Today we are looking at an easy way to widen doorways. Wider doorways help improve wheelchair access, make it easier to move furniture, and are generally more convenient. Of course, in new construction situations we strive to make doors 36″ wide. However, in many existing homes it is often only the front entry door that is 36″ wide. All the others range from 30″ on up. If a door is less than 36″ wide, it can be difficult to maneuver a wheelchair through the opening.
An easy solution to this is available for many door situations. It is a matter of replacing the existing hinges with wide swinging hinges. These hinges are offset in such a way that can add 2″ to the functional door opening. The old hinges are replaced with the offset hinges, which in turn offset the door slab, thus swinging the door clear of the opening. Standard hinges hold the door inside the opening, which reduces the functional door width by 2″.
Sometimes a situation exists like the picture above. This drawing shows a compact bathroom which is very difficult to access due to the door swinging into the room. An easy solution is the reverse the door swing, assuming that the adjacent hallway is wide enough to accommodate the door. Combined with using offset hinges, the doorway becomes functionally 2″ wider, and allows more clear access into the bathroom.
Changing your door hinges is much easier than a complete remodel of the door opening and might provide a viable, cost effective solution for your project!