Last Updated on November 12, 2021
If you’re in a wheelchair for either the short- or long-term, one of the difficulties you may find is how to make sliding glass doors wheelchair friendly, particularly if the doors have already been installed.
If you’re building from scratch, ADA guidelines can help guide you through what needs to be done. There are several different ways to make sliding patio doors more wheelchair accessible. While some choices may have you replacing the doors completely, there are other fixes as well, such as a wheelchair threshold ramp for sliding glass doors.
Read on to learn how to make sliding glass doors wheelchair-friendly so that the entire home and property is accessible.
Wheelchair-friendly Sliding Glass Doors: Designing an ADA-compliant Door
If you are building a new home or unit or doing enough work to replace the doors completely, there are certain ADA guidelines for patio doors. To meet ADA requirements as of 2021, sliding glass doors must be at least 6’6” wide with a height of 78”.
However, if the doors were installed before you moved into the home or knew they needed to be ADA- compliant, you may have a small problem on your hands: the ridges and grooves underneath sliding glass doors.
How can you overcome this issue?
Wheelchair-friendly Sliding Glass Doors: Different Types of ADA-compliant Doors
If you plan to completely replace the doors to meet ADA compliance, you have several options when it comes to wheelchair-friendly doors.
A better choice than sliding glass doors is hinged patio doors. Provided there is no significant lip between the inside of your home and your patio or deck, these should work beautifully without having to worry about the grooves at the bottom.
However, they do make patio doors with minimized grooves, particularly for this reason, so it’s best to consult a contractor, particularly one who has ADA experience.
Wheelchair-friendly Sliding Glass Doors: Threshold Ramps for Sliding Glass Doors
If you’re likely not making any substantial home improvements soon, and you do not want to replace sliding doors with grooves, then you also have the option of installing a wheelchair ramp for a sliding glass door.
Adding a ramp for a sliding glass door can make the patio or deck just as accessible, and threshold wheelchair ramp installation is less expensive than construction work and can be completed in an afternoon. The only drawback with threshold ramps is that so many builders have been lax with ADA codes.
So, while every threshold should be the same, they all are slightly different, and you must ensure the threshold-to-floor ratio is correct. With the exact measurements, it’s much simpler to choose the ramp that works best for you. There are also threshold ramps for traveling that can be used when you need one quickly. For example, if you’re visiting a relative that has sliding glass doors, you can bring the traveling ramp with you to visit.
For more information on how to make sliding glass doors wheelchair friendly or to learn about mobility products that can be life-changing, such as stairlifts and power recliners, contact Williams Lift Co. today.
We want both caregivers and their patients to live their best lives possible.