House Projects: Angles

Flat is good. Level is good. Then comes angle/slope. Not so good.

Level will always be level. Angles have 360degrees of difference.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) has rules for wheelchair ramps. The slope is 1:12, meaning for each inch down from top to the ground, the ramp must be one foot long. So a 20″ front porch would need a 20′ ramp. According to one website, the board would be cut a mere 5degree angle. Of course, there’s other things to take into consideration. It may be 20″ down to the ground from the porch but if the ground slopes further away or higher up, the length changes. My front ramp is actually fairly flat and is about 35′ long because while there’s a dip between where it ends and the porch, it is about the same height.

This is a dog ramp and I don’t think I’ll ever take my chair down it. There’s the mud and the poop and more mud and still more poop. Both of which are a major PITA to get out of tire treads. So we’re looking at a steeper slope. Probably around 10-15 degrees.

We at first thought we’d use a special bracket but it wasn’t as simple as it looked. So then we decided to hang the two boards on the support posts. But how to give them both the same slope? Good question. We initially measured the gap and it was really close. But then that nasty Square issue came up again and screwed it all up. So we’re gonna have to cut the ends, dammit.

I hate cutting angles. I really do. Because of other mistakes, we do have some scrap wood I can practice on but still, I hate cutting angles. We only have to do it to two boards.

For those following along, the first section is 5’x10′. The first slope will be about 4’x8′ and the next will be 3’4″x8′. It is not as wide because that section will start on the inside of the posts vs the outside like the ones hanging now. But then I just looked at the photos above and I see we made an error. Actually, technically, we made 3. Heavy. Sigh.

We got very little done on Tuesday. It was not too cold but the wind was nasty. We got three posts set up and got the two boards hung. It takes a long time to do stuff because we aren’t as young as we used to be and we aren’t all that sure of what we are doing. Anyway, it started raining Tuesday afternoon and with the cold, we headed in. Tuesday night it poured rain here. The river is up again, higher than it was the last time. Then Wednesday morning the wind was enough to cause some problems. There’s limbs and trees down all over the place. We lost power at the house for several hours. It was dangerous taking the dogs out! Even when the wind died down somewhat, the back was a mud pit and there was no way I was going to get out there. Today wasn’t much better. The storm front is playing havoc on my pain levels. Tomorrow looks better and I may try cutting the boards to at least get that part done. What we may do is put up plywood on the first two sections then lay another piece down for the last section. Saturday and Sunday it is going to be snow, sleet, and/or rain. Again.