Why Commercial Door Suppliers Should Be Proactive with ADA Compliance (Even as a Subcontractor)


Building codes and accessibility guidelines can be confusing for managers and building owners. Local code officials only focus on building codes when reviewing plans or completing site visits for occupancy permitting. Local code officials do not (and cannot) inspect for ADA compliance. ADA requirements are federal guidelines investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and upheld by federal courts. 

Both ADA and IBC are important. Both help ensure safety and accessibility. Both can lead to fines and/or lawsuits. 

Businesses, schools, churches, and other entities that occupy commercial buildings need to be made aware of ADA compliance requirements. 

There are many people involved in new commercial construction and improvements to existing structures, and many of these professionals, from architects to subcontractors, must be involved in meeting ADA compliance requirements.  

When a project involves many different contributors, each individual must be proactive to ensure their part of the project meets ADA requirements. Commercial door suppliers are one of the specialized resources contributing to building projects and they have the opportunity to inform businesses, schools, churches, and other entities of materials that will enhance accessibility and meet ADA requirements. 

Should door suppliers be “order takers” or active participants in projects? 

It is often the case that subcontractors simply fill orders for materials that were preselected by the architect, contractor, building owner, or facility manager. 

When working as a subcontractor, a door supplier must decide whether to simply fulfill an order, make their money, and move on (the easier option), or whether they will respond with guidance and suggestions for alternative materials (the riskier option, especially with large, complex projects). 

Building projects require many decisions and nobody wants a project to be more complicated than it needs to be. It is understandable that subcontractors want to “get in and get out” quickly. By doing that they are usually seen as reliable, and they will probably end up on the contractor’s speed dial for future projects. 

But there are times when everyone involved will appreciate proactive guidance from specialized subcontractors. When door suppliers see an opportunity to enhance accessibility and meet ADA requirements, they should present their recommendations with confidence. 

Door suppliers can add value by recommending restroom door locks with occupancy indicators and ADA-compliant one-touch operation.

ADA guidelines require that all locks and handles attached to doors must be operable with one hand and not require any extreme grasping or twisting. One-touch operation is a must-have feature when choosing door locks. Occupancy indicators are an added feature that provide an enhanced experience. 

No one likes turning the handle to a restroom only to find out it is locked. It creates an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for both the person(s) inside and outside the restroom. Everyone would much rather be able to see whether a restroom is occupied from a safe distance. 

Door suppliers can add tremendous value to building projects by recommending restroom privacy locks with occupancy indicators. This could be an option that the architect, contractor, and building owner had not previously considered. 

And if the occupancy indicator locks recommended by the door supplier also feature ADA-compliant one-touch operation, it would add even more value to the project. 

The Easy Solution for Occupancy Indicator Locks and ADA Compliance 

There is an easy solution on the market for restroom privacy locks that include both an occupancy indicator and ADA-compliant one-touch operation – Vizilok. 

Vizilok is the easiest Occupancy Indicator Lock to install because it has the occupancy indicator directly on the cylindrical lock. Vizilok installs directly in the existing hole for any cylindrical lock. It only takes a screwdriver and a few minutes. Vizilok is patented in this way – it is the only product on the market with the occupancy indicator directly on the cylindrical lock. The alternatives to Vizilok are to install complicated mortise locks or separate deadbolt cylinders – both of which will add significant cost to the project. 

If you are a door supplier: 

  • Recommend Vizilok to your customers... 
  • You will win their loyalty and appreciation... 
  • Because they will get an amazing ADA-compliant Occupancy Indicator Lock their customers and employees love without costing an arm and a leg!  

If you are a facility manager or business owner: 

  • Ask for Vizilok by name... 
  • You will save time and money... 
  • And you will get an amazing Privacy Indictor Lock your customers and employees will love! 

Shop our products now 

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