Adding a new patio to your backyard is a great way to get the entire family to spend more time outdoors. But it needs special design considerations if you have a family member with limited mobility. A few concrete architecture changes may be all you need to make a patio accessible by people using wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistance devices.
Include a Ramp or Walkway
First, aim to either create a level path from the home to the patio from concrete or add a ramp to cover the height between the ground and the patio. Even the lowest poured patios made with modern concrete architecture will still rise an inch or two above the rest of the surface. This can be too much for a wheelchair or scooter user to cross. The ramp shouldn’t rise more than one inch for every foot of length, so a three-inch-high patio will need a three-foot-long ramp.
Add Surface Friction
Don’t forget about how slick finished concrete can be and how that increases the likelihood of a fall for all family members. Some attractive decorative tricks for increasing surface friction for safety include:
- Embedding river stones or pebbles in the surface for a bumpy finish that’s easier to stay balanced on
- Sweeping or brushing the concrete while it’s still wet for a rough texture
- Stamping grooves and patterns into the patio surface that are ridged enough to improve friction.
Controlling how water gathers on the surface is also essential for preventing slips and falls. Adding drainage in the form of covered trench drains, a crowned surface that slopes outward from the center, or using previous concrete that lets water flow through all prevent puddles from pooling on the patio.
If you’re looking for expertise on how to alter your concrete architecture for greater accessibility, let S.A.K. help with both the design and implementation of ramps and other patio upgrades. Contact us here.