Whether you are looking for elevators for a new build project or are replacing the elevators in your building, choosing the right elevator takes a lot of consideration. Your needs will vary based on whether you are transporting people or heavy items and if you have low flow or a lot of traffic. Every aspect from style to warranty becomes important to ensure you are investing in the right elevator to meet the demands of your property. We have put together a list of the most important questions to ask your elevator manufacturer when you begin your search.
What type of drive system do you recommend?
This is perhaps the most important question to ask, as the drive system is impacted by your elevator use. You need to know which one will work best based on traffic, frequency, weight, how many floors are travelled, etc. For example, if you have a mid-to-high rise building you might consider a traction elevator, as these tend to be faster and reduce the travel time. If space is limited in your building a traction elevator that doesn’t require a machine room is ideal.
All this will affect the price of your elevator. If you have a low rise building you can get the more affordable hydraulic elevator as they have a slower speed which would not work in a high rise. You also want to consider obsolescence as most elevators are designed to remain technologically relevant for at least 10 years.
Is there customization available?
Customization does not only include the look and style of the elevator, but also any special requirements you might have based on the building itself. Make sure you understand your own needs, so you can clearly define what adjustments and style requirements you want.
What elevators do not use proprietary parts?
This might seem like an odd question, but it will impact the cost of maintenance. Proprietary parts are specifically made for one elevator brand and are only sold to the manufacturers allied company. Should something go wrong down the road, you will have to find proprietary parts through a dealer that carries that specific brand. You never know if these brands will remain in business or if the dealer you work with will still be around when you require replacements.
Non-proprietary systems can be serviced by any maintenance provider and obtained by any elevator repair company. Look for elevators with non-proprietary parts to reduce costs as you will have more maintenance options and be less dependent on finding a specific brand. A proprietary elevator will run into the same issues as a non-proprietary elevator. Unfortunately, elevators that don’t need a machine room tend to be proprietary because the entire elevator requires special attention, parts and maintenance.
Who will install the unit?
You want to ensure you are dealing with a manufacturer who provides installation included in the cost and be clear about what those costs entail. You want a company with a proven track record in installation as this will ensure smooth and safe operation of your unit. Do your research and look for issues in reviews of the product, such as delays in installation or charges being applied if you are behind schedule in getting ready for installation.
Who will provide maintenance?
Make sure your contract includes some form of maintenance. Maintenance agreements can get a little confusing, as they often change as the years pass due to expected wear and tear. Costs often will increase over the years as the expected work and service required will naturally become more complicated and include replacement parts.
Make sure you understand the additional costs associated with elevator maintenance and service, as well as how long the warranty that comes with the purchase of the elevator covers repairs.
Another thing you might want to know is if they provide 24-7 emergency repairs. This is key in residential buildings where the elevators are travelled at all hours. It is also important in high rise buildings, where getting up and down to the higher levels is challenging if the elevators are out of order.
What is the cost of the elevator?
Elevators have a major impact on your budget and not understating the cost is important. You want to know your warranty options and the cost of adding annual maintenance. Make sure the manufacturers review every single cost associated with the exact design, model and particular installation requirements of the elevator you are considering so there are no hidden costs.
How dependable is the elevator?
The performance of the elevator is important as it will ensure you are providing a safe and comfortable ride for tenants. This really ties into choosing the right type of elevator for your needs as all the things that will affect the speed, safety, and comfort are dependent on having the right drive to meet the demands of your building. Safety features are also important for dependability, so you want to review them closely before deciding. You want an elevator that complies with municipal and provincial codes.
Who is my contact?
Both during the shopping process and post-purchase, make sure you have a contact at the company, as you will definitely think of more questions once you are getting closer to your purchase. Your contact for sales will usually be different from who you speak to for repairs, so having a few contacts handy will make things easier for you.
To learn more about purchasing an elevator, call Alcor at (905) 538-0171 or contact us here.