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Door requirements for ADA compliance

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2022 | ADA |

Many people don’t think twice about the types of doors they walk through on a daily basis, but people who have a disability might quickly realize that some doors are better than others. When your company is going through an evaluation for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, you have to be sure that the doors are checked.

There are a few things to consider when you’re looking at the doors in your business. The clearance of the door’s opening and the characteristics of the handle are two important points.

What are the requirements for a door opening?

A door’s opening must be between 32 and 48 inches wide, depending on the location and type of business. This is after accounting for door stops and hardware.  The width requirement applies to all doors, including sliding and folding doors. If the door is a swinging door, it must open up to at least a 90-degree angle. While the ADA doesn’t cover revolving doors or turnstiles, it does note that those types of entryways can’t be the only ones available to enter a space. The amount of pressure it takes to open and close a door is also regulated and needs to be taken into account and periodically adjusted.

What are the requirements for a door handle?

A door’s handle has to be between 34 and 48 inches from the ground for most doors, again depending on the location of the door. There are some exceptions, depending on various factors, one of which is the age of the building, how costly it would be to make a change, if there were remodels, and when, The door handle must be able to be operated with a loose grip or closed fist, meaning certain types of hardware ware allowed and other types not allowed.

Some states have licensed ADA inspectors that can point out things that need to be changed. In California, these inspectors are called CASp inspectors. It’s best to retain them through legal counsel to discuss the type and scope of the review, consultation, and inspection if a formal report will be involved, and if the report will be confidential or covered under the attorney-client or other confidential privilege.

Every business owner must ensure they meet the requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Failing to comply means that you run the risk of facing legal action. Working with someone who’s familiar with these matters is important so you can lessen your stress and negate risks to your company.