No, not Jim Morrison and his Doors, but the ones you have to go through in your home every day! If they’re a problem for you under regular circumstances, you especially don’t want to be fighting with them if you have a fire emergency.
Homemods.org describes four major reasons why people have difficulty using doors: width, the floor space on either side of the door, door hardware, and the weight of a door. Let’s take a look at the simplest and least expensive accommodations that you can make – changing your door hardware:
Lever Arm Adapters for Doorknobs
There are many options available that allow you to quickly convert your current knob-handled door to a lever.
This basic model is made of molded rubber and fits most standard door knobs. It’s open at the center for privacy or keyed access.
This one works for right or left hand use and is slotted on the handle to allow for a cord or string to be looped through for further accessibility.
My personal favorite – the glow in the dark adapter from Great Grips! Its material allows for dishwasher cleaning.
Lever Arm Locksets
Replacing the existing knob-style door handle is certainly a worthwhile consideration, but will be more expensive and may require some outside help. Many fine examples are available from known lockset manufacturers like Schlage, Kwikset, or Emtek. Cost will range from $20 to around $200 and are available from local home improvement centers like Home Depot or from various online vendors. Of course, if money’s no object you can spend thousands for custom units! Labor costs for someone to install a replacement door lever should be nominal – according to Bob Vila it’s only a few minutes task. Handyman labor shouldn’t be more than $50 in most places, unless it’s for installing that platinum handle you specially ordered!
For more information on addressing your door access problems see the recent post from Scott on expandable door hinges and watch for more blogs from me in the future to find your favorite Door fixes!