Disabled access for new home entrances
Disabled Access at entrance doors in new build homes.
The England & Wales Building Regulations were amended in 1999, the aim was to improve access for the disabled, for clarity Part M is the regulation name.
Other areas such as Scotland and Northern Ireland have very similar regulations in place
The most practical change was a requirement for front doors to have a level or low threshold so that wheelchair users would have unimpeded access in and out of the house without having to go over an obstruction such as a sill or step.
During the introduction of this regulation there was a degree of controversy and builders concrens revolved around potential problems with flooding, this issue appears to have all but dissapeared now and the regulation is accepted by builders, the builders knowledge of the sills available has increased and the suppliers of those sill products have ran with the concept and developed the range of products to a high level.
A level threshold is one that has a projection of no more than 15mm in height. The doors themselves are not the issue, they don't have to be altered in any way whatsoever BUT.....
There is a regulation in place that requires that the Part M compliant door should be a minimum of 838mm (2’9”) wide. The frame around the door must also be Part M compliant as mentioned above, namely, they must have a threshold of no more than 15mm – and there should be no concrete step or raised structure either inside or outside the door.
A simple approach (pardon the pun) is to design such access detail as early as possible in the planning stage, one way is to have a ramp leading to the front door and to have a matwell inside the door for visitors to clean their feet.
It should be noted that a house has to have one low level threshold , it could be at the rear doorway.
Renovations or extensions to existing homes do not have to comply with Part M.