How To Make Your Commercial Building ADA Compliant?

Commercial buildings such as supermarkets, retail stores, office, etc., can be inaccessible places for disabled people. As the owner of a commercial building, it is your responsibility to ensure every type of person is accommodated so they do not feel left out. As easy as it seems, making the right upgrades to make your commercial building ADA-compliant is a slightly complicated task because you will need to carry out a retail remodel. We will take you through the entire process so that you know exactly what to do.

Understanding ADA Requirements

Part of making your commercial building ADA-compliant is understanding the requirements. You might think that making small changes to the building might help you achieve the goal but it doesn’t. You should know that making a building ADA-compliant entails going through a hefty process.

To become familiar with the requirements, visit the local authorities. Depending on the state, the requirements may be different. If you plan on building a new building, you should first become aware of the ADA requirements. This is because ADA-compliant buildings require a lot of modifications that can be difficult to carry out once the building is complete.

Although some buildings tend to go through renovations to accommodate disabled people, it is better if you do it at the start when you have the opportunity.

Install Ramps And Curb Cuts

Installing ramps and curb cuts is vital for accommodating people with disabilities. The most difficult stage for disabled people is when it comes to entering a commercial building. If the entrance tends to be too high or low, it could pose a problem or risk. This is why you need to make sure there are close to no obstacles or complications while they make their way in.

At the same time, the route to the entrance should not be too long either. This is because the people helping their disabled friends or relatives may find it too tiring to carry them around. Your commercial building should have or provide convenience in the form of motorized wheelchairs.

If that is not possible, you should have a team that is specifically hired to help and move the disabled people around. This goes a long way in terms of ensuring visitors turn into loyal customers.

Provide Accessible Parking Spaces

Another noteworthy problem or complication disabled people have to experience is inaccessible parking spaces. You should know that it is not easy for a disabled person to get in and out of the vehicle in the first place. That said, having a parking space that does not make it any easier won’t help your building become ADA-compliant.

If you own a commercial building, you should ensure the property has multiple accessible spaces for disabled people to use. The ADA requires businesses to provide at least two parking spaces for 25-50 people. If you do not have any spots available, you can rent or lease an off-site lot where you can offer plenty of space to disabled people.

Furthermore, the parking spots should not be too far from the entrance or exit. If possible, the parking spots should be near the main entrance. Then again, your focus should be to reduce the effort and maximize convenience.

Use Audio/Visual Mapping

Disabilities come in a huge variety and it may not possible to attend to each one. But you must try your best, as a business, to make it as easy as possible for most disabled people out there. For instance, commercial buildings can be huge and difficult to navigate. If there are people who cannot hear or see properly, you should have audio and visual mapping in place for them to guide them.

Moreover, disabled people should not have to face any stairs or other complications while they make their way to their desired store or floor. With cameras installed in place, you can have a team that specifically keeps an eye on disabled people and helps them through the speaker system. Work with a retail store contractor McLean to create an excellent plan for the project.

Use Easy-To-Read Signage For Accessibility Features

You have to ensure that people know how to use the features you have installed for disabled people. In some cases, some people might not have even seen those before or may not know how to make use of them.

So, make sure your building has clear and proper signs letting people know how to use certain features and where the entrance and exit are located.

If possible, you can place some brochures at the entrance for disabled people. This way, they will become familiar with the ADA rules as well and won’t have to spend time asking around for help. For example, you can install Braille signs for visually impaired and blind people.

Providing Elevator Accessibility

If the commercial building has multiple floors, it is necessary to provide elevators and other such facilities for people with mobility issues. Renovations should ensure the elevators and lifts are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other features to accommodate such people.

Additionally, visual and auditory indicators should also be installed to help disabled people move around without any complications. If possible, you can also hire lift operators or helpers who can help disabled people enter or exit safely.

Install Braille Signage In Restrooms

Many people with disabilities refrain from using restrooms even though they are accessible simply because they are not aware of where everything is located. This is an inconvenience on its own. That said, you should install Braille signs in restrooms for visually impaired people to quickly develop an idea of where things are located.

You can install signs above sinks showing how much soap is left for visually impaired people. At the same time, the restrooms should be accessible such that the floor is not slippery for them to walk or access with a wheelchair.

A slippery floor could be a dangerous area for disabled people who have no control over what comes next. As a commercial building owner, you need to be responsible and think from their perspective.

Ensuring Your Commercial Building Is ADA Compliant

Although ADA requirements and guidelines are available on the internet, if you wish to speed up the process, you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced contractor. Depending on the renovations, your contractor might bring in a code specialist as well who can make recommendations and suggest changes accordingly.

However, you should keep in mind that making your building ADA-compliant will significantly increase the cost of the project. Tending to the different needs of disabled people requires adding features or materials that might be expensive.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can make small changes to begin with. Once the commercial building is in the running phase, you can make changes along the way.


Commercial buildings can be ADA-compliant if you consider and value the needs of disabled people. May it be a new building or renovations, you should always hire the right commercial remodeling DC contractor who has prior experience dealing with special needs. Considering most private buildings need to be ADA-compliant, you should keep yourself up to date with the new rules and policies to accommodate as many people as possible.

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