Standard width of sidewalks

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by letterman@invalid.com, May 31, 2009.

  1. Guest

    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).

    LM
     
    , May 31, 2009
    #1
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  2. RicodJour Guest

    On May 31, 3:53 pm, wrote:
    > 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).  


    3' is pretty standard, some are 4' but that's less common around here.

    R
     
    RicodJour, May 31, 2009
    #2
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  3. Bob Guest

    wrote:
    > 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).


    Have it be at least the width of the entry door (typically 36 inches).
    It should be wide enough for two people to walk up without feeling like
    they're on a tightrope. In addition to wheelchairs, consider the width
    for furniture dollies.
     
    Bob, May 31, 2009
    #3
  4. Ed Pawlowski Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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).
    >
    > LM


    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"
    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sidewalk2/sidewalks204.htm#sid

    Of course, if there is no requirement, do what works for you. I have none
    in front of my house.
     
    Ed Pawlowski, May 31, 2009
    #4
  5. wrote:

    >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.


    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.
     
    Robert Neville, Jun 1, 2009
    #5
  6. Smitty Two Guest

    In article <>,
    wrote:

    > 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).
    >
    > LM


    Any path narrower than 30" is going to give you the tightrope effect.
     
    Smitty Two, Jun 1, 2009
    #6
  7. In <>, wrote:

    > 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).


    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
    all.
    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 ()
     
    Don Klipstein, Jun 1, 2009
    #7
  8. Guest

    On Sun, 31 May 2009 17:12:56 -0600, Robert Neville <>
    wrote:

    > wrote:
    >
    >>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.

    >
    >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.


    This is a farm, so there are no codes. I just put them there because
    it gets muddy at certain times of the year. My first temporary walk
    was a 2x8. Now that really was a tightrope. This is a big
    improvement. It does seem (look) kind of narrow though. Those patio
    blocks make an easy sidewalk, and I dont have to worry about concrete
    cracking and heaving. If a block settles or raises, I just add/remove
    a little sand under it. When I built it, I got it really tight and
    settled right away by letting my horse walk on it.

    LM
     
    , Jun 1, 2009
    #8
  9. cshenk Guest

    <> wrote

    >>>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.


    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.

    >>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.


    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.

    > This is a farm, so there are no codes. I just put them there because
    > it gets muddy at certain times of the year. My first temporary walk
    > was a 2x8. Now that really was a tightrope. This is a big
    > improvement. It does seem (look) kind of narrow though. Those patio
    > blocks make an easy sidewalk, and I dont have to worry about concrete
    > cracking and heaving. If a block settles or raises, I just add/remove
    > a little sand under it. When I built it, I got it really tight and
    > settled right away by letting my horse walk on it.


    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.
     
    cshenk, Jun 1, 2009
    #9
  10. DerbyDad03 Guest

    On Jun 2, 1:46 pm, "John Gilmer" <> wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > > 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).

    >
    > 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
    > mud.
    >
    > 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
    about couples."

    So, assuming the homeowner entertains, what message would he be trying
    to send by purposely building a narrow sidewalk?
     
    DerbyDad03, Jun 2, 2009
    #10
  11. Guest

    On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 11:35:06 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
    <> wrote:

    >On Jun 2, 1:46 pm, "John Gilmer" <> wrote:
    >> <> wrote in message
    >>
    >> news:...
    >>
    >> > 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).

    >>
    >> 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
    >> mud.
    >>
    >> 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
    >about couples."
    >
    >So, assuming the homeowner entertains, what message would he be trying
    >to send by purposely building a narrow sidewalk?


    I was thinking the same thing. They dont need to be side by side for
    the 12 feet of sidewalk in front of my house.....

    As far as kids, there is NO public sidewalk, this is a farm.

    And, no, I dont entertain, at least not formally. If a friend stops
    over for a few beers, if he or she can not stay on a 2 foot wide
    sidewalk, I'd blame the amount of beer they drank, not the sidewalk.

    And for the record, the grass next to the walk is the same level as
    the sidewalk. It's just a matter of staying on the walk during the
    spring thaw, the rest of the year the sidewalk and lawn are both
    walks.

    Finally, the narrower the sidewalk means that I have less snow to
    shovel.

    LM
     
    , Jun 3, 2009
    #11
  12. wrote in
    news::

    > On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 11:35:06 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>On Jun 2, 1:46 pm, "John Gilmer" <> wrote:
    >>> <> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>> news:...
    >>>
    >>> > 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).
    >>>
    >>> 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 mud.
    >>>
    >>> 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
    >>about couples."
    >>
    >>So, assuming the homeowner entertains, what message would he be trying
    >>to send by purposely building a narrow sidewalk?

    >
    > I was thinking the same thing. They dont need to be side by side for
    > the 12 feet of sidewalk in front of my house.....
    >
    > As far as kids, there is NO public sidewalk, this is a farm.
    >
    > And, no, I dont entertain, at least not formally. If a friend stops
    > over for a few beers, if he or she can not stay on a 2 foot wide
    > sidewalk, I'd blame the amount of beer they drank, not the sidewalk.
    >
    > And for the record, the grass next to the walk is the same level as
    > the sidewalk. It's just a matter of staying on the walk during the
    > spring thaw, the rest of the year the sidewalk and lawn are both
    > walks.
    >
    > Finally, the narrower the sidewalk means that I have less snow to
    > shovel.
    >
    > LM
    >


    LM, u r an idiot.
     
    Stepfann King, Jun 3, 2009
    #12
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