Is there a standard width for sidewalks in front of a house door?
I made one out of 12" patio blocks, two blocks wide, so it's 24" wide.
Someone said it should be wider. Not that I really care what others
think about my home, but I just wanted to see what others on here say.
It's only 12 feet long so it would be easy to add 12 more to widen it.
I surely can walk on it without any troubles, but I can see where a
wheelchair would need it wider to stay off of the lawn (which dont
matter either since no one uses one of them here).
Does it have to comply with anything? Standard city walks are 36 or 42 or
more so two people can comfortably walk side by side.
This suggest 60"
Of course, if there is no requirement, do what works for you. I have none
in front of my house.
There may be a standard width by your local code, so you would need to make a
call to your local inspection office to know the definitive answer. The ADA has
spread so far and wide I wouldn't be surprised if they mandate minimum sidwalk
widths. That said, if there was never a walk prior to your patio blocks, you
shouldn't have to worry about it.
I missed answering here. Yes and no. Most will do a 30 inch or so but 42
is recommended incase of furture needs of a wider span wheelchair device.
46 is also a good number to aim at.
ADA does but in a private home, you are not required to spec to it. You
don't have to renovate your bathroom to a wheelchair accessable for example
even if renovating your bathroom ;-)
That said, you'll tend to find going 'ADA accessable' in some ways at least,
tends to increase house value.
Grin, works for me! If you want to make it wider with the 12 inch blocks,
add one more layer. A thin-line wheelchair (not for the supersized) will
ride fine on that.
Even if you have not seen a wheelchair yet, you will need to accomodate
them. Someone in your family, one of your neighbors, or a holiday visitor
may get old or suffer a car crash or ski accident.
I seem to find one yard wide for a sidewalk to be minimal, and narrowest
reasonably-civilized sidewalks to be more like 4 feet wide.
My experience with ones having squares of some sort of concrete not
having larger size of "coarse aggregate" is that those squares are often a
little under 5 feet wide, maybe 4.5 feet. I would call 4 feet low-side.
It appears to me that 3 feet is "bare minimum", and that 2 feet is more
like "first improvement over outright singletrack".
Also, I would check into local building codes. There may be a specific
municipal requirement to meet, and falling short of it may get you into
little less legal trouble (possibly even more) than not building one at
You may also be required to get a building permit (probably easy), with
slight chance of need to provide drawings ("reasonable" even if not
meeting every standard for engineering and architectural drawings appears
to me likely OK in most municipalities should the drawing(s) be
"reasonable" including stating overall dimensions, distance of outer edge
of sidewalk from street, other significant dimensions/distances, and noted
with material type/grade and thickness).
If you have to provide a drawing, it should note the address of the
property and show and name the adjacent street(s).
The building permit will usually have a fee. You may have requirement
of your sidewalk to be inspected by the local building inspector.
Yes, sidewalks are a bit of a pain in the @$$. It appears to me that in
most municipalities, they are on land that *you* own, but *you* have a
legal responsibility to let every Tom, Dick and Harry and their parents,
wives, children, and someone's 600 pound aunt/uncle, etc. walk on them and
ride/operate on them every kind of vehicle not prohibited by law and you
have a requirement to maintain them and to clear them of snow and
ice. Probably better than paying local government employees to do the
work for you at least!
Be prepared: How well will you be prepared if one of your neighbors
sells a house to a recently-retired NFL/NBA player, pro wrestler, etc. who
does not reduce food intake while becoming more sedentary, and expands to
600-700 pounds and drives a 140 pound motorized scooter before achieving a
heart attack that modern medicine cannot revive the heavyweight from?
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
When you mention the wheelchair you started to hit the nail on the head.
It comes down to who you expect to use the walk and how often.
If you entertain, for example, you send the wrong message if a "couple"
can't easily walk side by side.
At the end of a function, folks tend to leave in "bunches" and a wider
walkway lets, for example, two couples chat while getting to where they are
going (their cars.)
A wider walk provides some play space for kids. If it's wider than the
main sidewalk, the kids will tend to play on your walk rathern than the
public sidewalk. (That's good or bad dependiing on othe factors.)
If you don't entertain, you can just let the occasional guest (and yourself)
literally walk on the grass or on a narrow walk to keep your feet out of the
You can also factor in whether you have other "attractions" in your lawn.
Do you want to encourage guests to "examine" your flowers, for example.
So put yourself in the mind of the guests you wish to please and make coming
to your front door a good experienc.
re: If you entertain, for example, you send the wrong message if a
"couple" can't easily walk side by side.
All of your points are valid and make perfect sense except, IMO, for
the one I've quoted above.
Can a sidewalk really send a "message"? If I'm walking down a narrow
sidewalk and I have to step behind my wife, I'm not going to think
anything other than "Too bad this sidewalk isn't wider." I'm not going
to think "This homeowner must be sending a message about how he feels
So, assuming the homeowner entertains, what message would he be trying
to send by purposely building a narrow sidewalk?
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