One common way to make a home handicap accessible is by overcoming the steps at the garage entrance. Steps are an accessibility barrier that are typically made of concrete or wood, and railings are not always installed. The construction quality may also be low, which poses injury risks from slips and falls. Here are the top 4 solutions to help make a home’s garage handicap accessible.
1. RAILINGS and GRAB BARS
Steel railings and grab bars make a home handicap accessible by offering an additional level of support on both sides of the steps and aid in fall prevention. PT rails can be installed quickly and custom steel railings can be fabricated to fit a home’s unique dimensions and style. These are among the lowest cost solutions and there is typically a variety of funding options available.
Aluminum modular ramps offer the safest egress and can be custom fit for each individual home. There are certain slope safety requirements that must be abided to, so it’s important to make sure they are installed by a certified contractor. With more steps, the more modular ramp will be required. As such, these ramps can take up a lot of space in a garage, so it’s best for larger garages.
Equipment such as stair lifts and vertical platform lifts (VPLs) save space and add efficiency. They are the best solutions for 4 or more steps and for small garages. This specialized equipment can be pricier than railings, grab bars and ramps, but depending on the need, financial assistance may be available from a number of government and non-profit entities.
4. EASY STEPS
Steps are typically 7-8 inches tall, which can make it challenging for someone that relies on a walker or a cane to move around. That rise can be hard to overcome. “Easy steps” are a great way to make a home handicap accessible. They are constructed with a shorter rise and a longer run, making entering/exiting a home much easier and safer. In essence, the steps are shorter and there is more area to gather one’s footing in between strides.
In the end, consulting with a home modification and home accessibility equipment specialist is the recommended first step to avoid a headache, heart ache, and to help devise the most affordable and ideal solution to the NEED to making garage steps in a home handicap accessible.