Skip to content

AARP HomeFit Video: Entrances and Exits

Take a 'Room-by-Room Tour' of the AARP HomeFit Guide

Whether a residence is a house or an apartment, its exterior doorways should allow a smooth transition into and out of the property. Many homes have entrance steps, which can make the dwelling inaccessible to a person who uses a wheelchair, relies on crutches or has difficulty climbing stairs. 

The ideal is for all homes to have at least one zero-step exterior doorway.

If step-free access isn’t possible for the front of the home, a side door, back door or door located inside the garage may be a suitable substitute. Another solution is a ramp. (Scroll down to learn more about that option.)


Click here to share a link to this video.

On- and Off-Ramps

An access ramp can be permanently or temporarily added to a home or building that doesn’t have a zero-step entry.

A Look at Locks

Door Locks

AARP HomeFit Guide

Click on the image to learn about door locks.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act calls for a 5-degree incline or 1:12 slope. That means every inch of vertical rise requires 12 inches of horizontal length. 

  • Since a three-step entrance, for instance, is about 22 inches high, a ramp would require a 22-foot horizontal length. 

  • When an extended length of space isn’t available, a ramp can be built with switchbacks. Each section ends at a landing where users turn and continue moving up or down until the end.

TIP: A home ramp doesn’t need to be at the front door. It can lead to any suitable door, including one inside a garage, which provides the bonus of protection from inclement weather.

More AARP HomeFit Videos

Select another Take a "Room-by-Room Tour" of the AARP HomeFit Guide video.

The AARP HomeFit Guide is Award-Winning

  • 2021 EXCEL Awards, Gold Winner, Special Report
  • 2021 Hermes Creative Awards, Gold Winner, Special Issue
  • 2021 ClearMark Awards, Center for Plain Language, Winner, Spanish Language
  • 2020 MarCom Awards, Platinum Award, Publications/Special Edition

Learn about the awards we've won and the organizations behind them.

Stay Informed — For Free! See Past Issues

The weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter provides local leaders with information and inspiration for making their town, city or neighborhood more livable for older adults and people of all agesSubscribe today!


Place an Order

Use the order form link to request a free printed edition of the AARP HomeFit Guide in the language(s) of your choice — or follow the language-specific links below.

AARP HomeFit Guide

AARP Guia HomeFit

AARP 宜居指南

AARP 홈핏 가이드

Hướng dẫn HomeFit của AARP

Our Free Publications!

See the complete list at

Follow Us

Contact Us

  • Email AARP Livable Communities at

  • Ask about the AARP Livability Index by completing this online form.

  • AARP Members: For questions about your benefits, AARP The Magazine or the AARP Bulletin, visit the AARP Contact Us page or call 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277).