One of the best things about living in New England is the abundance of charming old homes. These homes, with their antique details and storied histories, are wonderful places to spend a lifetime.

One of the potential downsides to an older home if you are aging in place is the possibility of non-standardized, narrow hallway and doorway widths. If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or other mobility aid, it can be particularly difficult to safely and easily navigate the hallways and doorways within your beloved home.

Keep reading to learn if door and wall widening can make your home more accessible!

How Do I Know if My Home Needs Door and Wall Widening?

Consider that the average width of a doorway within a home is between twenty-three to twenty-seven inches. In comparison, the width of wheelchairs can range from twenty-one inches for a narrow transport chair to forty inches wide for a heavy-duty wheelchair. 

These measurements show that using even the narrowest wheelchair in the widest doorway can be a tight squeeze! If your home’s doorways and walls are average sizes or smaller, it is worthwhile to consider door and wall widening.

By widening hallways and doorways, you create more space for easier maneuverability for all the members of your household, especially if they use a mobility aid or have a visual impairment. Making this modification to your home can significantly increase accessibility for everyone within your home.

If the layout of your home consists of a number of small rooms, another modification to consider may be removing non-loading bear walls to create an open floor plan. Not only do open floor plans improve visibility, create more spacious living areas, and facilitate easier movement, but they also add value to your home. 

Door and Wall Remodeling Project in Freeport, Maine

Todd Creighton and his team at Portland Accessibility Remodelers recently completed this project of door and wall widening in Freeport, ME. This project was a part of a wider home accessibility remodel project completed to improve accessibility in the home.

What Other Home Modifications Can Increase Accessibility?

Beyond widening walls and doorways, these home modifications can noticeably increase accessibility:

Install Offset or “Z” Hinges

This hardware can add around an inch of clearance and allows doors to swing clear of the doorway. 

Remove Doors or Trim 

Removing a door can result in easier access for individuals using mobility aids, like wheelchairs or walkers. Removing the trim around a doorway can be a fast and easy way to gain clearance inches.

Threshold Ramp

Adding a small threshold ramp to a doorway can increase accessibility at any doorway width. 

Are There Different Options For Door and Wall Widening?

If the best solution for you is the removal of a door, there are replacement options which can enhance your home’s décor. These options include the installation of a pocket door, which can be rolled back right into the wall, or a barn door, which is a free-moving door that runs along a track at the top of the door.

Like open floor plans, both pocket doors and barn doors are accessibility modifications that can increase the value of your home. These types of doors are often a top feature of newly built homes!

When considering wall and doorway widening or any other accessibility modifications, it is important that you consult with a professional contractor who specializes in accessibility remodeling, like Portland Accessibility Remodelers. Widening walls and doorways often involves structural changes or the relocation of electrical wiring that requires the expertise of a licensed professional.

If you think that widen a wall or doorway can increase the accessibility of your home, the Portland Accessibility Remodelers team can precisely assess your specific needs and recommend appropriate modifications. With the accessibility modifications offered by Portland Accessibility Remodelers, you can comfortably and safely age in place in the home that you love!

Are you interested in learning if door or wall remodeling may be right for you? Contact the professionals at Portland Accessibility Remodelers in Portland, ME, today!