Home for Life™ Essentials:

A Home for Life™ will have one or both of the following options to enter the home:

  1. At least one zero-step entrance
  2. Provisions for the installation of a ramp or vertical platform lift in an attached garage

It is recommended that BOTH options be integrated into the home’s design.

A zero-step entrance will:

  1. Have a minimum 5’ x 5’ level exterior landing that is covered to divert water and snow
  2. Have a minimum 5’ x 5’ foyer inside the home
  3. Have a door with a minimum clearance of 34” when open.  A 36” hinged (slab) door generally provides the clearance required.
  4. Have a minimum 24” clear space at the latch side of the door on the pull side and 12” of clear space on the latch side of the door on the push side
  5. Have a maximum ½” beveled threshold
  6. Be connected to a parking area by a walkway with a slope no greater than 1:20

Zero-step entries are NOT prohibited by municipalities as some may believe. However, they do require special attention to drainage and guarding against moisture penetration. In our northern climate, homeowners who use a mobility device such as a wheelchair or scooter may prefer to enter their home via a ramp or vertical lift installed in an attached garage rather than going outdoors to reach the front door, however, this is inconvenient for visitors.

Future installation of a platform lift requires:

  1. A double-car garage
  2. Space for a 5’ x 5’ level landing to be constructed in front of the door leading into the home
  3. An additional 5’ x 5’ level space beside, or in front of, the landing to install the lift
  4. A 12 amp dedicated circuit installed near the door 
  5. A door leading into the house that is a minimum of 34” wide when open. A 36” hinged (slab) door generally provides the clearance required.
  6. A minimum 24” clear space at the latch side of the door on the pull side and 12” of clear space on the latch side of the door on the push side
  7. A maximum ½” beveled threshold in the doorway leading into the house

Future installation of a ramp inside a garage requires:

  1. A double-car garage
  2. Enough length to create a ramp with a slope that does not exceed 1:12
  3. Space for a 5’ x 5’ level landing to be constructed in front of the door leading into the home
  4. A door leading into the house that is a minimum of 34” wide when open.  A 36” hinged (slab) door generally provides the clearance required.
  5. A minimum 24” clear space at the latch side of the door on the pull side and 12” of clear space on the latch side of the door on the push side
  6. A maximum ½” beveled threshold in the doorway leading into the house

Ramp design must meet the requirements outlined in the Alberta Building Code.

A Home for Life™ does NOT allow for the provision for a ramp to be added to the front of a home. They are not aesthetically appealing, are costly to construct, are difficult to maintain, and decrease resale value of a home. They can also be an invitation to criminals who prey on the elderly and disabled.

Zero-step entries can be created by lowering the foundation, raising the ground to the front door, or doing a combination of both. An entrance is required where the floor level is no more than 30” above grade. Where this cannot be achieved, the preferred alternative is to create a sloping walk to a side door or back deck, combined with a vertical lift or ramp located in an attached garage.

Another method involves making the garage floor level with the inside door and making adjustments to properly vent vehicle exhaust.

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