ADA compliance can be a frustrating and expensive issue for property owners to navigate. Regulations vary substantially among local, state, and federal agencies and it takes specialists in this area to truly understand what needs to be done to ensure that your property is ADA compliant.
Fortunately, there are contractors, engineers, architects and ADA Compliance Specialists that can guide you through both the technical and the legal issues you face and can design solutions that are both compliant and cost effective.
Step 1 – ADA Survey
An ADA survey is the first step towards identifying where the non-compliant areas are and how best to address them. Experienced contractors can complete this step but there are times when the problems are more difficult to solve, and ADA specialists may be required. This is especially true when considering that Apartment Communities have their own set of parameters that affect ADA compliance – the age, layout, and construction history of the property can all factor in to what the legal requirements may be.
Stage one of the survey will be to determine how many and what type of handicap stalls are required. In general the formula is (1) handicap stall per (25) total stalls per parking lot. This will vary if the lot is a medical building or if the entire parking lot is larger than 1,000 stalls.
Stage two is to make sure that the existing stalls have the correct signage, paint markings and access aisles.
Stage three is to check the slope of the pavement in both the handicap stalls, access aisles and the associated paths of travel.
Stage four is to make sure that the sidewalk ramps and paths of travel are compliant.
The final step is to ensure that the entry signs to the lot are of the correct type and the information on the sign is current.
Step 2 – Corrective Action Plan
This is where you create a plan that specifically identifies the areas for correction and where it may be necessary to have detailed drawings made that can be used for construction and permitting. Not all ADA projects require this level of detail but it is very common for government agencies to require ADA improvements if major renovations or tenant improvements are being performed.
Step 3 – Construction
In this step, you select a contractor to perform the work per plan. It is very important to select someone with extensive experience in ADA compliance, as mistakes here can be very expensive and time consuming.
This is a very brief overview of ADA and the regulations surrounding ADA change almost every year. To ensure that your property is in compliance, look to contractors and ADA experts that can not only identify the areas for correction, but can also perform the work to ADA standards.