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Thread: anyone have an exit ramp from their basement?

  1. #1

    anyone have an exit ramp from their basement?

    if you do, can you share the length of it? am considering one but doubt i have enough length for it.

  2. #2
    You are dealing with 8-9 feet from floor to ceiling. An ADA compliant ramp would have to be 96 or more feet long. In my manual wheelchair I could do one steeper that was (1.5" per horizontal foot) but that would still be 64 feet. Elevators are the only option for that kind of height without plenty of space. It may be possible to construct a 96 foot ramp in your basement but it would take up the whole basement zig=zagging back and forth.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

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  3. #3
    If you live where there's heavy freezing, footing depth would be a concern. Most likely the footings would need to be underpinned in the areas where they could potentially be heaved due to freezing. Drainage at point of entry would be another concern. You'd also need a retaining wall.

    Since it's a residence, many jurisdictions will let you go steeper on the ramp pitch.

  4. #4
    I'm just thinking about a means of egress from the basement in case of an emergency. I'll have a residential elevator, but I was trying to figure a second way out of the basement that I could use. The lot isn't really suited for a walkout basement. I'm pretty much thinking a large egress window with a large window well. I could place a bed or something next to the window so that I could then transfer out through the window. Not sure how I'd get out of the window well, though. Maybe I could keep a floor jack in there? Maybe I'm just worrying when I don't need to be. I'm not going to be living in the basement, but it will be finished so I'll be spending time down there, of course.

  5. #5
    A power outage is likely to be the cause of the elevator not working. You should consider a backup generator big enough to at least provide power for the elevator. Small ones are not terribly expensive. We have one that will power our whole ranch house. They come on automatically when the power is off for about a half minute.

    Is there a way the elevator can be raised or lowered manually with a hand crank or something?
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  6. #6
    I am not sure about manually raising or lowering it. It does have battery backup, but that can only lower it. It cannot bring it back up from the basement. I was thinking more about a fire, though, not a power outage. Unless it's an extended power outage, I will be fine hanging out in a finished basement.

  7. #7
    Given the full picture, it seems like building an entrance to the outside is the only alternative that will serve your purpose. That my be worth looking into if your lot is sloped and the ground level is low enough on one side of the house to make it feasible.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

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