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Thread: question regarding accessibility

  1. #1

    question regarding accessibility

    Soon I'll start building my house and I would like it to be fully accessible hence the question. At the moment (on the drawn plans) there's a passage of 1,10m (3,61feet/43,35inch)with a door (L or R depends where you're coming from) of 1,00m (3,28feet/39,37inch). It's an automatic sliding door. I need to be able to make a 90degree turn to enter the door (turning back 180degrees not necessary) from the passageway. With my manual chair there's no problem but maybe some time in the far future I'll use a powerchair and of course friends in a powerchair have to be able to make the turn too.
    Do you think this is possible with these measures or should I enlarge the door opening (making the passage wider is possible but difficult)? Maybe some people in powerchairs can try this out???
    Thanks for the advice!

    edited to clarify...

    [This message was edited by Bke74 on 04-20-04 at 11:26 AM.]

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    I am terrible at thinking of how these things look in my head but... Since 2.54 centimeters = 1 inch the meter wide door (39 inches) should be plenty wide enough for power chairs. Mine is about 26 inches wide. The passage I'm not sure I understand power chair is 44 inches long and it's not a big chair. Those who have tilt and recline or shelves for ventilators may need a longer passage or wider turn radius than 90 degrees. A good way to try this out is to have someone shrink a drawing of a chair to the appropriate ratio and try to move it along the path of entrance or exit on your plans.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

  3. #3

    We are currently building a single level, fully wheelchair accessible home. All exterior doorways are framed for 44" doors with the S-clear offset hinges (allows the full 44" to be utilized). We do have a couple 36" interior pocket doors where nothing else would fit.

    All of these doors work fine for straight through passage. All of them work fine for making 90 degree turns on one side of the door or the other, assuming that the adjoining rooms have ample clearance. Making a 360 or 180 turn fully within the doorway would be impossible with nearly any door.

    One caution is that standard doors larger than 36" are more difficult to find. I don't know about sourcing sliding auto doors, but you will find limited selection in 3'6" or 3'8" standard hinged doors. In my opinion, the limited selction is an easy trade off for the increased width. Keep in mind that the larger doors can be fitted with inside glass panels to give whatever aesthetic look you want.

  4. #4
    Thanks, but it seems like I wasn't very clear. I need to make a turn (90degr?) to go from the passage/'corridor' which is 43,35inches wide into the bathroom door (39,37inches). So I don't need to turn IN the door opening. Does this make sense?

  5. #5
    Lots of recommendations out there. We are currently staying in an apartment with a 4' hallway and 3' doorways, requiring the 90 degree turn of which you speak. From what I've observed, a 36" doorway requiring a 90 degree turn from a 44" hallway is adequate. Meaning, it will work. However, you may bang into the walls and doorways on occasion. It means you'll beat up the molding and trim, but it will provide full access, even with a "normal sized" power chair. An extra inch or two would be nice, though. Look into the offset hinges. That would be enough additional clearance to make things easier.

    [This message was edited by espousal on 04-20-04 at 04:12 PM.]

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