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Thread: ADA Inspections

  1. #1
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    Default ADA Inspections

    Any one doing commercial ADA inspections? I understand that they are big in California, Florida and Texas. We have also offered them as part of a commercial inspection but never independently. My understanding is that predatory lawyers are targeting the retail and hospitality industry and suing if they aren't complying with the American Disabilities Act.

    Given the specification they aren't that difficult. Anyone doing them regularly?

    //Rick
    ADA Compliance inspections in Washington State

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    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Given the specification they aren't that difficult.
    "they aren't that difficult"

    You reading the same ADAAG I am?

    They are VERY complicated, which is why most people stay away from them.

    I don't mind going through and point out what I see *which does not meet* the ADAAG, but ... if you offer a stand alone ADA inspection, you will be basically "certifying" that the stuff you do not write up "meets the ADAAG".

    THAT is a BIG step to make.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    The ADA req's are exceedingly precise, with enormous opportunity for errors when you consider all they entail.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    One has to appreciate having a set of specification to inspect against. Lets take a hotel for example. The DOJ has a set of specifications that can be inspected to. It is published here ADA Checklist for New Lodging Facilities and here ADA Regulations and Technical Assistance Materials

    If it doesn't meet the specification then you document the variance. I agree they are complex but at least there are specifications to inspect to.

    //Rick
    ADA Compliance inspections in Washington State

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    I've done a couple and found an unbelievable amount of ADA violations. They're very time consuming and must be done in a very detailed manner. The problem is most people are not willing to pay what a qualified ADA inspection should cost, so there is not a big market out there YET. However, if you’re on the legal end of it, it can be an entirely different story.
    It has been a long held belief of mine that qualified real estate inspectors natural progression into providing litigation support in construction defects and code violations make total sense.
    I concur with EC Jerry regarding AADAG and in my case my go-to book was the 2003 CalDAG, (Interpretive Manual & Check-list 5th edition), which by the way is time to update.


    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
    Darren Emery's Avatar
    Darren Emery Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    As Senior Code Officer for our local municipality, I am lucky enough to perform most of the commercial final inspections. In Kansas - we have been told it is our responsibility to enforce the ADAAG along with our building codes (2006 ICC series) by the state attorney general.

    I've been doing this for about 12 years now, and I can without hesitation state that ADA violations are by FAR the most common items I cite on my final inspection. Hands down. Like 10 to 1.

    Not only is the ADAAG very specific and often difficult to interpret, often the IBC and the ADAAG conflict. Toss into the mix the fact that local jurisdictions interpret the ADA in different ways, and some don't enforce it at all - I would in no way consider an "ADA inspection" simple.

    I'd love to go into that field as a private inspector, as I have become somewhat of an advocate for ADA compliance through the years, but I'm not ready to cross that bridge yet.

    If you do - have a good lawyer at hand, learn EVERYTHING you can about the ADA, and carry a big E&O policy. Ultimately, the ADA is enforced in court, and even if you're right - it's expensive!


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    This is simple:

    NRC: Inspection Manual

    ADA is not.

    Aaron


  8. #8
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    Darren,

    Welcome to the inspectors board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Emery View Post
    If you do - have a good lawyer at hand, learn EVERYTHING you can about the ADA, and carry a big E&O policy. Ultimately, the ADA is enforced in court, and even if you're right - it's expensive!
    That bears repeating.

    This is the way it was in South Florida.

    A handicapped person in a wheelchair parks their van, gets out, and ... by the way, that person is not alone, there is an attorney recoding it all on video ... and proceeds to basically expose just the major ADA non-compliant issues throughout the publicly accessible areas of the building.

    The attorney files an action against the owner of the building.

    The court date is set, all parties show up, the judge watches the video, looks at photos, is read the report, the judge asks the defendant (the building owner) to take out their checkbook and write a two checks: one now to cover the plaintiff's (the disable person) attorneys fees and one to cover the cost of the repairs to correct the violations reported.

    No ifs, no ands, no buts, no excuses.

    You get to pay $10,000-$15,000 attorney's fees, plus your own attorney's fees, and then you get to pay to correct the stuff.

    The plaintiff gets nothing in the lawsuit. The attorney, however, does pay the plaintiff for their "consulting" work.

    Now consider that you inspected that building and you said fix this and this and you are ADA compliant. Do you think that owner would, or would not, be looking to your to get their money back? Yep, you are correct, they would have you in court with them and be suing you for those costs.

    Now, remember, *not all* of the ADA things were revealed, so, when another person comes by a year or so later, there are ALWAYS more ADA violations to be found, and there is ALWAYS going to be the owner writing the check for attorney's fees.

    ICC offers a course and an ADA plan review and certification - I have not taken it (although it is planned for within the next year or so). With that, your eyes will at least be opened. Not sure even then would I want to declare a building ADAAG compliant.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Darren,

    Now, remember, *not all* of the ADA things were revealed, so, when another person comes by a year or so later, there are ALWAYS more ADA violations to be found, and there is ALWAYS going to be the owner writing the check for attorney's fees.

    ICC offers a course and an ADA plan review and certification - I have not taken it (although it is planned for within the next year or so). With that, your eyes will at least be opened. Not sure even then would I want to declare a building ADAAG compliant.
    Darren:

    JP is correct on all counts. *NOT ALL* ADA things will be revealed by anyone's inspection, and certainly not within the confines of what clients are willing to pay.

    ICC's course is just the mere thought of a glimpse in a mirror of the tip of the iceberg. As others have eluded, there is much more to this than meets the eye. Without educating yourself to the possibilities your first blush reaction that it is somehow "simple" will take you down a very expensive road from which there may be no fiscal return.

    As for "knowing" a good attorney, if you wish to pursue the ADA-compliant avenue, I would suggest marrying one instead, or knowing one in the biblical sense .

    Aaron


  10. #10
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    JP is quite correct and we have at least 3 pairs (handicapped person with attorney) plying up and down our state performing such inspections.
    ADA compliant inspections are the brain surgery of the inspection world; Proctologists need not apply. We have been using California Disabled Accessibility Guidebook (CalDAG) on the left coast.


    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  11. #11
    mike phillip's Avatar
    mike phillip Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    I was looking for some Home Inspection Company on the net and i found Equityinspection.com. It is mentioned there that they evaluate all aspects of the property people are purchasing, from the roof to the basement and all areas in between. Please do let me know if anyoe have experience with this site??

    http://www.Equityinspection.com


  12. #12
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    Default Re: ADA Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by mike phillip View Post
    It is mentioned there that they evaluate all aspects of the property people are purchasing, from the roof to the basement and all areas in between.

    No knowledge or information on them here, but ... that sure is a TALL ORDER they have put forth if they state it as you did ...

    I wonder if you really get what is being promoted ... or was that your wording of what they stated, which leaves open the question if they are managing your expectations properly?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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