The Pros at Goodmanson Construction Teach YOU About How to Get an ADA Compliant Entryway
Let’s make something clear: Accessibility isn’t one thing, it’s an entire ecosystem of things that work together to break down barriers between your business and your customers. It’s not just a parking spot: it’s signage, it’s grading and it’s the entryway itself. All of these elements have to work together in order to be ADA compliant.
Why Have an ADA Compliant Parking Lot without an ADA Compliant Entryway?
Picture it. You’re spending all this money on upgrading your parking lot to make sure it’s ADA Compliant, but your entryway isn’t ADA compliant. You’re going to go through all that trouble, spend all that money, only to lose it in the end at the entryway! That’s frustrating. That’s why we’re here to help.
Does that mean everyone has to build an accessibility ramp for their business? Hold on. Hold on. Ask yourself some important questions before you go the ramp route.
Consider the elevation of the entry door. Consider the grading or slope you’d need to get from the sidewalk to the door. Consider the door style and swing. These are all things your contractor needs to take into account before preparing a plan for your ADA compliant entryway.
Don’t Worry, We’re Not Getting into Ramps Today
We will have to talk about ramps. Sometimes, it’s just the only way to get people into your building. There are many strict requirements for ADA Compliant Ramps, but think of it this way: when you’re building something with strict parameters, that means there are very few ways to do it right. It takes a lot of interpretation out of the code, and the strict guidelines mean that when you’ve got it right, you’ve got it right.
You just have to find the contractor who is going to do it the right way!
Do I Need an ADA Compliant Entry Ramp?
That depends on the slope of the accessible route. If your customer can get from their car to the entry of the building using a slope of no greater than 1:20. That’s a grade of 5% at most.
Be Careful Here!
You might have a contractor come out and tell you “Good News! We can get it sloped right at 1:20!” Here’s the thing: No one is that accurate when they are actually doing the job. Make sure to ask the follow up question: “can you do better than 1:20 and still make it to the entryway?” You want to ask that because if on the day they do the work they’ve left no room for human error–it could be that they go a little bit greater than 1:20. Maybe 5.5%. That’s a difference of inches but it’s crucial to getting it right.
Make Sure Your Contractor is Leaving Room for Error.
You Contractor needs to err on the side of caution and measure the slopes at 4% or 4.5% grade and give you those estimates. Not just go at 5% and hope for the best. And if that grading won’t make it to the entrance from the parking space, then you’re going to want to have that conversation with your contractor to talk about options. Do you want to resolve it by building a ramp? Do you want to reimagine your parking lot and accessibility route? What about changing the style of your door?
There are a lot of options out there which will work with the ADA codes. You just need to ask your contractor so that you’ll know where to begin.