This is part 3 of a deep dive into 12 accessible measurements you need to know.
The reasons behind the numbers
Interior doorway openings
This is an important requirement to meet as it will make the difference between a wheelchair being able to get in and out of each room of your house. Note that you need the doorway ‘opening’ itself to be 32in/81cm, not just the actual door. Door thickness ranges between 1 3/8-1 3/4in/35-44mm and standard north-American hinges don’t allow a door to swing completely open and clear of the door jamb and its’ molding. So, a 32in door doesn’t actually give a full 32in clearance, and therefore isn’t wide enough for somebody to maneuver a wheelchair through. Two specialty hinges that will allow a door to open a few more inches is a swing clear hinge and a wide throw hinge. These can be used to widen a doorway when it’s not feasible to enlarge the opening.
Minimum hallway width
Narrow hallways are never very inviting and they can be difficult to maneuver along with a mobility device, especially at the corners. Ensure your hallway is as wide as possible, making it at least 36in/91cm wide but 42-60in/107-152cm is ideal as this will make navigating corners and turning in and out of rooms much easier.
Exterior doorway opening
Your front entry doorway opening should be at least 36in/91cm wide, but making all your exterior doors that wide makes good sense. A wide front door has a greater curb appeal not to mention how useful it is for moving large objects in and out.
There’s nothing worse than a small shower stall where you can barely turn around in. The minimum dimensions of a wheelchair accessible shower is 60in/152cm x 30in/76cm but 36in/91cm is better and will feel more luxurious.
Incorporating all of these dimensions into your new or renovated home will ensure you are investing your time and money into a home that will support you well into the future, as well as creating a home that will appeal to a much wider range of possible buyers when it comes time to sell.