When most people think about making a home accessible, they think about ramps, stairlifts, ceiling lifts, and wheelchair lifts. However, one of the most significant barriers to accessibility in the house are the doorways themselves. The standard width sizes for interior doors range from 22 inches to 30 inches. The minimum recommended door width for those with disabilities, or assistive equipment to pass through is 36 inches.
Many homeowners don’t consider the size of their doorways when they think about making accessibility modifications. It is essential to consider the size of your assistive device when thinking about expanding the doorways throughout your home. If a turn is involved near the door, additional space may be needed to accommodate the range of motion of your power chair or other mobility equipment.
Before you drag out the sledgehammer and attempt to discern which walls in your home are loadbearing, here are a few things to consider:
- Expandable Door Hinges – If only a few inches are required to get through the doorway safely, removing the door from the doorway can provide this much-needed
clearance. However, if the door is needed, adding expandable door hinges to the door can help the door swing clear of the doorway and still allow for privacy or security.
- Barn Doors or Pocket Doors – Removing the door doesn’t mean that there will never be a door there. Adding a barn door or pocket door to the room allows for privacy and doorway clearance without the added inches in the door jamb. The drawback to pocket doors is that they require space inside the wall for the door to roll away out of the way. A barn door requires space along the wall for the track and door to glide across.
If these options are not possible in your home, then widening both interior and exterior doorways can be performed. Wiring inside the walls of your home may need to be moved, and light switches may have to be relocated to accommodate these modifications. Details throughout your home, like matching existing flooring, running HVAC ductwork, and accounting for pipes in the wall, are all part of the door widening process. Let the team at Accessible Systems evaluate your home’s doorways and help you choose the right modifications to fit your needs.
Our team can help you take into consideration:
Your current mobility needs and changes to your assistive equipment.
Options that allow you to increase the resale value of your home – like the addition of French doors or a sliding glass patio door.
Structural limitations that may make choosing another design or product necessary.
The addition of or relocation of a door for better accessibility.