Mimimizing step-up into basement house

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Old 08-28-13, 07:47 AM
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Mimimizing step-up into basement house

So we may be building a new home in the future and want it to be wheelchair accessible (or somewhat easy to make accessible in the future).

I know slab foundations are preferred for accessible homes, but what are the options for houses with a basement when it comes to minimizing the step up into the house. Most basement houses I've seen have at least a floor joist height step up from the garage into the house, usually more. Then there is at least a step from the ground/sidewalk to the porches/patio plus another step from the porch to the house floor.

I can see the benefit of a small step up, maybe 2 or 3 inches. A 1:12 slope ramp for that would be a reasonable size. But, are there techniques for avoiding the joist height (or more) step?
 
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Old 08-28-13, 11:49 AM
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Entry from an attached garage into the house is generally raised 18 inches from the garage floor. It is done this way to prevent gasoline vapors, which are heavier than air, from entering the house.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 12:27 PM
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Ok, I can see that being an issue. But I know I have seen many less than 18", with just 1 or 2 steps in.

A breezeway would solve that issue. How about regular entrance doors?
 
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Old 08-28-13, 12:31 PM
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I think you can design whatever you want as long as you think about it up front. The house can be elevated normally but the front walk can be graded so there is no step or a small step to the front porch. Even though a attached garage usually must be lower than the house you can design in proper space for a ramp. A detached garage does not need to be at a different elevation so you could have a walkway go door to door without steps.

The most annoying thing I found when I built my house 12 years ago was the code requirement for a 4" high dam at the entrance to the shower. Round and round with my Inspections Dept. Everything else in the house can be wheelchair accessible but they still required a dam at the entrance to a shower room no mater how far the houses floor level is above the shower drain or the shower room's size. I hope the code has changed since then.
 
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Old 08-29-13, 02:39 AM
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I know I have seen many less than 18", with just 1 or 2 steps in.
I only have two steps from my garage to the inside of the house and it is still 18 inches height difference.

At my old house I did not have any direct access from the garage to the house. I did have a side door to the garage (yes, attached garage) and I had a four-foot wide concrete walkway installed alongside the garage. From just after the side door it ramped upward to the front door of the house so there was only about an inch difference and the door threshhold to maneuver. My daddy and a distant cousin both used wheelchairs for mobility and both very much liked that house with the gently sloping ramp and minimal "bump" into the house.
 
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