deterioration, a thermal break is advisable between metal windows (steel or aluminum) and butting interior materials, such as plaster or metal jamb liners. Windowsills are subject to hard usage from flower pots and other heavy objects. Glass glazing compounds which harden make glass replacement expensive; vinyl or snap-in beads are recommended-
Two curtain rods or tracks, as well as Venetian blinds or shades, should be provided for windows. Ring pull trim on pull-down blinds or shades is convenient for many impaired persons who use a device with a hooked end for many things, Venetian blinds are practical, though difficult to clean. The general tendency toward excessive glass areas makes the cost to the tenant of providing suitable glare-controlling and cold-retarding draperies unreasonably high.
The entrance door to the dwelling should be at teas! 2 ft-10 in. wide if door opens 100 , otherwise 3 ft. There should be no entrance step or riser. Any threshold should be at least 5 in. wide, featheredged to floor and projecting no more than % in. above the floor.
Letters or numbers identifying the dwelling should be visible day and night Raised numbers are more easily seen by those with poor vision and can be felt by the blind. It is also helpful to have color variation on doors or elsewhere near the entrance, Entrance doors leading directly from the outside should have a protective hood or canopy.
The proper width of pass-through doors within the dwelling depends upon wheelchair dimensions and the ability of the individual to operate the chair. Overall dimensions for the standard wheelchair are 24 to 26 in. wide, 42 in. long and 36 in. high. Special-purpose wheelchairs are larger and require more maneuvering space. The pass-through dimensions thai follow, which are identified as minimal, represent what the standard American wheelchair is capable of negotiating; the recommended dimensions represent what most wheelchair users can negotiate:
• Hallways in the dwelling: To permit 180 turn, 4-ft minimum width, 4 ft-6 in recommended.
• Pass-through door — straight-line (ravel; 2-ft-B-in. minimum if door opens 180 , otherwise, 2 ft-10 in. recommended
• Pass-through door 90 wheelchair lurn from hallway: 2-ft-IO-in. door and 3-ft-4-iri hallway recommended, or 3-ft door and 3-ft hallway recommended- (See Fig 38.)
Closet doors and other non-pass-through doors, 2-ft-6-in. minimum width — horizontal sliding or folding doors are easiest to operate from a sitting position, and they eliminate the danger, especially lo the blind, of walking into the edge of a partially open door.
Hinged bathroom doors should swing ourward, to remove collapsed person. If the latch includes a lock feature, it should be the type that can be released from the outside. Sliding or folding doors are satisfactory, Two-way swinging doors are hazardous and should not be used.
Operating hardware on doors should be 2 ft-10 in. to 3 ft above floor for all doors in the dwelling, including entrance door. Round or oval doorknobs are the most difficult for impaired hands to operate. Lever handles with ends looped back to the door surface to prevent catching of clothing, etc.. are best for operating a latch or lock. Pull handles should be of simple design with no hooks to catch clothing and with both ends returned to the
the rubber ferrules become wet or the floor is wet.
Bare concrete floors ore nor recommended Carpeted floors, for low-rent housing, cost more initially and in the long run than other suitable floor materials. Carpets need under-pads to extend their life and. due to the effort needed to propel a wheelchair, are not desirable for wheelchair users who have arm or hand impediments. Floor materials which require special maintenance equipment or treatment should not be installed inside the dwelling. Floor materials of intermediate colors with a patterned surface should be selected. Very dark or light surfaces, especially solid-colored, show dirt more readily.
For the bathroom and shower, unglazed ceramic floors are recommended. The smaller-sized tiles (2 in. or less) provide some friction at the joints and therefore greater safety. For similar reason, square-edge liles are more suitable than those with a cushion edge. Coved base makes for easier floor cleaning.
Kitchen floor materials should be grease-resistant. The best materials are those which can be kept clean with warm water and detergent, such as vinyl asbestos.
Floor materials for other dwelling space may be asphalt tile (in Ihe rnidrange colors), vinyl asbestos, or hardwood There are numerous wood floor finishes that require little maintenance, such as those formulated with polyure-thene (an excellent finish) or epoxy
Fig. 38 (o) Side view of Standard adult wheel-choir. (b) Plön view of Standard adult wheelchair,
Source: "Art lllustrofed Hondbook of the Hondicopped Section of the North Corofino Building Code," Raieigh, 1977, door A 5-in. or more door pull handle, mounted on the hinge side, is convenient for pulling the door shut from a wheelchair.
Kickpiates on the entrance door are desirable to reduce .damage and door maintenance caused by wheelchair foot rests and wheel hubs (See Fig 39.)
Thresholds should not be installed at interior doors or openings.
For Ihe physically impaired, floor surface materials should have nonslip properties, Some materials are satisfactory when dry but dangerous when wet and therefore should not be used in the bathroom, kitchen, or near the entrance doors when these doors are in the exterior walls. Slippery floor surfaces are particularly dangerous to users of canes or crutches when
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