The ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, has been around for more than 30 years. However, it is still a significant source of confusion and frustration for many business and property owners. As an ADA contractor, one of the concerns we hear regularly is whether or not the entire building has to be updated during renovations to make it ADA compliant. Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer, and it depends on a variety of circumstances.
Let’s take a look at some of the stuff you need to know before starting your renovations.
Do Partial Renovations Mean Building Wide ADA Upgrades?
The answer to this question is probably not. There is a common misconception that once you start to renovate a building, you suddenly become obligated to address every single ADA violation in the entire building. However, in most cases, that is not the case. The key requirement is that there must be an accessible route in and out of the area of the building you are renovating and to the parking lot.
Providing Accessible Parking
One of the most common ADA violations is not having a properly accessible parking lot. Accessible spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route to your building’s accessible entrance. There are also guidelines regarding the exact sizing of accessible parking stalls, how they should be marked, and how many should be allocated. Your ADA contractor will provide all of this information and help you decide on the best layout for your parking lot.
ADA Compliant Restrooms
Another important area to consider during remodeling is making your restrooms accessible. Speak with your ADA contractor about the steps you can take to make yours accessible, including widening stalls, lowering counters, and installing the appropriate ADA compliant signage.
Making Elevators Compliant
A lot of what is expected of a business owner when renovating their property regarding ADA compliance comes down to what is readily achievable. If there is not already an elevator in place, you likely would not be expected to have one installed immediately. However, an existing elevator should be made accessible. This can be as simple as lowering the buttons and installing raised lettering or braille on them. Or it could be more complicated if the access to the elevator is not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair user.
These are just a few of the things you might be expected to work on during a renovation to make the property ADA compliant. However, it would be best to talk to your ADA contractor to determine what types of barrier removal would be readily achievable for you and your business.
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Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance.
Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.