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  1. #1
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    Question Wheel chair ramps

    I would like to find out how other inspectors are the reporting (excluding obvious conditions such as, damage, unstable etc...) for wheel chair ramp specifications and disclaimers in both commercial and residential installations?

    Chip

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    I normally just put in a comment that the ramp is not built to ADA standards and and needs to be repaired. It is up to the buyer as to how important this is to them. Just report what you see...


  3. #3
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I normally just put in a comment that the ramp is not built to ADA standards and and needs to be repaired. It is up to the buyer as to how important this is to them.
    Why would a ramp that does not meet ADA standards on SFR need to be repaired? There are many cases where the homeowner prefers a ramp in lieu of steps.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    Why would a ramp that does not meet ADA standards on SFR need to be repaired?
    I have not seen anyone say it was required.

    However, if there is a ramp there, it is likely for a wheelchair, in which case it should meet the ADA ramp requirements - whether or not the ramp was "required" there or not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I have not seen anyone say it was required.
    Neither have I, just that it needs to be repaired.

    However, if there is a ramp there, it is likely for a wheelchair,....
    Maybe, maybe not. We have built as many ramps that were not for wheelchairs as we have for wheelchairs.

    One example a side entry door on a sloped lot, you have a landing with the steps on the uphill side, when you reach the bottom of the steps you have to walk uphill a few feet to reach the parking pad. Instead you have ramp that runs from the landing to the parking pad and no steps.

    As long as the ramp meets the IRC or applicable code I think it would be wrong to say it needs repairs. If you want to say it does not meet ADA standards, fine, and if the buyer does not need the ramp for a wheelchair my guess is they will not care.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    As long as the ramp meets the IRC or applicable code I think it would be wrong to say it needs repairs.
    I went back and checked, and unless I am missing something ... no one (other than you) has said anything about repairs.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I went back and checked, and unless I am missing something ... no one (other than you) has said anything about repairs.
    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I normally just put in a comment that the ramp is not built to ADA standards and and needs to be repaired. It is up to the buyer as to how important this is to them. Just report what you see...
    JP, is this a trick question.... or did you miss something?


  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    I inspected a new house two weeks ago that was going to be occupied by a husband and his wife who had brain cancer and was in a wheelchair. He was very interested in the ADA standards for ramps and other assorted items. The builder was going to add a ramp in the garage and the buyer was going to ask him to show him the slope difference in a IRC 8:1 ramp and a 12:1 ADA ramp. Sometimes a little information is helpful in making a decision. But I'm sure the builder could have "gotten by" with a ramp that met the IRC code so who cares what the needs actually are.....right?


  9. #9
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I inspected a new house two weeks ago that was going to be occupied by a husband and his wife who had brain cancer and was in a wheelchair. He was very interested in the ADA standards for ramps and other assorted items. The builder was going to add a ramp in the garage and the buyer was going to ask him to show him the slope difference in a IRC 8:1 ramp and a 12:1 ADA ramp. Sometimes a little information is helpful in making a decision. But I'm sure the builder could have "gotten by" with a ramp that met the IRC code so who cares what the needs actually are.....right?
    I'm glad you were able to help the homeowners get what they needed, but this is completely different than saying existing ramps that do not meet ADA standards need repairs.


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I inspected a new house two weeks ago that was going to be occupied by a husband and his wife who had brain cancer and was in a wheelchair. He was very interested in the ADA standards for ramps and other assorted items. The builder was going to add a ramp in the garage and the buyer was going to ask him to show him the slope difference in a IRC 8:1 ramp and a 12:1 ADA ramp. Sometimes a little information is helpful in making a decision. But I'm sure the builder could have "gotten by" with a ramp that met the IRC code so who cares what the needs actually are.....right?
    Considering it would not be correct to rely on egress via an attached garage as a primary escape path...the wife or husband might "care", as might other care-givers, or providers, be they family, volunteer, or employed, to be responsible, consulting, or assisting the wheel-chair-bound woman.

    Was this a FHA/VA/HUD purchase? SF, 2-F, townhome, or other occupancy? Otherwise unclear as to why the ADA itself is referred to.


  11. #11
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Considering it would not be correct to rely on egress via an attached garage as a primary escape path...the wife or husband might "care", as might other care-givers, or providers, be they family, volunteer, or employed, to be responsible, consulting, or assisting the wheel-chair-bound woman.

    Was this a FHA/VA/HUD purchase? SF, 2-F, townhome, or other occupancy? Otherwise unclear as to why the ADA itself is referred to.
    I was not trying to change his life or save him from his self. I was providing information for him to work from....which I did. I did not ask him how he was paying for the house to determine what I should tell him. That would have been kinda....NOMB.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    JP, is this a trick question.... or did you miss something?

    Yep, I missed that, but ...

    The way James put it "the ramp is not built to ADA standards and and needs to be repaired" immediately establishes that he is referring to ADA standards, and if that is NOT the purpose, then the onus is on the person reading the report to go "Oh, yeah, well I am not using this for ADA/wheelchair/etc. purposes.", in which case everyone goes "Okay. That is good that you are not."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    the slope difference in a IRC 8:1 ramp and a 12:1 ADA ramp.

    Where does the IRC give a 8:1 slope (that is an exception for "Where it is technically infeasible", not the allowable standard).
    - R311.6 Ramps.
    - - R311.6.1 Maximum slope. Ramps shall have a maximum slope of one unit vertical in twelve units horizontal (8.3-percent slope).
    - - - Exception:Where it is technically infeasible to comply because of site constraints, ramps may have a maximum slope of one unit vertical in eight horizontal (12.5 percent slope).

    Technically infeasible means like when the opposing walls are not far enough apart, but even then it is technically feasible to install a landing and a turn, so there are not a lot of "technically infeasible" situations.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    erika krieger's Avatar
    erika krieger Guest

    Default Re: Wheel chair ramps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Where does the IRC give a 8:1 slope (that is an exception for "Where it is technically infeasible", not the allowable standard).
    - R311.6 Ramps.
    - - R311.6.1 Maximum slope. Ramps shall have a maximum slope of one unit vertical in twelve units horizontal (8.3-percent slope).
    - - - Exception:Where it is technically infeasible to comply because of site constraints, ramps may have a maximum slope of one unit vertical in eight horizontal (12.5 percent slope).

    Technically infeasible means like when the opposing walls are not far enough apart, but even then it is technically feasible to install a landing and a turn, so there are not a lot of "technically infeasible" situations.

    The 2000 and 2003 codes had the 1:8 ramp slope. It changed to 1:12 with the "technically infeasible" exception in '06.

    The ramp in a one- or two-family dwelling may be as much for the convenience of a baby stroller or gran'ma getting her kegger up the back porch as for an aging or disabled resident.... the maximum slope applies to all ramps, not only those meant for handicapped access.


    BTW, The Existing Building code has a nice- altho lengthy- definition:
    TECHNICALLY INFEASIBLE. An alteration of a building or a facility that has little likelihood of being accomplished because the existing structural conditions require the removal or alteration of a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces, or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and that are necessary to provide accessibility.





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