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The Importance of Understanding ADA Requirements for Renovation Projects

July 16, 2020

Eventually, every commercial or industrial property owner is going to have to update their building. Maybe it’s been years since you had a fresh coat of paint. Maybe you’re adding space to your lot. Maybe it’s just been a while since you updated the decor. Whatever the reason you decide to remodel, you may not realize that your remodel is subject to specific requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This revolutionary piece of legislation was enacted in 1990. The civil rights law prohibits commercial and industrial property owners from discriminating (either purposefully or by accident) against those with physical disabilities. As a result, modern ADA renovations in Fort Worth, TX need to be conducted with care and an eye on detail.

Making “alterations”

The ADA goes into effect whenever a commercial business owner makes “alterations” to their existing structure. The ADA doesn’t count routine maintenance like re-roofing, painting, electrical work, etc. as alterations. Instead, the Americans with Disabilities Act applies when you make changes to the spaces in which your employees or customers spend their time.

One good way to think about ADA compliance is this: if you’re updating any part of the path someone takes into and out of your property, you will likely trigger ADA renovations in Fort Worth, TX.

It’s important to go ADA compliant

If you’re thinking about skirting the rules, just remember that failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act could open you up to severe liability. If you’re found in violation of the ADA, the first fine levied against you could run up to $75,000. The next penalty that hits your doorstep will be double that.

That’s to say nothing of the money you could be sued for should an employee or customer hire a lawyer. In other words, if you’re going to renovate your business, it pays to make sure you’re within the bounds of the law.

Basic ADA rules

The rules and regulations set forth by the ADA apply to entrances and passageways throughout your property:

  • Doors must be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, and light enough to operate with one hand.
  • Door handles and light switches should be low enough for anyone to reach with ease.
  • Restrooms must have plenty of handrails, toilets that are high enough and easy access to the sink.

Of course, those are just some of the most basic ADA regulations. For the specifics, you’ll need to hire a knowledgeable contractor.

Come to the best

At The RockAway Company, we’re experts at ADA renovations in Fort Worth, TX. We have more than 25 years of experience providing a huge selection of contracting services. Commercial and residential customers alike sing the praises of our work. Whether you want your new commercial work to comply with the ADA, or you’re thinking about popping the top of your one-story house, we can help.

From design to construction and beyond, you can count on The RockAway Company for first-rate service and excellent results. Give us a call or visit us online today.

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