When a Homeowner Has Difficulty Climbing the Front Steps

In the United States, over 54 million people have arthritis, with nearly half of those Americans having to restrict their movement and activities due to severe joint pain. Millions of others have knee damage, knee surgery, and other joint-related conditions that prevent their regularly climbing stairs. With this in mind, old stairs without handrails can be dangerous health hazards. In fact, studies show that people with hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis have reported difficulty climbing stairs. Millions of people need a solution for their home’s entrance that is safer and more practical.

An increasing consideration for landscape design involves therapeutic landscape architecture where the designer specifically solves problems in the garden and works to create a more healing and healthful atmosphere in doing so. Because negotiating stairs daily can be challenging for so many, implementing safe entrance designs in the landscape is often an important design consideration for landscape designers.

To Stair or Not to Stair

Going up and down stairs can be dangerous, so all stairs leading to and from a home should be wide enough to traverse, have a sturdy handrail, be up to code, free of clutter, well lit, and of course, the stairs themselves should be of a material that will not create slipping or slick areas. All of these items can be incorporated into a smart architectural landscape design.

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Why not eliminate the stair issue entirely by installing a graded walkway to the front door landing pad? In the photos on this page, you see two different yet functional designs that are quite attractive. Beneficially, they provide a smooth gradual walkway leading to the front door and patio area. A handrail could also be added in this situation depending on the homeowners needs.

Most importantly, safety must be considered in design. In some circumstances, wheelchair ramps and other more advanced mobility solutions might need to be incorporated into the plan. Finding the right architectural landscape placement of ramps, paths, and walkways leading to and from a home’s entrance is critical for safety and more comfortable living for the homeowner.

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