Installing doors that transform your property into a “forever” home doesn’t just improve accessibility for all, it could also increase the value of your property. Choosing the best doors for wheelchair access ensures that, whether you’re a current wheelchair user, may become one in the future or have differently-abled friends, relations or colleagues, they are all able to access your property easily and safely.
For wheelchair users, a home that’s set up to meet their needs provides a safe, welcoming environment that fosters independence.
Here we take a look at the key features of the best doors for wheelchair access.
It goes without saying that a door that can be easily opened and shut by a wheelchair user needs to be lightweight, at the same time as being strong and secure. In most cases, a combination of aluminium and tempered glass is most appropriate. Aluminium is extremely strong at the same time as being a very lightweight metal. Tempered glass is heavier, but its weight can be offset by selecting a suitable operating mechanism for the door. A glass door is also important so that users can look through it to see if there are any unexpected objects outside that could create a barrier to easy movement.
Easy, sliding action
Unless you want to invest in a push-button or remotely controlled door (both of which are expensive options), a sliding door is probably easiest to operate. If mounted on its runners currently, a sliding door needs only a light touch to open it. Users don’t have to reach through a large angle to open or shut the door, and there is no danger of a sliding door slamming shut unexpectedly.
It is recommended that the best doors for wheelchair access are at least 850mm. This is wider than most conventional doors, which is why many wheelchair users prefer sliding doors or folding doors. These can be chosen to have a wider aperture, making access easier.
Easy to Lock
Particularly if upper body and hand strength is also an issue, it’s important to select a door that is easy to lock. Most aluminium sliding doors can be fitted with secure locks which engage with only slight pressure. It’s also possible to have keyless locks fitted, for people struggling with hand mobility.
Flat floor surface
It goes without saying that the floor inside and outside the property needs to be on the safe level for easy wheelchair access. When you opt for a sliding door, the runners can be recessed into the floor surface. This makes the threshold flush with the floor, making it as straightforward as possible to pass through the door with minimal effort.
For many homes, aluminium sliding doors provide a perfect solution for wheelchair users. Lightweight, adaptable, secure and easy to use, they also look stunning and complement almost any type of property.
Lifestyle Windows offer a wide selection of aluminium windows and doors on the Sunshine Coast & in Gympie, including some of the best doors for wheelchair access on the market. Get in touch on (07) 5351 1655 to find out more.