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Threshold Ramps & Accessibility

Most homes have thresholds, as shown in figure 1, installed on all of the bottoms of their exterior or entry door frames. Thresholds are designed to seal the bottom of the door and prevent outdoor inclement weather from entering the home and heat and cold from entering and exiting the home.

typical exterior door threshold
Figure 1 - Typical exterior door threshold

The problem is that these thresholds and any other rise or drop in a homes flooring creates an accessibility problem and potential safety hazard for anyone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

If you need to make your exterior or interior doors more accessible for wheelchairs and/or mobility scooters you may want to consider the use of "threshold ramps", as shown in Figure 2.

1 inch aluminum threshold ramp
Figure 2 - 1 inch aluminum threshold ramp

Threshold ramps come in a variety of sizes to suit almost any door or floor obstruction and any possible rise, from 1/2 to 6 inches.

Fitting the threshold ramps to your home is usually quite simple and even a novice handyman should be able to perform a perfect installation. Many threshold ramps are held in position using a convenient and easy to use adhesive.

Many of the threshold ramps have quality aesthetic design, allowing them to blend into the exterior of the home, as shown in Figure 3.

Of course the higher the rise the farther out the threshold ramp will be from the base of the door frame.

Aesthetically pleasing threshold ramp
Figure 3 - Aesthetically pleasing threshold ramp

There are numerous different styles of threshold ramps and you should perform a detailed investigation into the different styles in order to find the style of threshold ramp that best suits your needs.

You can even purchase portable threshold ramps, as shown in Figure 4 and 5, that are easy to carry and use. These ramps can make it relatively easy for someone who must use a wheelchair or mobility scooter to visit friends and relatives with entry door accessibility problems.

portable threshold ramp - open
Figure 4 - Portable threshold ramp - open
portable threshold ramp - closed
Figure 5 - Portable threshold ramp - closed

Note: If you have exterior door frames where the only obstacle is the bottom threshold, the bottom threshold on the door frame can be replaced with a threshold that mounts on the bottom of the door rather than the door frame, hence removing the wheelchair or mobility scooter obstacle, as shown in Figure 6.

under door threshold
Figure 6 - Under door threshold

Additional information on accessibilty in your home.