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2 Steps for ZERO Steps

I get ticked when I see new houses with lots of steps being built on relatively flat lots. That's simply design-build laziness, and ominous when you consider 18,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 DAILY!

So if you're planning construction or home improvement, here's how to make your home life easier with ZERO steps getting into the house.

My next three posts describe how to achieve no step access (step elimination) into your home through a front, side or rear door (not through a garage, which could ultimately be easiest depending on the characteristics of your property). I will assume new construction for this tutorial; however, the same outcome and concepts apply to an existing house only with more challenge simply because you're not starting from scratch.

We're rolling two problems into one mission, no steps getting TO and then THROUGH the doorway, so I'm describing achieving both step-free and zero threshold entry within the same solution. We're also trying to avoid building a ramp unless there are no other options. (Later I'll rebut in more detail, "Wouldn't a ramp be easier?" Short answer, a ramp might be easier to build but certainly not safer or less taxing for the user, particularly in bad weather.)

How do you avoid steps? By gently sloping Mother Earth, which could involve addition or subtraction of dirt, rocks, etc. See the next post, How to build a zero step entry

That gets us TO the door, which is the hard part, then you simply build a wider, zero clearance entry into the home. So this two stage solution for avoiding physical exertion, reduces substantially the potential for falling and boosts personal energy conservation, control and ease.

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President Todd Hawkins preaches building science and Universal Design (UD) to teach the benefits of an efficient, convenient, comfortable and flexible Lifetime Home. Also follow him on Twitter @BuilderFish for short tips about how kid-friendly UD makes home life easier and more secure for any person of any age or ability.

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