ADA and Wheelchair Accessibility
Accessible Hallways and Doorways
(Photo of an accessible custom home Raleigh NC - with wide archway entrances designed for wheelchairs.)
How to Make a Custom Home Accessible
We were recently asked this question: "How can we modify our new home floor plan for wheelchair accessibility? How wide do hallways and doorways need to be for a wheelchair?"
It is important to consider wheelchair accessibility before building your new home - modifications to an existing home can be much more expensive.
What are the Minimum Hallway and Doorway Width Requirements for a Wheelchair?
Both ADA requirements and Specially Adapted Housing Minimum Property Requirements specify:
- Minimum hallway width of 48"
- Minimum doorway width of 36"
Standard doorways in a new home are usually either 2'4", 2'6" or 2'8" wide, and according to North Carolina building code, the minimum width of a hallway is 36".
How wide should the doorways and hallways be in your home? Depends on what kind of access you're looking for.
- Minimum clear width for a wheelchair is 36 inches for a hall and 32 inches for a door.
- Minimum clear space for a T-shaped turn of 180 degrees is 36 inches in all directions.
- The minimum passage width for one wheelchair and one ambulatory person is 48 inches.
- Many mobility scooters are as narrow as 21".
What are Some Additional Doorway Options?
If the home buyer simply wants wider doorways, but is not as concerned about having a 48" wide hallway, there may be some options that don't require significant structural changes. And it's MUCH less expensive to plan for wider doorways before construction starts than to try to retrofit hallways and doorways later.
- A 3'2" wide hallway will allow a 36" door, but there will be no room for trim.
- A 3'8" width works well for a 36" door, and allows 2 1/4" trim, or casing, around the doorway.
- A 3'10" width is ideal for a 36" door, as it allows 3 1/4" casing around the doorway.
However, if someone is planning to build with a Specially Adapted Housing Grant, they are required to include 48" hallways to obtain the grant. There also must be enough space to "allow for maneuverability through the hall and into all rooms, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and ingress/egress routes."
How Can My Hallways Be Widened, and When is the Best Time to Plan for This?
In most cases, wider hallways means adding more square footage to the home. At Stanton Homes, we are able to make almost all floor plan changes in-house, which can reduce the cost of making a new home wheelchair accessible.
Or bring us any plans that you're considering, and we'll be happy to discuss what changes might be required to make your next home accessible.
Experienced Accessible Home Builders –
Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.