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What Makes Your Entrance ADA Compliant?

What Makes Your Entrance ADA Compliant?

03 May 2022 By Admin

If you own or operate a business in California, you are hopefully already aware of the need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are so many different guidelines that have to be met in order to make sure you are providing equal service to your disabled customers, so it can be challenging to know where to start. The entrance seems as good a place as any, so let’s take a closer look at what goes into creating ADA compliant doors and entrances with the help of an ADA construction expert.

Parking & Drop Off Zones

Your thoughts may immediately turn to your front door and how you can make sure it is ADA compliant, but how will your customer get to the door? As an ADA construction expert, we usually educate our clients that the entrance really starts at street level! Think about your parking area or drop-off zone. Do you have accessible parking bays? Are there appropriate curb cuts in place to allow access to wheelchair users? As a general rule of thumb, at least one in six accessible spaces needs to accommodate a van with a wheelchair lift. The total number of accessible spaces will vary depending on the size of your parking lot, but they should be as close to your accessible door as possible and have an accessible route between the two. When you work with an ADA construction expert, they will help you figure out how many accessible parking spaces you need and where they should be situated.

Accessible Routes

Once the parking and drop-off situation is handled, the next area to address is ensuring an accessible route to the entrance. Not everyone has the ability to climb stairs, so it is important to make sure that an ADA compliant alternative is available. A walkway should be created that is at least 36 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility aids. This surface must be stable and slip-resistant. During our time as an ADA construction expert, we have found that concrete is the best material to use for ADA accessible parking stalls and aisles, accessible routes, and anywhere that a 2% maximum cross slope is required.

ADA Compliant Ramps

Accessible ramps are an excellent way to offer an alternative to stairs, but they do need to meet all of the guidelines required by the ADA. Ramps cannot have a ratio that exceeds one inch to 12 inches along the base of the ramp. Railings on both sides are also a requirement if the ramp is longer than six feet. An ADA construction expert can help you to make sure that your ramp is fully compliant, along with all other aspects of your entrance.

ADA Doors

Finally, we get to the door itself! Even this has a plethora of guidelines that must be met. Again, you can rely on the ADA construction expert you are working with to guide you through the process, but some of the key elements include:

  • There must be a 32-inch clear opening.
  • A minimum of 18 inches of clear space is required on the pulling side of the door, near the handle.
  • The threshold can be no more than a quarter-inch to avoid tripping.
  • If the edge of the threshold is beveled, it must be a maximum of ¾ of an inch high.
  • The door handle must be under 48 inches and should be able to open without the need for a tight grip or twisting motion.
  • Lever or loop style handles are the most appropriate as round doorknobs are not accessible.
  • If an automatic closer is installed, it must open at a 90-degree angle and take 3 to 5 seconds to close.
  • Accessible entrances must be unlocked during business hours unless they need to be locked for security reasons. In that case, an intercom must be mounted a maximum of four feet from the ground to request access.

If you are not sure if your business meets the necessary requirements to be ADA compliant, we would advise getting in touch with an ADA construction expert for advice. They will be able to help you with every step of the process, from design to certification.


Design | Build | Certified

Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance. 

Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.


Being involved in ADA design and construction has given me the opportunity to help a lot of business owners and commercial property owners prevent costly ADA compliant lawsuits.

Mike Schaeffer

Owner & Founder Protrk®


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