Parking lot design seems easy on the surface, doesn’t it? Figure out how many parking stalls you want in your lot, choose which color you want to paint them, throw in a couple of handicapped spots, and you’re done! Well, not exactly. There’s quite a bit that goes into lot design, and unless you’re working with an expert you’re unlikely to get it right. Here’s why DIY lot design is a bad idea.
Your Parking Lot Design Needs to Be Legal
Your parking lot design needs to adhere to a number of different legal standards, but the most important of these is the Americans with Disabilities Act. In case you haven’t heard of the ADA, it’s a little old federal law that controls accessibility requirements for buildings that are open to the public. In addition to making it a requirement for these buildings to have handicapped-accessible entrances and bathrooms, it also covers parking lot designs.
Specifically, the ADA dictates how many of your parking stalls need to be handicapped-accessible. It provides specific length and height requirements, guidelines on where signs need to be placed, and where your lot’s pedestrian ramps and crosswalks are placed as well. Keep in mind that none of these are suggestions — if you’re found to be in violation of the ADA, you’re in for some serious fines. This is a prime example of why it’s so important to use a professional paving company with experience in designing parking lots.
More Than Just Laying Asphalt and Painting Lines
Legal requirements of the ADA notwithstanding, there are other important facets of parking lot design that you’ve got to keep in mind. These go far beyond painting parking stalls and laying asphalt. There are a number of issues that can crop up during the design phase — issues that you might not have any familiarity with if you’re not a professional. These include problems related to proper drainage and slope, both of which need to be considered strongly to ensure there are no problems with your lot down the line.
If your lot’s not sloped properly, spots of standing water can develop across your lot. In cold conditions, these spots can lead to not just dangerous icy patches; they will also contribute to the deterioration of your lot. Poor drainage systems can likewise cause similar issues on an even larger scale, as heavy rains may overwhelm a system and lead to dangerously flooded lots in good weather and swathes of cracked and broken asphalt after a long winter. While a good paving contractor can repair asphalt damage like that, it’s better to not suffer it in the first place!
Expert Help is Just a Phone Call Away
Need help planning your own parking lot project but don’t want to end up falling into any of these common traps? Lucky for you expert advice is just a phone call away. Contact your local paving company to learn how they can provide you the expertly designed parking lot you need!