Add 1.5 inch door clearance

People who must use a wheelchair may find that the doorways in their homes are too narrow for their wheelchair. Sometimes the whole door and doorframe must be widened (replaced) which is expensive. However, if the door frame is wide enough for the wheelchair but the opened door is still in the way, then, special hinges can sometimes be used instead of replacing the whole door and doorframe. This brand is called Swing-Clear hinges. The hinge is sometimes called a Swing Away Hinge.

Two hinge types in a closed door position

The two types of hinges are shown here in a "door closed" position. The hinge on the left is usually found on doors. The hinge on the right is the swing-clear hinge.

Both hinges opened

Here, the two hinges are open.

View of a normally hinged door

Here you see a regular hinge on an opened door. When opened to about 90 degrees the door is still in the way of a wheelchair that needs to get into the room.

Closeup of the normal hinge

Here's a closeup of that regular door hinge on a door. The door typically takes up about 1.5 to 2.5 inches of the doorway's width.

The swing-clear Hinge

This shows a set of the swing-clear hinges. If the door is opened to 90 degrees the door is completely out of the way of an entering wheelchair. That effectively provides about 2 more inches of clearance.

swing-clear Hinge Closeup

Here is a closeup of the swing-clear hinge.

The regular Hinge takes 2.5 inches clearance

When a door with a normal hinge swings open it must be opened 180 degrees in order for it to be completely out of the way of an entering wheelchair. Typically a door can only be opened about 90 degrees. This leaves the door (thickness) itself in the way of the wheelchair.

The swing-clear Hinge adds 2.5 inches clearance

The swing-clear hinge moves the door completely out of the way even if the door can only be opened to 90 degrees. This "gives" the wheelchair about 2.5" more room without actually widening the doorframe. The hinges aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than replacing the whole door and door frame.

Here are three manufacturers of "Swing Clear" or "swing away" hinges. Some of them are as high as $45.00 each. However, Erika found them at Lowe's for $8.00 each! Thanks Erika!

  Stanley Hardware
  P.O. Box 1840
  New Britain, CT 06050
  Ply Gerns Barrier Free
  Philron Corporation
  6948 Frankford Avenue
  Philadelphia, PA 19135
  Mont-Hard Inc.
  2415 Lifehaus Drive
  New Braunfels, TX 78130