Ideas for a Shed Ramp
Hauling heavy equipment into and out of your shed is much easier if you can roll it. This is no simple task if your shed opening is more than an inch or two above ground level.
Ramps can make your home and yard improvements easier by offering easy, low-impact access to the items in your shed, and you can achieve this in a variety of ways. Apply nonslip textured strips to your shed ramp for safety, no matter which style you choose.
A permanent ramp is the best choice if you have plenty of room in front of your shed, access it often and need a solid ramp surface for rolling items with a variety of wheel sizes. Build a permanent ramp out of weather-resistant materials such as pressure-treated lumber, western red cedar or redwood to match your shed. In very wet areas, consider a metal ramp that you can prime and paint to blend with the surroundings. Construct the ramp so there is no difference in the ramp edge height and the ground at the bottom, and between the ramp edge and the shed floor at the top. This will require careful mitered cuts of your shed ramp material. Also consider the landing area for the ramp. Pour concrete or use pavers under the ramp edge to reduce the potential for moisture rot and create a smooth, even transition between your yard and the ramp.
Temporary ramps require less sturdy construction and materials than permanent ramps because you only use them when you need them. Consider using a two-part ramp, made of two narrow planks that attach to your shed door opening separately. You can space these two planks as far apart as necessary to accommodate different wheel widths for carts and hand trucks. Use weather-resistant wood at least 2 inches thick, such as pressure-treated 2-by-6 lumber, and attach a metal L-shaped or angled bracket to the top ends of the ramp pieces so you can quickly attach and detach them from the shed by bolting or screwing through the bracket. Cut the bottom ends at an angle that best meets the ground. Store the ramp pieces inside the shed when not in use. You shouldn't use this type of temporary ramp as the primary way for people to enter and exit the shed because it is not as stable as a permanent ramp.
Make your shed door into a multipurpose fixture by replacing it with a drawbridge-style ramp. Use strong hinges at the bottom of your door attached on the front facing so the door can fold down into ramp position easily. The challenge of a drawbridge-style door is combining sturdiness for the ramp feature without making the door so heavy it is dangerous to open and difficult to close. Primed and painted plywood with angled lumber bracing can provide this combination while allowing the bracing to act as the base for your ramp when it is in the open position. A counter-weight system that links from the upper corners of the door (which are also the bottom corners of the ramp) through a pulley to weights inside the shed can help the door open and close more easily. As with other ramps, cut and angle all wood to minimize bumps when rolling items onto and off of the ramp.
Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.