Building an Accessibility Ramp in Home Designer

Reference Number: KB-01186
Last Modified: January 16, 2024

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


How can I create an accessibility ramp with hand rails and a landing?

Accessibility ramp attached to a front porch


Creating an accessibility ramp with handrails and a landing is easy to accomplish using the Ramp tool, which behaves much like the stair tools in the software.

Note: The Ramp tool has been made available in Home Designer Suite, starting with version 2021. 

To create a ramp

  1. First, launch Home Designer and Open  the plan in which you would like to create your ramp.

    Note: Stairs and ramps can be drawn in floor plan and 3D views, but not in cross section/elevation views. In 3D views, these objects can only be drawn in the presence of a floor platform or terrain perimeter.

  2. While in your 2D floor plan view, select Build> Stairs> Ramp to draw a sloped ramp.

    By default, ramps are drawn at a 1:12 slope to a maximum height of 30" (760 mm).

  3. Click and drag out your first ramp section.

    Before ramps are created, make sure that the heights for what they are referencing are already set correctly.

    For example, if they are going to be between two rooms on the same floor where there is a change in the floor height, make sure that these values are set prior to creating the ramp. The same is true of making sure that the terrain and deck are set correctly for outdoor ramps.

    Ramps are drawn going up, so they should be drawn from the lower of the two things that they connect, such as from the lower floor height, or from the terrain up to the deck.

    Ramp section on the floor plan view  

  4. Next, click and drag another ramp section, leaving space for the landing that we will create in the next step.

    Adding a second ramp section

  5. With the Ramp  tool still selected, move your mouse cursor in the open space between the two ramps. 

    Click between two ramp sections to add a landing

  6. Click once to place a landing.

    Landing between two ramp sections

    While the landing shown in this example is drawn at a right angle of 90 degrees, keep in mind that, as with stairs, we could draw these two segments at various angles and still generate a landing between them. Here are two simple examples:

    • Floor Plan

      Ramp examples in floor plan

    • Camera View

      Camera view of the ramps

    You can also use the Change Line/Arc edit tool on a ramp or stair section to change it from a straight Ramp to a curved Ramp, or vice versa.

  7. If desired, you can use the Select Objects  tool to select the ramp, and click on the Open Object  edit button to further customize your ramp, such as the height of the handrails, the materials of the items that make up the ramp, etc.

  8. Finally, create a Camera  view to see the results.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines recommend that there is at least 60" x 60" of clear space for landings that are placed where ramps change direction.