Knowing how to build a ramp to a shed can be real handy especially if your shed is off the ground and you need to store a riding mower or other bigger heavier piece of equipment. With sheds built from treated wood you’re going to need to step up 6 or more inches to get in.
In this article I’m going to look at a few 3 tips for building a shed ramp and some tips for picking the right ramp material, slope and finish. I have also added a section with a [Step by Step Guide] for building your ramp.
How to Build a Ramp to a Shed
Tip Number 1] Ramp Slope… Having the right slope and travel for your ramp will make it much easier to bring in equipment like riding lawnmower or other wheeled machines. The standard slope for ramps is 1 inch of slope for every 10 inches of travel.
So ideally if the step up to your shed is 6 inches you would want to have the ramps length to be 60 inches. If you’re cramped for space you can make the ramp steeper if needed, just remember the steeper the more dangerous it will be especially if it’s wet or snow covered.
Tip Number 2] Functional Use… Some pieces of equipment will easily go up the ramp, but you’ll want to be very careful with a riding mower. These are closer to the ground and can bottom out at the top or bottom when using the ramp.
Also check that it can clear the doorway with getting stuck in the middle. Also if you’re going to be driving a quad up the ramp with a snow blade on it, make sure the blades not going to hit the ramp. It’s better to have the ramp longer and having less slope to accommodate the type of equipment you’re going to be storing in the shed.
You may have to set up a temporary ramp somewhere so you can determine what is required for your particular equipment before building the ramp and then finding out that the equipment is going to get stuck or hung up when using the ramp.
Tip Number 3] The Surface of The Ramp… One of the downfalls of a shed ramp is it can be slippery when it rains or if snow and ice build-up on it. This is usually not a problem because most folks don’t use the shed during the winter months.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your shed ramp safe and not slippery:
Number 1] Non – Slip Paints… If your ramp is going to have a plywood surface you can use a non – slip epoxy coating. I’m going to recommend “SlipDoctors DuraGrip” coating, it comes in 3 handy sizes of 1 gallon, 1 quart and 5 gallon pail. You can see it here on Amazon.
Number 2] Anti-Slip Adhesive Tapes… This type of anti-slip comes in different sizes, colors and textures to provide traction on ramps. You can buy the anti-slip tape for inside or outside use and will work on many different types of surfaces.
Make sure you read the instructions to make sure the particular tape you’re looking at will work on the type of surface your shed ramp is made from. You can also get the anti-slip tape that will glow in the dark which is really handy if you need to enter the shed in the dark.
Number 3] Asphalt Rolled Roofing… This has got to be the easiest answer to how to build a ramp to a shed that’s safe to use. If you use the 90 pound type it will last for a long time. Make sure you get the rolled roofing that uses a mineral surface that provides the anti-slip grit material.
When installing the rolled roofing use galvanized roofing nails, the ones that have the big heads, they will secure the roofing material to your ramp. Be sure to use nails every 2 to 3 inches along the edges to prevent lifting. Rolled roofing is a good choice if you live in areas that get lots of snow and is easy to shovel the snow off.
Number 4] Rubber Mats… You’ll see this type of matting in many gyms, day cares and even on some wheelchair ramps. The usual types are made to interlock and there is some types that can be glued down using their self-adhesive backing.
The interlocking type can be taken apart and used somewhere else if you just renting or needing a short term non-slip ramp. It dry’s fast and can be kept clean with a normal broom. Be sure to get the rubber matting that can be used outside. Not a good option if using for a wheelchair ramp that is fairly steep as the tires will sink into the matting making it difficult to maneuver.
Let’s take a look at some 3 different materials that can be used to build a ramp to a shed:
Number 1] Concrete Pavers or Blocks… Probably the easiest is using concrete pavers and treated wood for your ramp. Here are the steps to follow for this type of ramp. I have added a photo so you can see how’s it’s constructed.
Step 1] Using a spade remove any grass the size of the concrete pavers so the pavers will be flush with the ground level.
Step 2] Install the pavers side by side and level them and then pack dirt up against them from all 4 sides to hold them securely into place.
Try to adjust the pavers so your ramp will be 6 inches wider on both sides of the door opening size.
Step 3] Install a ledger against the shed, keep the ledger low enough so it sits attached to the shed base with 4 inch lag bolts. Make sure you keep it low enough to allow for the 2×4 ramp and plywood thickness.
Depending on your situation keep the top of the ramp ¾ of an inch down from the ramp floor. This will allow room for the door or doors to open without hitting the ramp surface.
Step 4] Cut your treated 2×4 supports to fit against the shed and on an angle to lay flat on the pavers, you’ll need to cut the bottoms on a long angle to sit flat on pavers. Bet sure to use some end cut sealant on any surfaces that you have cut to protect them from rot.
Step 5] Install the treated 2x4s as per drawing and using the treated blocks cut small pieces in between the 2×4 supports and attach them to the concrete pavers with construction adhesive or if you can use concrete nails or tapcon concrete fasteners.
