When you started your business, you calculated several costs. You also spent countless hours ensuring that you had a solid business plan and location.
But how much time did you spend ensuring you had an accessible building? Although business owners may overlook them, the American Disabilities Act lays clear requirements for your small business.
These ADA building codes may seem tough to understand at first. However, these codes become easier to follow once you comprehend the essentials.
So, we’ll break down the essential requirements every small business owner needs to know. Read on to find the information you need!
Table of Contents
Parking Lot ADA Building Codes
Before you get to your building, you’ll first turn your attention to your parking lot. The ADA requires parking lots to include one accessible or handicap parking space for every 50 standard spots.
There are a few other requirements that factor into this. First, for every six accessible parking spots, businesses must include one van-accessible space. This way, customers with wheelchairs can have a place to park.
Similarly, every regular accessible parking space should be eight feet wide. Finally, van-accessible spots must be at least eleven feet across. They should also include five feet wide accessibility aisles that are the full length of the space.
Lastly, remember that your handicap spaces must be clearly marked with the accessibility symbol and follow the shortest route to your store. This way, handicapped customers don’t have to walk more than necessary.
Removing Architectural Barriers
There must always be a clear route to your store’s entrance. Business owners must remove any architectural barriers that may prevent handicapped people from getting inside.
The most obvious example of this is stairs. Any business with an elevated entrance requires a wheelchair ramp that leads to the door.
Many business owners wonder how wheelchair ramp costs may affect their budget. However, these ramps are often affordable. Also, remember that in addition to making your company compliant, they also help you reach more customers.
Wheelchair ramps aren’t the only architectural requirement, though. Your company must also have landings, entrances, and doors wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
Other architectural considerations include:
- Having fitting rooms large enough to fit a wheelchair
- Having elevators wide enough for a wheelchair
- Restrooms must contain handicap-accessible stalls and/or urinals
Once you include all of these, your business will meet most compliance requirements. You can also contact your local municipalities with further questions.
Final Considerations for Retail Spaces
If you open a retail store, there are specific guidelines the ADA requires your floorplan to follow. The most important one is ensuring that customers can navigate your store easily.
For example, your aisles must be at least three feet wide. These walkways must also have enough turning space at the ends for wheelchairs to maneuver.
Also, remember to clear away any debris from your aisles. Carts, fallen products, and other items can block handicapped people navigating your store.
Ensure Your Business Is ADA Compliant
As you can see, ADA building codes cover a lot of minutiae that many people would overlook. However, each of these codes helps make handicapped people’s lives easier.
They also benefit your business. Wider aisles, fitting rooms, and elevators make life more convenient for all of your customers. The comfort and space your store provides may incentivize more people to return!
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