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How to Build a Shed Ramp

How to Build a Shed Ramp

by Ethan Hagan (email Ethan) | | June 26, 2012 | 24 Comments »

We have a lot of great information about sheds covering everything from building a foundation to characteristics of a high-quality shed. If you haven’t seen them, here’s a list of the articles:

One aspect we haven’t covered is building a shed ramp so I was glad to help a friend build a ramp for his shed a couple of weeks ago. If you’re looking closely, you’ll see this is the same friend that I helped with the post & beam foundation.

Materials

  • (1) pressure treated 2 x 6″
  • (9) pressure treated 2 x 4″
  • (5) lag screws
  • (5) washers
  • Paver base
  • (7) solid concrete blocks
  • Galvanized screws
  • 5/4 deck boards
  • Concrete screws

Tools

  • Shovel
  • String Line
  • 4′ level
  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Circular saw
  • Drill / driver
  • Speed square
  • Powder actuated nailer

Step 1: Attach “Ledger” Board

The framing of the shed has a little lip underneath the door, and to begin, we ripped a 2 x 4″ so that our ledger board would mount flush with the face of the shed.

Making sure it was completely level, we anchored the 2 x 6″ ledger board underneath the shed doors with lag screws (and washers). We predrilled all the holes, and you can see we staggered the screws. Thinking back, we should have marked the locations for our ramp stringers beforehand to ensure the lag screws wouldn’t be in the way. Also, we purposefully left room along the lower edge for another support board.

Step 2: Mark and Dig Area for Concrete Block

We used a 2 x 4″ to estimate a comfortable slope for our ramp, and we staked out an area just big enough to fit the concrete blocks. Next, we measured the diagonal distance to the shed to check that it was square. After that, we dug a shallow (~ 4″) hole for the concrete blocks.

Step 3: Set Block

We used paver base to help set and level each block, making sure everything was straight and tight.

Step 4: Attach Support Board

While my friend began working on the ramp stringers, I screwed a 2 x 4″ along the bottom side of the ledger board. The stringers will sit on top of that board for additional support. We could have ripped it to size. However, my friend wasn’t concerned about the bottom overhanging so we left it.

Step 5: Measure and Cut “Stringers”

We measured the distance from the ledger board to the far edge of the concrete blocks and cut our stringers to length. Next, setting the stringer on the support board and using a piece of scrap, we scribed a line for the angle between the stringer and the block.

To determine the angle between the stringer and the ledger board, we set the stringer at the corner of the support board and used a speed square to mark a plumb line.

We secured each stringer with screws into the ledger board.

Step 6: Block In Between Stringers

After setting the stringers, we cut and screwed blocking between them to maintain the spacing.

Step 7: Anchor Stringers

We used a powder actuated nailer to drive a few nails through the blocks into the concrete to prevent any side-to-side movement.

Step 8: Cut Ramp Boards

We cut the deck boards to length, predrilled holes and screwed the boards to the stringers. For the last couple of boards, we drilled through the stringer and into the concrete (using concrete anchors). Also, the very bottom board extends beyond the stringer a couple of inches.

Finished

My friend painted the entire ramp to match his shed, and this has the added benefit of another protective layer. The ramp is strong, and it can definitely handle a riding lawn mower. I think it looks really professional too.

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24 Responses to How to Build a Shed Ramp

  • Brady responds...
    June 27th, 2012 8:18 am

    The 10-3/4″ stringer spacing seems pretty stout. The ramp really improves the functionality and looks of the shed.

    [Reply]

  • jeff_williams responds...
    June 27th, 2012 9:16 am

    All of these shed posts over the last few months makes me really want to get going on building my own. Ramp looks really good. Is the last board cantilevered off the end? “The very bottom board extends beyond the stringer a couple of inches.” Think that will stand up to a riding lawn mower over time? Does it touch the ground on it’s leading edge?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    did you think about putting some rock or blocks under the end, to take most of the weight from the mower?

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    Hey Joe, are you talking about putting block under the highest point of the ramp? If so, we didn’t really consider it. I guess we could have built up some block and cut a sort of birds mouth seat. Not a bad option.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    Hey Jeff, the last board on the ramp extends beyond the stringer a couple inches, and the edge actually sits on the concrete blocks. It’s pretty well supported, and I expect it to be able to handle a riding mower (even though my friend doesn’t own one).

