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For services and goods to be available to everyone, including people with physical disabilities, it is crucial to provide access for all.

Providing accessible locations is crucial to not only people with motor disabilities, but also those who are blind or have low vision.

Before starting any outdoor construction project, having an idea of how much material you will need is crucial to the success of the project.

Our ramp slope calculator can help. 😉

Use it to work out the size of the required ramp, and both the angle and run of the ramp. In this article, we will detail how to use the calculator and how it works.

Contents:

Before working out the design of your ramp and the required measurements, our online calculator has two options to choose from.

You can either use the recommended values for the calculations or you can enter your own measurements for rise and run.

There are three recommended options our calculator provides.

- Commercial Properties – Meeting ADA standards

First, note that the slope is always 4.8 degrees when using this option.

Based on the measurement you provide for the ramp rise (i.e. the total height of the steps), the ramp calculator works out the distances for the ramp length and run:

$$Ramp\,Lengh\,(ft)=Ramp\,Rise\,(in)$$

or

$$Ramp\,Lengh\,(ft) = Ramp\,Rise\,(ft) × 12$$

The calculator then works out the ramp run:

$$Ramp\,Run^2 = Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2$$

Therefore

$$Ramp\,Run = \sqrt{Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2}$$

- Residential Occupied

In this option, the wheelchair user remains sitting in the seat and the slope is **10 degrees. **

Based on the measurement you provide for the ramp rise the calculator works out the ramp length:

$$Ramp\,Lengh\,(ft) = {Ramp\,Rise\,(in) \over 2}$$

Using these calculated values, the calculator then works out the distance of the ramp run:

$$Ramp\,Run^2 = Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2$$

Therefore

$$Ramp\,Run = \sqrt{Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2}$$

- Residential Unoccupied

In this final recommended option, the wheelchair user is **not** sitting in the seat and the slope of the ramp is **15 degrees. **

The ramp length and run are calculated using the below formulae:

$$Ramp\,Lengh\,(ft) = {Ramp\,Rise\,(in) \over 3}$$

and

$$Ramp\,Run^2 = Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2$$

Therefore

$$Ramp\,Run = \sqrt{Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2}$$

If you don’t want to use one of these preprogrammed values, the calculator allows you to determine the ramp length and slope for any given rise and run ratio:

$$Ramp\,Length^2 = Ramp\,Rise^2 + Ramp\,Run^2$$

Therefore

$$Ramp\,Length = \sqrt{Ramp\,Rise^2 + Ramp\,Run^2}$$

and

$$tan\,(Slope) = {Rise \over Run} \rightarrow Slope = tan^{-1} \Bigl({Rise \over Run}\Bigr)$$

**Something not clear? ****😕**

See below for two fully worked examples where we demonstrate how to use our ramp calculator.

Otherwise, make sure your business is ADA compliant, or install your first wheelchair ramp with our online ramp calculator!

**✅ Ramp meeting ADA Commercial Access Standards**

- Let’s say that I have a small set of three steps going to my deck, measuring a total of 24 inches in height.
- I want to calculate the ramp length and run required for a 5-degree incline slope to the deck, meeting the ADA standards.

Entering 24 inches for the ramp rise gives a ramp length of:

$$Ramp\,Length\,(ft) = Ramp\,Rise\,(in) × 12 = 24\,ft$$

and a ramp run of:

$$Ramp\,Run^2 = Ramp\,Length^2 – Ramp\,Rise^2 = 24\,ft^2 – 24\,in^2 = 572.02\,ft^2$$

$$Ramp\,Run = \sqrt{572.02\,ft^2} = 23.917 \,ft$$

Therefore, to create a ramp that rises a total height of 24 inches meeting the ADA standards you would require a ramp length of 24 feet and a ramp run of 23.917 feet.

**✅ Checking if a ramp meets ADA standards**

For our second example, let’s say that you own a commercial building which already has a loading ramp.

- The ramp measures 15 feet in length, and rises a vertical height of 20 inches.
- You want to calculate the length of the loading ramp, and the slope to work out if it meets the ADA standards.

Using the second tab of the ramp calculator, rise and run, you would enter these measurements.

The calculator would first work out the ramp length:

$$Ramp\,Length^2 = Ramp\,Rise^2 + Ramp\,Run^2 = 20\,in^2 + 15\,ft^2 = 227.77\,ft^2$$

$$Ramp\,Length = \sqrt{227.77\,ft^2} = 15.092\,ft$$

and then the angle of the slope:

$$tan\,(Slope) = {Rise \over Run} = {20\,in \over 15\,ft}$$

$$Slope = tan^{-1} \Bigl({Rise \over Run}\Bigr) = tan^{-1} \Bigl({20\,in \over 15\,ft}\Bigr) = 6.34^o$$

For the loading ramp to meet the ADA standards, the slope must be less than 4.8-degrees.

Therefore, the loading slope does **not** meet the ADA compliant handicap ramp standards.

*Which properties must meet the ADA standards for handicap ramps?*

Any business or church, organization, office or commercial property is required to meet the ADA standards.

Be careful – substantial fines have been given out to those who do not meet the standards! Use our calculator and follow the above examples to make sure you are meeting them.

In addition, don’t forget that the ramp must also have handrails meeting ADA standards.

Substantial fines are very common for businesses and other properties which do not meet the official ADA compliant handicap standards.

*What if my measurements are in other units?*

The answer is very simple! As you might have seen above, in the same calculations we use different units. The estimator does the conversions for you using the following ratios:

$$1\,foot = 12\,inches = 0.33\,yards = 30.48\,centimeters = 0.3048\,meters$$

It’s that easy! **🙂**

*Does my home ramp have to meet the ADA standards?*

No! The ADA standards are applicable for commercial properties using permanent ramps, not for typical temporary or portable ramps for personal use.

*Is there any guidance or advice as to how long my ramp should be?*

ADA guidelines requires ramps to have 1-foot of length per 1-inch rise and 36 inches of width.

Don’t forget though, this is for a commercial property. This is unlikely to be practical or necessary for your home, where you do not have to meet the standards.

*Where can I find out more information about the ADA standards for commercial properties?*

There is a lot of information online. We would suggest referring to the following informative articles, excerpted from “ADA guide for small businesses”:

https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/entrancedoors.html

https://www.ada.gov/smbustxt.htm

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