The new basement ramp line is under construction.  The curves are being pre-made in 1/8th circle sections.  The new design is proving to be very sturdy.

As far as materials, I'm using the 5/4 Hardiplank boards cut as shown with 3.5 degree side to side cut so the pieces can fit perfectly together and follow the 20ft diameter curve track sections.  They also have a top to bottom 45 degree angle cut to provide additional strength.  Each section is screwed together with the plates show and can be purchased in the framing section at Home depot. 



The existing basement ramp has been torn down and the new path has been selected and is visible from where some temporary track is laid in the pictures.  The final selected path won't curve quite so much around the corner.  By running further into the recessed area behind the house, the new line will be longer with 20ft diameter curves and the other ramp straight will only extend out 3 feet further into the yard.


A good bulk of the work on the ramp line is done. (finishing the pre-made corner sections)

I'm going to think a little more about how it's laid out, but it's going to look pretty close to this.  For sure, it doesn't have the nice, neat, symmetrical look the original had. 

In this configuration, the new ramp would be approximately 85 feet long for an average grade of 1.72%.


It's very close now.  All the boards are in place and the track has been completed.

It's looking much better now that it's up and some posts are in place, albeit temporary.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4: (In better light the next morning)


Construction is complete.  The leveling and evening needs to be fine tuned and the whole thing needs to be painted.


Just completed:

First test run: 

Final photos with area cleaned up:

Now that it's complete, planning is now under way to figure out how to get the lawn mower in the center....  Perhaps a winch / pulley setup to lift it up and over?



The entire ramp is now painted black.


Info on the posts used to support the Bridge:


The base of the post (which is normally for toilet plumbing/toilet base) could only be found in the size I needed at Home Depot.  The base allows for a 2"-1.5" PVC adapter/reducer (can be found at Home depot or Lowes) to fit perfectly in the topside of the opening. (The 2" side is what fits into the base) I used PVC adhesive (the blue colored stuff) and put a generous amount around the outsides of the 2" end of 2-1.5" adapter and inserted it into the base at the height I wanted it.  The adapter was inserted slowly with a constant turning motion to spread the adhesive evenly inside the base. (I didn't go all the way in as I wanted the transition of the base to the adapter to the PVC pipe to look smooth.) I assembled a bunch of base/adapters at one time and let the dry for 10 mins or so. (it drys very fast)
The now open end of the adapter is ready to accept the proper length section of 1.5" white PVC pipe. (I selected the white as it was much stronger than the other black/gray type available)   At some point, drill a good size hole through the bottom of the base, otherwise it will fill with water.  In cold winter climates that could lead to that water freezing and cracking the base.  See/click the pictures below:

- Next, at the other end of where the length of 1.5" pipe goes, another 2"-1.5" adapter is used to fit on the end to provide something to bolt to the above track support. (In my case I happen to use a black PVC adapter for the top as opposed to the whites on the bottom)  I used a flat-topped 2" cap/plug (style I used was only available from Lowes) and inserted it into the 2" side of the 2"-1.5" adapter. (no PVC adhesive) To make the cap fit all the way into the adapter, I had to cut half the length off the cap itself.
Otherwise, the top of the cap would stick out way to far and show the sides of the cap and not look right in my opinion. (I put the cap in a vise-clamp and used my sawsall to cut through it.  Like a knife through butter...) With the cap length cut, the cap would now fit all the way down into the adapter.
- I then drilled a small hole in the center of the cap so a drywall screw could be screwed through the bottom (and what is now the inside of the assembled piece) through the other flat side of the cap. With the screw through it, you could then take your screw driver and screw it where you wanted the support to be underneath the 2x4. The assembly will spin up to the bottom of the wood and will pul up tight to the bottom of the wood.    See/click the pictures below: 

(Note: in the side view of the 2" cap/plug, cut part of the length off at about where the line is that is marked on the 5th picture below. It will then fit all the way into the adapter as in the 6th picture.)


- Next, place the assembled base under where you want the support to be.  Then screw the top assembly into the bottom of the support wood. I then put a bit of gravel (small rock) under the base to provide a solid foundation. Then measure the distance between the inside of the 1.5" end of the base where the pipe will be inserted to the inside of the 1.5" end of the inside of the top assembly where the pipe will go. 

- Cut a length of 1.5" pipe to that length and fit in both ends. (no PVC adhesive unless you want it.  I used a rotary saw to cut the PVC pipe)   See/click the picture below:

- If it sways back and forth after it's assembled you may need to drill a hole (or use adhesive) through the side of the 1.5" part of the adapter and screw a drywall screw on each side of the pipe to keep it from swaying. (put on the sides facing the outside of the bridge not facing the underneath side.) I chose not to use adhesive so that it could be easily disassembled to repair or replace sections if I need to. Like for instance if the ground settles under it, I could replace the 1.5" pipe section with a longer one if need be.)   See/click the picture below:

- Make sure the track is level with leveler. You may have to slightly alter the angle of the post to make sure the track is level.

**Optional** - (I used these stakes on the original ramp I built in 2004, but not the new one as I found them unnecessary.)  Once level, hammer a couple of stakes (I used two-13" stakes - one on each side on the outsides of the bridge as it needs side to side support) through the slot on the sides of the bottom of the base to secure it. (Note the stakes on the ground and in the base)   See/click the picture below:

- Then push on the top of the track and Hariplank support to force it together securely. If it sways you can then put the screws through the adapters and pipe to secure it.

Your done!



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