Accessible deck provides easy access to the outdoors

Accessible deck provides easy access to the outdoors

Angie’s List member Candace F. of Wake Forest, N.C., and her husband love to spend time outside. The couple’s deck, however, threw a wrench into their relaxing outdoor leisure time.

The layout of the deck presented a significant accessibility challenge: Candace’s husband is in a wheelchair and could not access the deck without assistance because of a step down. In addition, the deck was fully exposed to the sun all day long, providing no shaded refuge at all.

Candace and her husband mulled over several ideas for their deck -- from certain looks they liked, to adding a wheelchair ramp, to completely screening it in -- before settling on something entirely new.

The couple chose to scrap the old deck entirely. The newer, bigger deck was built with accessibility in mind. It was constructed higher up so that it is level with the threshold of the home, creating a smoother transition from house to deck that is much easier for a wheelchair to navigate. In addition, the door from the house to the deck was widened so that her husband’s wheelchair could easily pass through.  

The new deck boasts a large, screened-in area, as well as a smaller uncovered area, providing maximum enjoyment no matter the weather.

While the higher deck created greater accessibility from inside the home, its significantly taller height did pose a challenge to adding a wheelchair ramp because a ramp would need to be extremely long or have many levels to provide access to the deck.

Instead of building a wheelchair ramp, Candace and her husband opted for an outdoor wheelchair lift.

As a final touch to the deck, the couple decided on a set of waterfall steps cascading down from the structure. “It is now one of my favorite visual points of the porch,” Candace says.

Now that the new and improved deck is complete, the couple couldn’t be happier with it.

For more information, please visit the Angie's List Guide to Decks.

Tales from the List: At Angie's List, we receive thousands of reviews every day -- and there's a consumer story behind nearly every one of them.

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