Do Homes Have ADA Door Requirements?


I’m glad you’re looking this up!

This is a topic that should be given more care, which is why I wrote this article, and why I’m glad you’re here reading it.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) primarily applies to commercial buildings and public spaces rather than residential properties. However, you may incorporate ADA guidelines into your residential design to accommodate individuals with disabilities or to future-proof your homes for accessibility.

ADA Door Requirements Guideline

While ADA requirements for residential exterior doors are not as stringent as those for commercial buildings, there are still some general principles that homeowners may consider:

  1. Minimum Door Width: ADA recommends a minimum clear width of 32 inches for exterior doors in residential settings to accommodate wheelchair users comfortably. However, standard residential doors often have widths ranging from 28 to 36 inches, so it doesn’t always necessarily meet the ADA door width residential requirement as a default. Opting for wider doorways can enhance accessibility.
  2. Thresholds: Thresholds at exterior doors should be low-profile or flush to allow for smooth passage, especially for individuals using mobility aids such as wheelchairs or walkers. A maximum threshold height of 1/2 inch is often recommended to minimize tripping hazards.
  3. Hardware: Door handles and locks should be easy for individuals with limited hand dexterity or strength. Lever-style handles are generally more accessible than traditional round doorknobs, requiring less grip strength.
  4. Clearance Space: Adequate maneuvering space should be provided inside and outside exterior doors to accommodate wheelchair users. This includes ensuring enough space for a wheelchair to approach and open the door without obstruction.
  5. Accessibility Features: Consider installing additional accessibility features such as automatic door openers or keyless entry systems to enhance convenience and independence for individuals with disabilities.
  6. Visual Contrasts: Providing visual contrasts between the door frame, door itself, and surrounding walls can aid individuals with visual impairments in identifying the location of the door.

While adherence to ADA guidelines is not mandatory for residential properties, incorporating accessibility principles into the design of exterior doors can enhance inclusivity and usability for all home occupants. Homeowners interested in implementing ADA-inspired features should consult with accessibility experts or design professionals to ensure their modifications meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.


Where can you learn about ADA building code requirements?

To learn about ADA building code requirements, you can refer to various official sources and resources:

  • The official website of the U.S. Department of Justice provides comprehensive information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. This website offers detailed guidance on various ADA requirements for different facilities, including buildings, facilities, and public accommodations.
  • ADA National Network: The ADA National Network comprises ten regional ADA Centers in the United States, each offering information, guidance, and training on ADA-related topics. You can access their website ( to find resources, publications, and training materials related to ADA compliance and accessibility.
  • ADA Standards for Accessible Design: The ADA Standards for Accessible Design, published by the U.S. Department of Justice, provide specific guidelines and requirements for making buildings and facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities. These standards cover various aspects of accessibility, including architectural features, structural elements, and technical specifications.
  • Local Building Codes and Authorities: Many local building codes incorporate ADA requirements or reference ADA standards for accessibility. Contact your local building department or code enforcement agency to inquire about specific ADA-related requirements applicable to your area.
  • Professional Organizations and Training Programs: Professional organizations related to architecture, construction, and accessibility may offer training programs, workshops, and resources on ADA compliance and accessible design. Consider joining relevant organizations or attending educational events to stay informed about ADA requirements and best practices.
  • Accessible Design Consultants: Accessibility consultants or professionals specializing in accessible design can provide expert guidance and assistance in understanding and implementing ADA requirements in building projects. These consultants can offer customized solutions and recommendations tailored to your needs and circumstances.

By consulting these resources and seeking expert guidance, you can comprehensively understand ADA building code requirements and ensure compliance with accessibility standards in your building projects.


In closing

While residential properties are not subject to the exact ADA requirements as commercial buildings, incorporating accessibility features into home design can significantly enhance inclusivity and convenience for all occupants. Whether you’re considering installing wider doorways, low-profile thresholds, or lever-style handles, these modifications can improve accessibility and accommodate individuals with disabilities or mobility limitations.

If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s doorways to meet accessibility needs or want to explore options for enhancing convenience and functionality, contact us today for a consultation. Our team of experts is here to help you create a more accessible and welcoming home environment for everyone. Reach out now to schedule a service or request an estimate, and let’s transform your home into a space that prioritizes accessibility and comfort for all.

Your New Door offers a Limited Lifetime Product Warranty. We also provide a one-year service and installation warranty!

Please request a free quote by calling, texting, or filling out and submitting a form on our contact page.

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