The door to accessible Britain

In 2018, the Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry (EMHRC) reported that 365,000 disabled people say their home is not suitable for their needs.

According to David Isaac, Chair of the EMHRC, many homes can create a sense of being trapped and are the cause of distress for thousands of disabled people.

With a third of a million of people needing urgent action for their properties to become more accessible and Part M requiring all new builds to be accessible, the industry has more opportunities to fit suitable entrance and double doors.

There is a clear need for houses to be more accessible, to meet the demands from not only new build developments but retrofitting and adapting too.

What is Part M?

Doors are such a big part of accessibility, and to help combat this, Building Regulations Approved Document Part M offers guidance on new builds. The updated Building Regulations lay new standards, stating that new dwellings need to be more easily accessed and adapted should they need to be.

Building Regulations now state that all new build properties need to be made to meet accessibility guidelines.

To make entering and exiting the home easier, doors need to be fitted with suitable thresholds.

Low, compact and seamless thresholds, no higher than 15mm, are vital for ease of wheelchair access and for those with limited mobility.

Entrance doors need to have a minimum clear opening of 800mm wide enough for a wheelchair to comfortably pass through.

It’s not just entrance doors that need to be accessible. Double doors, such as bifold and patio doors require wide accesses and low thresholds too, helping homeowners to enjoy their garden.

More opportunities for installers

As well as building all new homes to meet accessibility standards, there are also big opportunities to adapt older homes to comply with regulations. We know that at least a third of a million of people are not having their needs met, this gives installers a huge amount of homes to work on.

With more new build houses needed every year, local authorities and housing associations are looking for partners to help them build an accessible Britain.

This gives the industry more opportunities to get in on the new build development market and meet such high demand.

To make the most of these opportunities, installers need to be certain that they can deliver accessible entrances for new build developments and can deliver fast and simple adaptations for retrofit properties.

This calls for low threshold doors to become a standardised part of the door industry that can be installed as standard as a Part M ready product.

FX15 from MI Products

Following the EMHRC inquiry and demand from both new build and retrofit developments, we’ve spent the last year developing a solution to Britain’s hidden accessibility crisis.

We’ve designed the FX15, the genuine Document Q (ADQ), Part M low threshold.

Part M of Building Regulations and the Lifetime Homes standard requires accessible doors to contain a threshold with a total height no more than 15mm.

FX15 achieves this with ease. With a genuine 15mm upstand, the threshold is truly compact, enabling easy entrances and exits for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.

It’s not just entrance doors where accessibility is vital. For those with limited mobility, being able to enter the garden is crucial. This is helped by the increased popularity of double doors in homes as most refurbishments and new builds include a mixture of front, porch, back and widespan doors.

Double doors mean that disabled people can have greater and easier access to the outdoors. Low thresholds are needed to ensure people with limited mobility can benefit from this seamless access.

FX15 is the ultimate solution for double doors as well as entrance doors and features a ‘Slide and Lock’ shootbolt striker system and a fixed security mushroom to achieve Secured by Design certification. As the door closes, the fixed security mushroom engages into its striker. By locking the door, the shootbolt is engaged and the door can’t disengage, lift or drop.

We’ve made it easy for installers to meet Document M. But choosing low thresholds as standard can be a big bonus for installers. A lot of people just want it to be easy to enter and exit their homes and that’s why the FX15 is such a great addition for installers.