When you are enjoying time with friends and family, the festivities usually migrate around the house. Gorgeous weather can bring the group outdoors onto the patio or deck to continue forming core memories. However, this can be easier said than done for your loved ones who use electric wheelchairs or scooters.
Your sliding patio door creates a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces for those who are young and able-bodied. For loved ones who rely on wheelchairs or scooters for mobility, navigating these doors can be challenging. In this blog, we will discuss what makes sliding patio doors inaccessible to those using mobility devices and how the addition of a wheelchair and scooter ramp can keep the good times rolling for everyone.
Electric Wheelchairs & Scooters vs. Sliding Doors
The two main impediments on sliding patio doors that make it difficult for those using mobility devices to pass through are the threshold height and the sliding door tracks.
While the threshold height of a sliding patio door may seem insignificant to able-bodied people, it can present a critical obstacle to your loved ones using electric wheelchairs and scooters. This rise is necessary on doors that lead to the outdoors in order to prevent water infiltration. It is also not uncommon for the sill of patio doors to sit a few to several inches above the deck or patio. This is especially prevalent in areas prone to snow, flooding, or receiving a lot of rain.
Although necessary to the door’s function, the u-channel track upon which the door rests also presents an obstacle. The tracks can have a rise of less than an inch to almost three inches in order to provide proper operation, and insulation and to mitigate water infiltration. While sliding door tracks with a higher rise are impossible for a wheelchair or scooter to clear, tracks with a lower rise may seem passable at first blush. However, even if the tracks are low enough to pass over, the weight of the wheelchair or scooter can bend and distort the tracks. This will interfere with the sliding functionality of the door, and it can also create gaps for water to infiltrate the home.
In the next section, we’ll explain how to address the rise of the threshold and sliding door tracks so your loved ones using mobility devices will be able to safely pass through your sliding patio door.
How Can Electric Wheelchairs & Scooters Get Through Sliding Patio Doors?
You’ll need at least one and likely two threshold ramps to make your sliding patio door accessible for electric wheelchairs and scooters. However, not all threshold ramps are created equal. They can be constructed of metal or rubber and can be adjustable, of fixed height, or modular. One drawback to most threshold ramps on the market today is that they are not designed for sliding doors. Indeed most threshold ramps are intended for use on one side of the door threshold, leaving the rise on the other side of the sliding door threshold still an impediment. With sliding doors having a more complex and intricate design, an intuitive and durable solution is needed. That solution is the HandiRamp Sliding Door Threshold Ramp.
The HandiRamp Sliding Door Threshold Ramp
Custom fabricated to fit your sliding patio door, the HandiRamp Sliding Door Threshold Ramp is the ideal solution to make your home and patio/deck accessible to everyone. The ramp consists of three pieces that address the indoor and outdoor sides of the threshold as well as the sliding door’s tracks. It is also custom fabricated, meaning you are able to select the specifications you need for each piece to fit your exact sliding patio door. For an in-depth guide on what measurements you need and how to collect them, click here.
Is your sliding patio door’s threshold 3” or higher on either side? Give our ramp specialists a call at 800-876-7267 so we can ensure that your electric wheelchair or scooter will be compatible with the rise. It is our mission to provide you with the ideal accessibility solution for your unique needs!
The three pieces included in HandiRamp’s Sliding Door Threshold Ramp kit are the indoor threshold ramp, the outdoor threshold ramp, and the crossover bridge. The indoor and outdoor ramp sections rest on either side of the threshold and the crossover bridge attaches to the outdoor section on a hinge to flip up and down to rest on the lip of the indoor section. This creates a smooth and uninterrupted platform over the threshold. When not in use, the crossover bridge can be flipped up and out of the way so the sliding door can completely close. Not only does it make the rise of the threshold more accessible to those using wheelchairs and scooters, but it also protects the sliding door tracks from damage. For more details on how to select the perfect SDTR for your sliding patio door after measuring, click here!
When developing this threshold ramp, we knew it needed to accommodate electric wheelchairs and scooters, which average from 50 to 300 lbs. This is why the kit is constructed of hard-wearing aluminum, giving it a 750-lb capacity. The surface of the ramp sections also features HandiRamp’s exclusive patented raised-button traction surface, which has been used to make our ramps exceptionally non-slip for decades. This non-slip surface provides traction in all weather conditions like rain, sleet, and snow, which is imperative for a ramp that will be outside and exposed to nature’s elements.
Once your Sliding Door Threshold Ramp is installed, you’ll have peace of mind that your loved ones will be able to safely access both the indoor and outdoor sections of your home and participate in all the fond memories being created as a family.
Making Both Indoor & Outdoor Spaces Accessible
At HandiRamp, is it our mission to make peoples’ lives better by making the world around them more accessible. With its durable construction, easy installation, and compatibility with various sliding patio door sizes, the HandiRamp sliding door threshold ramp offers a practical and efficient way to bridge the gap between the indoor and outdoor spaces of your home so all of your loved ones will be able to join in on the family bonding. We want to make sure your SDTR functions in your sliding patio door threshold just as you need it to. Do not hesitate to give our ramp experts a call at 800-876-7267 with any questions you may have about the SDTR, whether it be measuring, usage, installing, or anything in between!