Home inspectors

Office:  949 716-0934    Cell:  949 981-6558    E-mail:  seay@cox.net


Commercial building Disabled or ADA Access

Many older buildings have no ADA features and, while many newer ones have some special ADA components, they are often not in full compliance with both state and federal laws. Our Basic Report includes general information on restrooms, parking areas, and other areas designed to provide disabled access. A Detailed ADA Compliance Analysis typically also includes listing and measuring all ADA components, grab bars, ramps, pay phones, parking ramps, etc., to determine whether they are installed according to the latest state and federal requirements.

Some states have adopted their own accessibility, or ADA specifications, which may exceed national requirements. For example, California State Building Standards Code Title 24 accessibility regulations have been adopted by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) and, in California, the DSA is considered to be the most reliable source for information for ADA and Title 24 regulations. These regulations change periodically and vary in enforcement by jurisdiction. National ADA standards are developed and adopted by the U. S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB). The toll-free telephone number for questions on ATBCB standards is 1-800-USA-ABLE (1-800-872-2253).

There are often no requirements for existing buildings to adopt ADA-required improvements unless those buildings are substantially altered or modified. The extent of alterations, structural repairs, or additions necessary to trigger ADA requirements is set to a dollar amount that is adjusted annually by the local enforcing agency. This amount is typically in the $70,000 range. There are several exceptions to ADA requirements related to the concept of "reasonable hardship," when the cost of alterations necessary to make the building fully accessible is disproportionate.

The cost to make ADA-related improvements may be partially offset by tax incentives and we recommend a qualified tax expert or accountant be consulted. The typical accessibility items can be prioritized as follows: accessible entrance, restrooms, telephones, drinking fountains, additional elements, parking, storage, etc.

We recommend potential ADA upgrade requirements and related costs be determined, especially if significant modifications to the building are anticipated.