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Deck, planter wall, wheelchair ramp...all designed as a single unit.

Deck, planter walls, wheelchair ramp . . . all designed as a single unit

A gently sloping 12-foot-long ramp angles off a back deck so Greg Rudolph can roll his wheelchair out to the lawn, play fetch with his dog, and enjoy the back garden. His parents, Charla and Charles Rudolph of Englewood, Colorado, also wanted the deck's design to include benches, planters, and a perimeter wall that would blend the structure with their ranch-style house.

Roughly 16 by 22 feet, the deck's 2-by-4 surface is at the same level as the interior floor. Access to it is through sliding doors in the family room. On the deck-facing side, the perimeter wall is 30 inches high; since the deck itself is a foot off the ground, wall height is 42 inches on the lawn-facing side. Deck walls are sheathed in the same horizontal cedar siding that covers the house.

The wall's width varies. Along the ramp, it's capped with a 2-by-12. Elsewhere, it widens to incorporate planters recessed in its framing; the planters have specially fabricated 12-inch-deep sheet-metal pans that rest on cross-bracing between the wall's sides. Filled with low-growing mugho pines and annuals, the planters ring most of the deck. At night, post-mounted lights illuminate the deck, ramp, and a short set of stairs to the lawn.

For a smooth transition to ground level, the pressure-treated beams supporting the ramp are set into the ground where the ramp meets the lawn.

Architect James Morrison of Castle Rock, Colorado, designed the deck.

Photo: Built-in planters edge most of deck; wheelchair ramp leads to lawn
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1986
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