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What is a zero step entrance?

A zero-step entry means just what it says—no steps to the entry. The entrance is typically a sloping, at grade sidewalk or garage floor level with the house. A “ramp” is NOT an acceptable EasyLiving zero step entry.  An EasyLiving zero-step entry must be integrated into the design of the home, meaning if someone is driving by the house they will see a beautiful welcoming home that blends with others in the neighborhood.

Here are some examples of zero step entrances:

Here are some examples of accessible entrances that are NOT integrated into the design of the home:

What is a ramp?

There are several key design features that distinguish ramps from zero-step entrances. Ramps are usually wood or metal, above grade, and have railings along the length of the walkway. A ramp often defines a home as a specialty home for people with disabilities or older adults while a home with a zero step entrance appears no different from the other houses in the neighborhood. A zero-step entrance’s accessible path is flush with the ground, is usually a cement or concrete walkway that resembles a sidewalk and meshes with the design of the home.

There are some cases where a structured walkway may be acceptable , for example, if there is a significant grade variation between the sidewalk / driveway and the entrance to the house.  In this type of topography, a ramp / bridge to the front entrance may be the only feasible access and may be typical in the neighborhood.  A key element is that the entrance way should be typical of what exists in the neighborhood and does not set the house apart as “special purpose”.

If you have a question about what qualifies, email us with your question and send a picture, if possible.