Narrow doorways can be a real handicap for someone using a wheelchair or walker. When it comes to making easy passage through doorways, doing so in a wheelchair or with a walker can be a challenge. Most residential building codes, architects and home builders haven’t truly considered the needs of people using a wheelchair or walker, resulting in many homes with doorways too narrow for wheelchair access. While it’s true that many doorways can be widened, it’s not only an inconvenience, it can also be expensive.
An alternative solution that’s relatively inexpensive and quick to implement might be replacing your existing 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ hinges with expandable offset door hinges. These special “handicap” hinges are designed to swing the door completely clear of the opening when it is opened roughly 90 degrees,
adding about 2 inches of additional clearance for wheelchairs and walkers. (NOTE: Almost another inch of extra clearance can be obtained by removing the lower portions of the door stop trim on both sides of the opening, allowing for wheelchair clearance while still leaving stops in place above chair level to keep the door from swinging too far inward.)
Installation of offset door hinges can be easily performed by some homeowners. Those who need assistance can call our office — we will be glad to assess the situation to see if these hinges can be applied in your home, and can procure and install them for you.