ADA Conversions: What You Need to Know Before You Start

ADA Residential Drafting plans

Location: Camas
Project specs: This project started out as a bathroom remodel and morphed into a larger remodel that included a bedroom with egress and ramp – perfect for a resident in a wheelchair.
Tips:

  1. One of the best ADA construction resources is the Fair Housing Act Design Manual. This manual was put together to assist designers and builders in meeting the Accessibility Requirements of the Fair Housing Act. Following the guidelines in this manual will keep your remodel (or new construction) in compliance with the Act and ensure that people with disabilities really do have access and the ability to use your home.
  2. Working on an ADA bathroom? Check out a website completely dedicated to your success: http://www.adabathroom.com. You’ll find resources on this site whether you are working on residential or commercial bathrooms. Not only is it important to have a door that is wide enough for wheelchairs to easily pass through, you’ll need grab bars by the toilet. Mirrors that are low enough to be used from a chair will be especially appreciated.
  3. Need to add an ADA ramp? This site will give you the technical specs right down to the correct slope of the ramp and the height of the curbs. Ramps can be ready-made or made-to-order. Lowe’s even has a full page about how to Build A Wheelchair Ramp yourself.
  4. Not sure what would be the best flooring for wheelchairs? A hardwood floor can be a good choice but some woods are softer than others – avoid pine and fir. Carpeting can actually work beautifully if you install the type that has a low-pile and is properly attached to the subfloor. Chris Deziel wrote a comprehensive blog post called The Best Floors for Wheelchair Use in Homes with great suggestions about flooring for different rooms in the house.
  5. One-stop shopping for ADA accessible kitchens: Ever heard of adjustable kitchen counters? You can make your kitchen easily accessible to everyone in the house. From counters to sinks to cabinets to appliances, the Accessisible Lifestyle site has put all the useful information and tips for excellent ADA kitchen accessibility in one place.

From the contractor on this job:

We appreciate working with Tom at HoW CAD. He is very accessible and has exceptional drafting skills. His quality of work and coordination with the structural engineer makes our job easier.

~ Harvey F.

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