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  1. #1
    Philippe Heller's Avatar
    Philippe Heller Guest

    Default ADA Inspection thread

    Is anyone interested in starting a discussion thread about ADA inspections?

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  2. #2
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Mr. Heller: I think that maybe most people on this forum are not competent to inspect to ADA standards. Those who are may shun this sort of work due to the astronomical liability which accrues to its practitioners.


  3. #3
    Philippe Heller's Avatar
    Philippe Heller Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    You are correct, there is a lot of liability that goes along with these inspections.

    More home inspectors who also inspect commercial buildings are starting to do these inspections. That's why I thought it may be a good idea to discuss the pitfalls, solutions, etc.

    In California there is a new certification by the state for certified access inspectors. Anyway, if anyone has questions about the ADA, feel free to post it here or send me a message.


  4. #4
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    In California there is a new certification by the state for certified access inspectors. Anyway, if anyone has questions about the ADA, feel free to post it here or send me a message.
    Mr. Heller: That is interesting. Well, hopefully you get some takers on your offer to start up the thread. I personally don't know enough about ADA to contribute much, but may tag along for the read and learn something.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Franson View Post
    I personally don't know enough about ADA to contribute much...

    I know enough to run like hell at the mere mention of ADA. The regs and specs are exceedingly precise, with no room for error. Too many attorneys out there make a living suing anyone involved with ADA violations, often without even seeing the property prior to the lawsuit.

    Philippe, does your E&O cover ADA inspections in CA?

    Dom.


  6. #6
    Philippe Heller's Avatar
    Philippe Heller Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Dom, you are a smart man.

    The E&O issue is one reason why I want to discuss this. Your Home Inspector E&O policy does NOT cover these inspections. ADA inspections are specifically code inspections, which are not covered under an HI policy.

    Property inspectors who do ADA evaluations, no matter how cursory,must get a specific policy that covers code inspections.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Starting the discussion isn't a bad idea. Not sure posts will be regular or ongoing but it could be helpful.
    I haven't done a full blown ADA inspection and don't think I'm that qualified at this point. I have done some incidental ADA checks along with commercial work. For those interested Starrett makes a very nifty ADA tape measure. Size and configuration are that of a standard 25' stanley. The tape has markings and notes along the length at all required ADA measurements. I keep it in my kit. It's come in very handy.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    We are starting to see predatory lawsuits in our area.

    The ADA specs are pretty clear once you go through them. If you inspect to the specifications the building is either in compliance or not. On the other hand home inspections can be very subjective, so where is the greater risk? Verifying specifications or giving an opinion?

    I have an ADA page on my website and get calls intermittently. Not sure if its worth it or not.

    //Rick

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    The ADA specs are pretty clear once you go through them.

    //Rick

    Wow, which spec are you referring to? They are purposefully ambivalent.
    I would say that the vast majority, if not all, ADA installs are deficient. I'd say that the specs aren't so clear, or that (very likely) most people don't read the specs completely.


  10. #10
    Philippe Heller's Avatar
    Philippe Heller Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Dom is right. There are conflicting dimensions. Reach ranges are very random. For example, the highest measurement for a lightswitch is 48 inches. For a dispenser it is 40 inches, but for a vending machine it is 54 inches. ?

    It is the floor space (or maneuvering dimensions) that are probably the most confusing. Hallway widths, how are you approaching the door, (hinge side, latch side, push, pull).

    And you have to be right on with your measurements. Unlike a home inspection.


  11. #11
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippe Heller View Post
    Dom is right. There are conflicting dimensions. Reach ranges are very random. For example, the highest measurement for a lightswitch is 48 inches. For a dispenser it is 40 inches, but for a vending machine it is 54 inches. ?

    It is the floor space (or maneuvering dimensions) that are probably the most confusing. Hallway widths, how are you approaching the door, (hinge side, latch side, push, pull).

    And you have to be right on with your measurements. Unlike a home inspection.

    Hmmmm... a government mandate that is "conflicting", "confusing" and is "purposefully ambivalent", who would have thought .


  12. #12
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
    Richard Soundy Guest

    Default Re: ADA Inspection thread

    A few years back I took a look at the requirements to get ADA certification due to the commercial inspection I do occasionally. Here are my conclusions and comments regarding this subject.

    Studying the code requirements, although a bit complicated, it is achievable.

    The complicated part (this makes inspection very difficult - if not almost impossible) is the "exceptions" allowed and rules/conditions on those exceptions.

    In an attempt to clarify the above statement - certain variations to the code, especially length/distance/slope measurements can be offset (exception) based on meeting or exceeding the requirements in other areas requiring ADA code requirements, naturally within the same building. Sorry, explaining this would be so much easier verbally....

    When attempting to inspect, without the plans/notes of the requirements set forth by the original ADA specialist, it becomes a very very difficult task. Example: slope requirements for ramp are slightly steeper than what code calls out due to construction restraints on existing building - this can be offset (exception) with a greater turning circle for a wheelchair in the toilets.

    I understand the need for these exceptions due to the fact that ADA tends to be a retrofit that takes place when a specific type of business (open to public) takes occupancy.

    I hope you can see the difficulties one encounters. I assume the original permits for the ADA retrofit have the associated documents, that may mean pulling the permits - I never went that far and hence I do not have an answer on this one because most my clients are a bit "touchy" (pulling permits tends to trigger new permit requirements) regarding this subject.

    Just my thoughts on this subject
    All the best - Richard

    Last edited by Richard Soundy; 07-23-2010 at 08:35 PM. Reason: what is touchy??

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