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Better Living Design in Entry and Access

Lever and loop handles work best for one-hand use.

Learn how to make your entryway accessible for family members throughout their life cycles with these tips.

Tips On Home Entrance

An example of a Better Living Design entrance

For accessibility and ease of use, consider these features:

  • A covered entryway.
  • Low (less than 1/2 in.) or no threshold.
  • Wide doors - at least 32 in.
  • Swing-away hinge to allow wider access for strollers, wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
  • Lever-style door handles rather than knobs for those with limited hand strength.
  • Easy-to-reach and operate interior lock with no small buttons to manipulate.
  • Peep hole at appropriate level.
  • Non-slip surfaces on steps or ramps.
  • Curb cuts or ramps at driveway to minimize or avoid sidewalk drop-offs. 
  • Package shelf at front entrance for holding items while opening the door.
  • Highly visible street number and doorbell.
  • Adequate lighting.

Ideally, ramps should have:

  • 1:20 rise and run for exterior; 1:12 for interior
  • Level landing areas of 60 in. by 60 in. at the top and bottom to allow for safe stopping and turnaround space.
  • Minimum 36-in. width.
  • Anti-slip surface.
  • Handrails on both sides.
  • Soil fill around ramps to eliminate drop-off.

Also consider incorporating lattice or landscaping to blend ramps with your home's facade.