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    5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 27, 2007 5:13 PM by CorpCons08

    Handicap accessible suggestions?

    Generation4 Adventurer
      My friend is looking to open up a cafe shop in the city. The space that is available however needs to be made handicap accessible. The entry way has a stair in front of it, and he was advised that a ramp or lift would need to be put in. Does anybody have any experience in this? Who should he consult for the best way to bring the store front up to code - a contractor, someone from the city, or an architect? What additional costs can he expect? Thank you.
        • Re: Handicap accessible suggestions?
          DomainDiva Ranger
          Contact an architect...he will be able to make structurally sound recomendations as well as work withthe city who will have to issue the permits to make the changes in the space.

          You will have architects fees which you can negotiate on a project price then there will be city permit fees as well. Finally there will be the contractors will also want to factor in fees for your architect to manage the project for you. Be sure to get everything approved by the city before any changes are made..otherwise you will be tearing out and re-doing.
          • Re: Handicap accessible suggestions?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            Many states, counties, and cities offer extensive assistance to businesses to help them comply with ADA. Grants are often available to bring older buildings up to accessibility standards. You can search your state and city name + ADA compliance and see what appears.

            If you are in or near a larger city, there are probably some A&E or construction firms that specialize in this type of work (we have 2 architects and 7 remodeling firms that specifically mention it as their speciality in their yellow pages ad). In Texas, business alterations for accessibility require not only local building permits, but sometimes state approval as well -- so hiring a firm that does this type of work regularly is highly recommended.

            The Department of Justice recognizes that the cost of all this can be a real burden to small businesses, so they formed a partnership with the SBA to try to help smaller companies understand what is required to comply. I don't know much about that program, but I'd imagine a SCORE person would know and be able to post something more here to explain.

            Hope this helps. Best wishes.
            • Re: Handicap accessible suggestions?
              LUCKIEST Guide
              GENERATION 4. What city (not that it makes a difference) are you talking about??
              Construction usually costs more in big cities.

              According to the law, all new construction and modifications must be accessible
              to individuals with disabilities.
              For existing facilities, barriers
              to services must be removed if readily achievable.

              Lighthouse always has great answers, however this is one area that SCORE does not excel in.
              There is a group called " Independent Living Inc" (a non profit corp under the laws of N Y State) that might help.
              Good luck, LUCKIEST
              • Re: Handicap accessible suggestions?
                CorpCons08 Ranger
                I agree with DomainDiva. If you hire an architect, they are going to work with the city and get the job done correctly and up to code.
                Costs are something that a lot of people fear. Shop around. Speak to a few architects and ask them for proposals.
                May will do this without charging you.

                Let us know what way you end up going.