ADA compliance expert home inspectors (posted by Elizabeth Mendez)

[ASKNACHI]This question was posted on by Elizabeth Mendez (from Arlington, VA). [/ASKNACHI]To Whom It May Concern:

I am trying to locate a home inspector in the Arlington, VA area that specializes on ADA compliance issues. I’m in the process of purchasing a condominium that has been classified by the builder/developer as “ADA compliant”. I would like to hire a home inspector for my walk-thru that is well-versed in the building requirements for ADA compliant dwellings.

Elizabeth Mendez

ADA is a set of regulations about designing for the disabled. Typically it concerns access so designs often incorporate ramps with handrails (the ramps are a certain pitch and the rails a certain dimension off the ground), with door openings wide enough for wheelchairs, shower stalls accessible by wheelchair, sinks that a wheelchair can slide under (with protection from the hot water pipes), chair lifts or sometimes LULA elevators, etc.

As you have probably found out, most of this is beyond the purview of a Home Inspector. [FONT=Verdana]Typically Home Inspectors are not “Code Inspectors”. [/FONT]

Assuming that the builder/developer had an Architect in order to get a building Permit, you should talk to the Architect and use them as a resource. Ask what standards he used. In commercial construction there is a set of Federal Regulations. I am not sure if there are regulations for residential design. If there are none, then it is difficult to inspect because there is no benchmark to measure against.

Another resource may be any public organizations that specializes in the particular disability that you want considered in the design. It may not be wheelchair access, it may be a sight or visual disability.

Here is a link to the Federal ADA Regulations and additional ADA information Massachusetts has their own version, perhaps Virginia does, too, & you can contact the state.

If you were willing to define the ADA design requirements you want from the Condo, you can begin to discuss your needs with some Home Inspectors and will find one that would love to help.

Good Luck.

Andy Frost