Sunday, September 13, 2009

How to Build a Storage Shed Ramp

A shed ramp is an important accessory to any garden shed. Whether you're storing garden tools, bicycles, or a riding lawnmower in your shed, a ramp makes moving equipment much safer and easier.

Different Types of Shed Ramps

When adding a ramp to your shed, there are various materials you can use.

  • Steel ramps have advantages in that they are strong and can be curved at the top. This makes them shorter while still allowing riding mowers to pass over.
  • Concrete ramps are long lasting and can have great traction. They are constructed using wood molds from the ground to the height of your shed.
  • Wood ramps are cheap and easy to construct. They are also flexible in that you can make them detachable from the shed, add wood curbs to the sides for increased safety, and build them to fit a variety of ground surfaces.

Choose the Correct Slope for Your Shed Ramp

The slope or angle of your ramp is primary consideration when constructing. It is important for both safety and for the ability to drive garden equipment into the shed without getting stuck. The official guidelines in public areas are safe enough for any garden shed equipment - a ratio of 1 inch of rise for every 12" of ramp length (1:12). This may be excessively long especially for sheds with a threshold that sits more than 1 foot above ground level. Probably the most common ratio used for garden sheds is 1:8 (1 inch rise per 8" length). This is still enough to allow most garden tractors over the top of the ramp. If you don't drive any equipment into your garden shed, you can make the slope as steep as 1:4. Realize, however, that this will probably be dangerous for garden equipment or walking during slippery conditions.

Adding Traction to Your Shed Ramp

Another important safety and usability factor is making sure your ramp has ample traction. A steel ramp should have traction plates built in. Concrete can be made specially to have a rough, textured surface for increased traction. For wood, there are multiple options. You can use gritted anti-slip paint, steel traction pads, or rubber mats. Without any additional traction device, however, be aware that wood ramps tend to collect mold and algae under normal weather conditions. This can make them extremely slippery.

Plans to Construct a Wood or Concrete Ramp

You can find many plans freely available both online and at the local library detailing instructions for building your own ramp. Often they include various types of wood ramps, complete instructions for easy concrete ramps, even welding your own steel ramps. They also mention attaching ramps to your shed and how to deal with uneven surfaces.Be sure to have the proper supplies ready before starting construction including saws necessary for cutting angles, nails and nail sets so nail heads don't stick out, and building material.

Autor: Florin Ciobanu

For an already made shed ramp check out

You'll also find how-to books that will help you build your own if you decide to go that route.

Added: September 13, 2009