.
General ADA Guidelines:
- The railing must have a smooth, continuous surface throughout the entirety of the railing.
- A railing must be present on both sides of a staircase or ramp.
- The railing height must be between 34" to 38".
- The railing ends need to be rounded or return smoothly into the ground, wall or a railing post.
Ramp Specific Requirements:
- When there is a a drop off, a ramp must have a curb rail to prevent wheelchairs from slipping out from under the railing.
- A ramp must have a minimum clearance width of 36" between the railings.
- A railing should extend parallel to a walking surface 12" past the top and bottom of the ramp.
How to Use Our ADA Fittings
Now, let's take a closer look a Merenzio's railing to see how each of our ADA fittings are used to create this ADA compliant railing.
At the top of the railing, three Wall Flange fittings are used to mount the three railings to the brick wall. Each flange fitting has four countersunk holes in it for mounting.
To mount the railing posts to the ground, the Standard Railing Flange is used. These type of flange fittings have two countersunk holes in them for mounting.
To ensure the handrail is smooth and free from obstruction throughout the entirety of the railing, the Handrail Bracket is used to mount just under the handrail and secure the railing to the post. The Handrail Bracket attaches to a Single Handrail Socket on the railing post.
For the railing attached to the brick wall, the same Handrail Bracket is used, but this time it is attached to a Wall Flange. Alternatively, the Wall Mounted Handrail Bracket could have also been used.
To create the turns in each railing, a 90 Solid Elbow is used in combination with the ADA Internal Coupling. The Internal Coupling can be used to join fittings to fittings, pipe to pipe, or a fitting to a pipe but still allow for a smooth connection (the coupling expands inside the fitting or pipe when tightened, creating the secure connection).
One last thing to note about Merenzio's railing is that the railing was covered in a white powder-coat finish. Since our fittings are covered in a galvanized finish, and therefore are corrosion resistant, painting the fittings or pipe is not necessary to combat the deadly effects of rust. But, they can be painted to complete the look you want to achieve.
Hopefully by taking a look a Merenzio's railing it gives you a better idea of how our ADA fittings work and shows you that it is possible to build your own ADA compliant railing. You don't need to hire an expensive fabricator to build you a custom railing. Our fittings will allow you to do just that even if you have little to no building experience.
Lastly, if you need any help at all with your ADA railing, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team for help. Our team is experienced in designing and building ADA compliant railings and can help you to design a perfect solution for your home or business. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our free design assistance page.