Free Tool: Calculate Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget! Calculate Now

Blog Feature
Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on March 13th, 2024

Print/Save as PDF

Creating Accessible Commercial Spaces in Connecticut

Commercial | Commercial Remodeling

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that is designed to protect the rights of people with disabilities. ADA affects businesses in many ways, to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access services and products that they want and need.

One of the ways that ADA affects businesses is in the construction of commercial buildings and parking lots. ADA compliance can be mysterious and confusing to many business owners. If you own a commercial property or operate a business housed in a commercial building, knowing about ADA and maintaining ADA compliance can help ensure that your business is accessible to people with disabilities. 

You don't have to be an expert in the ADA law to ensure that your business is ADA compliant. Working with a contractor that's familiar with ADA compliance can help you achieve compliance during your next remodel. This is what you need to know about achieving ADA compliance through renovation of your commercial property.   

What to Know About the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

ADA is a law that sets requirements for building accessibility, to ensure that commercial buildings are accessible to people with disabilities. ADA affects many aspects of building construction including parking lots, hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, lunchrooms, elevators and more. 

When to Remodel

ADA is a federal law affecting every business in the US, including businesses in Connecticut. Although ADA has been in effect for over 30 years, not all businesses rushed to comply with the law when went into effect. Some businesses wait to comply until they're renovating for other reasons, while other businesses renovate when a complaint is filed, and they're audited for ADA compliance. This is why many buildings are still not in compliance with ADA. 

The Challenge of ADA Compliance

Often, business owners who seek to make small changes to their commercial space have no idea that they're not in compliance with ADA. Only when they start to pursue their renovation goals do they realize that they must retrofit their spaces to be ADA compliant. This can turn small renovations into big, expensive projects. 

How To Renovate Your Business to Make It ADA Compliant

ADA is a complicated law, and achieving compliance is not as straight forward as you might think. To achieve compliance during your next renovation, you'll need to work with the experts and create a plan to achieve compliance. 

Work With the Experts

ADA compliance is tied up in the permitting process. If your building is not currently ADA compliant, the building inspector will require you to achieve compliance before a building permit can be issued during your next renovation.

Working with a professional contractor, you may be able to identify these issues before the inspector even gets involved. Your contractor may bring in a code specialist to discuss your current level of compliance and what needs to change. 

It's important to work with a contractor that has experience with this type of scenario. Find a contractor that works with a reliable code specialist. As you're vetting contractors for your upcoming renovation, ask them about their experience helping building owners to achieve ADA compliance during their renovations. Having these conversations will help prepare you for the process to come, while also helping you find a contractor that you can trust. 

Contractors that have a lot of experience with ADA compliance will even have a good rapport with building inspectors, because of their collaboration on previous projects. This can help smooth the process and lead the way to a successful renovation for the building owner.

Create a Plan to Achieve Compliance

Sometimes, the changes that would need to be made for a building to be fully ADA compliant are prohibitively expensive. In cases like this, compromises can be reached to achieve an acceptable degree of ADA compliance. Often, the building owner and building inspector will work together to achieve a minimum level of compliance, while other changes are put off for future renovations.

If you need to update your building to be ADA compliant, your contractor's code specialist and the building inspector will work together to formulate a plan for compliance. Building inspectors require the most necessary and important changes first, but often allow less important changes to take place later. 

Where the Most Important Changes Are Made

ADA compliance can impact everything from signage to parking spaces, but often the most significant changes are made to bathrooms. Commercial buildings are required to have ADA compliant bathrooms so that people with disabilities who need to use the bathroom are able to do so. Every floor of the building is required to have a bathroom that is accessible to people with disabilities.

Learn More About Creating Accessible Commercial Spaces in Connecticut

Want more information about creating accessible commercial spaces in Connecticut? See for information from the federal government about compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here, you'll find resources including detailed explanations of the law and more.

As a business owner in Connecticut, you may also find some helpful information on the website for the ADA Coalition of Connecticut (ADACC), where there is more information about the law and how to be compliant with ADA in CT. 

Find the Right Contractor

Finding the right contractor starts with vetting experienced, reliable, reputable contractor businesses in Connecticut. Download the Litchfield Builder's free guide to finding a professional remodeling contractor on our website. 

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.