Sponsor spotlight: Multigenerational home receives free wheelchair ramp, thanks to Irons Brothers

Irons Brothers Construction volunteers gather in front of the Fairbanks’ home where the ramp was installed Saturday. (Photos courtesy Irons Brothers Construction)

This Mother’s Day weekend, one family received an incredibly special gift — a wheelchair ramp and walkway designed, built and installed at no-cost by Irons Brothers Construction, Shoreline’s local design-build firm celebrating its 25th year in business.

Since 2006, Irons Brothers Construction — a longtime member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBA) — has participated in Rampathon. This weekend, General Manager Joseph Irons captained his 18th ramp, enlisting more than a dozen volunteers, including employees of Irons Brothers Construction, friends, family and colleagues. The team worked all day Saturday until the ramp was completed for the Fairbanks family of Haller Lake in Shoreline.

A family affair, Joseph and Melissa Irons engage not only their skilled employees in building the ramp, but they also encourage family members to participate. “It’s not just a gift we are giving, we gain so much in building for others too,” said Melissa Irons as she recounted her experience in building ramps over the years. Some current and past volunteers include local high school students from Shorewood and Shorecrest, and several other volunteers attend annually to help with this project.

“Helping local neighbors regain freedom through Rampathon is truly amazing to be a part of,” Melissa Irons said.

In April, Joseph Irons and his team began designing, planning and coordinating the Fairbanks family’s new barrier-free entry. “Building a new ramp and/or walkway during a one-day philanthropic project takes time and preparation to ensure a smooth build,” Joseph Irons said. “When building an accessible ramp we must consider the user, the type of assistive device being used (wheelchair, powerchair, walker), the other home occupants, visitors and caregivers, and of course safety. From procuring materials, labor, and equipment, to set-up and clean-up, even with several years of experience, each project has its own unique challenges. Our team of volunteers thrive at being creative and working together to create solutions each year to help families during Rampathon.”

On Saturday, a dozen volunteers excavated, dug and removed the existing unsafe paver and multi-level concrete walkway. They framed, formed and poured a new safe and accessible barrier-free entry and walkway with concrete. By eliminating the current step down to the entry door and installing a graded concrete broom-finish walkway, the Fairbanks family and their guests will be able to easily navigate in and out of their home.

This year’s ramp recipient is a 90-year-old disabled veteran who uses a walker or a wheelchair. He is suffering from prostate cancer and has heart disease and a cognitive disorder. His daughter, who is also in a wheelchair, has multiple conditions limiting her abilities, including traumatic brain injury. With the current entrance and multiple levels to access the home, his daughter cannot live with him. Having a wheelchair ramp will allow her to move into the home and have an accessible place to live.

The Fairbanks family’s new ramp was built by removing two portions of the uneven walkway and one stair at the entry. Without stairs to maneuver, his daughter will have safe access and newfound independence. This project was constructed out of easy-to-maintain and eye-pleasing concrete materials.

Irons Brothers Construction maintains the highest commitment to philanthropy and giving back to their local communities where they live and work. At the end of the day, the reward is when the Fairbanks family safely uses their walkway and ramp to be outdoors.

The completed ramp.
Rampathon recipient Bean Fairbanks with her service dog, Damien poses with members of the Irons Brothers team (L-R): Jon Petkovits, Jeremy Tieskotter, Melissa Irons, Joseph Irons and Scarlet Haney.

Since 1993, Master Builders members have contributed more than 500 ramps to the King and Snohomish County communities. Thanks to the Master Builders Association and the generous 2024 donors listed below, this ramp was built at no cost to the recipient:

– Irons Brothers Construction, Inc. for volunteer labor, tools, and materials

– Green Latrine for their sani-can donation

– Junkzilla for hauling away the debris

“A huge thank you to our trade partner Jeremy with Invictus Contracting Solutions for his help on the concrete pour and finishing,” Melissa Irons said.

To learn more about Rampathon, visit www.rampathon.org.

 Irons Brothers Construction is celebrating 25 years of business in 2024 with their Design + Build Center. They specialize in universal design, aging in place remodeling, and the highest construction practices. Company owners Joseph and Melissa Irons and their team have their Certified Aging in Place Specialist designations (CAPS) through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Certified Living in Place Professional certifications (CLIPP) through the Living in Place Institute. In each remodel, they incorporate these principles when possible. For more information, visit www.ironsbc.com.




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