Greetings from Auburn Alabama! My daughter is in a wheel chair and I need to replace a sliding glass door from the house to the patio/deck. I have looked around and all the sliding doors have a 1" area at the bottom with rail slots. Do you know of any door that is relatively smooth at the bottom so the wheel chair will roll out without all the trauma of rolling over the sill area? Many thanks and you have a GOOD SHOW!
nickconrad 3-12-07 9:55am
Accessible Design is very important not only for those that are handicapped, but for everyone who appreciates the ease of access. Whether it is a low door threshold, a cabinet with sliding shelves or even a light switch with a paddle verses a toggle switch, simple changes in design make access easier, safer and more conformable for all. AARP has done a great job of identifying many of these areas via a special section of their website at http://www.aarp.org/homedesign .
As for your specific situation, yes, there are low door threshold designs for just this purpose. While they are not available is a sliding patio door, they are availble in the more accessible hinged patio door  design. For example, door manufacturer Therma-Tru makes something called a "public access sill" option for a hinged patio door. Instead of the standard 1 9/16th height sill, the public access sill has a height of only ½". Moreover, the design is sloped making it easier to roll over with a wheelchair or baby carriage. You can see a profile of the sill here: http://www.thermatru.com/Downloads/ArchComp/Sills.pdf . See pages 14 and 15.
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