    [Reply]

  • reubencollins responds...
    June 27th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Looks good. I probably would have used some kind of joist hanger rather than the support board.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    We thought about that. Unfortunately, we’d have had to modify the hanger to fit the angle of our stringer, and I’m not sure how well that would support.

    [Reply]

    reubencollins Reply:

    Yea, that makes sense. I’m sure the support board will work really well, too.

    [Reply]

    Joe Sainz Reply:

    They make a special type of hanger for that:
    LSU26Z/LSSU210Z Hanger
    http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/LSU-LSSU.asp
    It adjusts from 0 – 45 degrees of slope. Back in the day, people would just use heavy metal strapping and a lot of nails through the strapping.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    That is sweet! Great tip Joe. I’m sure I’ll be using them in the future.

  • Rose Merritt responds...
    June 28th, 2012 7:08 am

    Looking really good – have you thought about covering up the sides to try and prevent little creatures creating their homes underneath? Think it could also make the ramp even more aesthetically pleasing.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    That lattice was a recent addition, and I’m not sure if my friend is planning on adding it to the ramp too. Thanks for the comment!

    [Reply]

  • Fargin responds...
    June 28th, 2012 11:48 am

    The ramp and lattice really finish off the shed nicely. I’ve never really been a fan of lattice, but I have to say I really like it on this shed.

    [Reply]

  • Icarus responds...
    June 29th, 2012 11:16 am

    The ramp looks good and this is another great post. I’ll file it under things to do when I have a house.

    [Reply]

  • HANDYMAN51 responds...
    July 26th, 2012 12:13 pm

    Any thought about using something for anti- skid feature on the ramp?

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    Hey Handyman,

    The slope is pretty gentle so I don’t think anti-skid products will be necessary. For those building this ramp with a steeper slope, that’s a good recommendation. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  • Jim responds...
    August 23rd, 2012 12:00 pm

    Great plans! However, I do have one question. Does the top lip ramp meet the the floor of the shed? Or is it positioned lower to accommodate for the shed doors? Or have you cut the bottom of the shed doors to accommodate for the ramp meeting up with the shed floor? Thanks

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    Hey Jim,

    The top of the ramp is about 1″ below the floor level, and that sits just underneath the doors. I wouldn’t want to cut the doors and possibly make them look awkward.

    [Reply]

  • Marc responds...
    February 9th, 2013 7:25 pm

    I built two fo these ramps for my shed over the summer. They are rock solid and use them for a Craftsman riding lawnmower, snowblower, and dirt bikes. Just an FYI,.. I made the slope 1:6. Meaning for every inch of rise, I added 6 inches of length. I would not go any less than this because I have about an inch with the mower deck set on next to highest setting. When researching I found recommendations from 1:4 to 1:8. The top of my ramp is about 13.5 inches above the ground and chose to go middle of the road and didn’t want the ramps too long. 13.5 inches height x 6= 81″ length of ramp. Thanks for an awesome ramp design and I hope the ramp calculation helps a few people.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    Great comment Marc. We didn’t calculate a slope, and I expect we’re under that. That’s good info for everyone else making this ramp though.

    [Reply]

  • Zack responds...
    May 24th, 2013 4:53 pm

    Great tutorial – will be building this in the next few weeks!

    What’s the purpose of the ledger board – any reason not to just attach either the support board or joist hangers right to the band board?

    [Reply]

  • how to build a shed/summer house | DIY Woodworking Projects responds...
    February 2nd, 2014 1:55 am

    […] How to build a shed ramp – one project closer […]

  • how to build a storage shed ramp | DIY Woodworking Projects responds...
    February 4th, 2014 1:46 pm

    […] How to build a shed ramp – one project closer […]

  • Sam Moncayo responds...
    May 5th, 2014 9:12 am

    Nice dude! I think the toughest part for me with a project like this is getting both the angle of the ramp right as well as the distance to make it comfortable. It’s not one of those things that I can just “see.”

    I see you are using a speed square to get that angle, that part is also confusing. You were simply using it to get that line straight right? Not for any type of measurement…

    And I see you used a powder actuated driver – dang. You guys own that or just buy one? Lucky. We have two of the gun style at work, not the hammer style.

    Again, great work.

    [Reply]





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