Step 6] Secure the tops of your 2×4 supports with joist hangers or you can use pressure blocks, these are blocks of 2x4s that you attach between the 2×4 supports and nail to shed and then toe nail the supports into the blocks.
Step 7] Install your treated ¾ inch treated or pressure treated plywood to the ramp. Use exterior grade deck screws and countersink them a little bit. Now you can install your anti-slip coating if you need it.
Number 2] Pressure Treated 4×4 or 6×6… This is similar to using concrete pavers or concrete blocks. You would dig and bury the pressure treated piece of lumber and then follow steps 3 to 7 for building a ramp using the concrete pavers or blocks.
Number 3] Concrete Ramp… This is the strongest and longest lasting ramp option, and using a course broom you can make the surface very anti-slip. That being said the concrete ramp is the most expensive and the most complicated to construct.
While it does have a few advantages it’s not a choice I would pick. It requires extensive ground preparation and is permanent. If your shed moves a little bit from frost you could find that it has sunk into the ground and you may not be able to open the door.
How to Build a Ramp to a Shed
Here’s a very simple and easy way to build a ramp to your shed using basic tools. Why fight trying to move your mower, wheelbarrow or other large item from your shed. I’m going to go over this easy ramp build step by step:
Here’s a picture of the Ramp
You’re going to need a couple of stringers for the supports for the ramp decking. First you’ll need to determine the total height that the ramp needs to be. This will determine the size of the stringers and the length of them.
If your ramp needs to be 6 inches high, it will need to be 60 inches long, so you’ll need a 5 foot pressure treated 2×6.
If your ramp is between 6 to 8 inches high, it will to be 80 inches long, you’ll need a pressure treated 2×8 7 feet long.
If your ramp is 8 to 12 inches high it will need to be 120 inches long, you’ll need 1 pressure treated 2×12 10 feet long.
These dimensions are for following the 10 inches of slope for every 1 inch in rise. However if your cramped for space you can shorten the ramp a bit, just keep in mind that the steeper the ramp the more dangerous it will be.
Your also going to need some treated 2x6s for the deck, and depending how long your ramp is will determine how many you’ll need.
You will also need a couple pounds of 3 inch deck screws to attach the boards.
How to Build a Ramp to a Shed [Step by Step Guide]
Once you have determined the length and height of your ramp, and the required deck boards and stringer length you’re ready to begin.
If you ramp is going to be wider than 3 feet you may want to add an addition stringer or 2. It’s also recommended that you make the ramp at least 3 inches wider on each side then the door opening width.
Step 1] Prepare Stringers… Cut your stringer to the required length, next using a straight edge or a chalk line mark a diagonal and cut the stringer in half. Set the 2 pieces side by side and mark and trim them so there flush with one another.
Step 2] Seal the Cuts… Using a cut & seal product which is used to seal and protect any cuts you make in treated and pressure treated lumber apply 1 or 2 coats to the cuts to prevent rotting.
Step 3] Secure the Pieces… You’ll want to use a framing square and one of the 2×6 treated deck boards to square the ends of the stringer and check on the squareness while you’re installing the deck boards to the stringer.
If you prefer to use ¾ inch treated plywood for your deck surface you’ll need to add more stringers so there not over 16 inches between them.
Step 4] Install the Boards or Plywood… Precut your treated 2×6 boards to at least 1 inch longer than the width of the ramp, this will allow for ½ inch sticking past on both sides, this is to create a drip edge so the water runs of the ramp onto the ground. If you’re using treated ¾ plywood cut it so it has the same amount sticking past.
Step 5] Attaching the Deck Material… This is where you’re going to be using those 3 inch deck screws. It’s a good idea to pre-drill the 2×6 deck boards ahead of time and keep in mind the piece at the very bottom will need to be drilled higher or closer to the top of the board, this is to have some solid wood to attach the board to stringer.
Because the stringer is cut tapered to nothing there isn’t going to be enough material for the screws going thru the deck board into the stringer. So remember to screw that board up higher so it has some material to attach too.
Look at the grain of the board and install it with the grain curve up and when the board dries it won’t bow and twist making a tripping hazard on your ramp.
Step 6] Attaching Your Ramp… Depending on the ground where your ramp is going to sit you can place the ramp where it goes and then using a spade mark the location and then remove the grass and either use concrete pavers or gravel to make a suitable base for you ramp.
You can attach your ramp to your shed with screws or you can attach a piece of 2×6 the width of the inside of ramp between the stringer and then slide the ram in place and using 4 inch deck screws attach the stringers to the 2×6 block of wood, this will secure it to the shed at the right height and can be easily removed if you need to.
Now you will have a ramp to access your shed with any large pieces of equipment, it also makes it much easier to go in and out of your shed with smaller items too. I hope you have found the article helpful and give it a share. Thanks