LESLIE: Jim in South Carolina needs some help with accessibility to an entrance of the home. What can we do for you?JIM: Well, I have a family member that’s going to be moving in with us and, unfortunately, my front foyer has about a four-inch lip. I have a patio entrance which, unfortunately, has sliding doors and again a step-in from the garage. And because she uses a motor scooter because she has poor balance, I’m trying to figure out how best to ramp the entrances and …
TOM: Alright. Well, let’s talk about the patio door first. There’s a type of sill for that called a low profile sill but, unfortunately, it can’t be added after the fact. You’d have to order the door with the low profile sill, which is specifically designed for handicapped access.
JIM: OK. Now, what about the front entrance? There’s about a three-inch step-up and, generally, when she visits right now I have to pull the back wheels, have her reverse and then pull the chair with the back wheels up so she can get over it and then she has to spin around and then come through the front door.
TOM: So the total rise of sort of the step is only about three inches?
JIM: Yep. Actually, three and a half, four inches.
TOM: OK. Well, can’t you make a ramp just to cover that particular area and just make it remove-and-replaceable?
LESLIE: There’s actually a good website that has removable ramps. They sell predominantly accessibility products and the website is HandiRamp.com. And there’s a whole section of threshold ramps that are portable, removable. They’re made to specifically just jump up that threshold.
TOM: And the AARP has a program that’s called a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist. It’s their CAPS program. There are contractors out there that are specifically trained in these accessibility/easy-living issues and you can find one through the AARP website at AARP.org. Specifically, I would go to AARP.org/HomeDesign. That’s their home design section with information on the CAPS specialists.
JIM: OK, great. Thanks so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Jim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.