The search for the right residential elevator can be overwhelming, especially when it is combined with the design and construction of a new home. Hopefully you located some good companies and have gathered the obligatory three proposals to compare and contrast products in an industry that more than likely you have never researched until this point. With this in mind, here are some guidelines and questions to assist you in sorting through these offers.
- Choosing automatic instead of manually operated gates. Automatic gates can be left off of a proposal to make a bid more financially attractive—especially if the elevator car has two openings. This situation should always be thoroughly reviewed in terms of functionality and convenience, as adding automatic gates later on can be costly.
- Service contracts. Can this company you are considering even provide maintenance? One year guaranteed parts and labor and round-the-clock emergency service should be the minimum presented to you. Please also review the terms of the maintenance agreement after the warranty expires.
- Do these providers hold a current C11 Elevator Contractor license? Are the actual installers of the lift properly registered with the State of California with CCCM licenses?
- Does the proposal list what is and what is NOT included in the base price. Are options such as fixture upgrades listed with add-on pricing in the proposal?
- Liability. Can you get a certificate of insurance? Do they have a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage?
- Taxes, freight charges, and labor—are these included in the bid?
- Will a project manager be made available to you as part of the package? Are job site visits and consultations limited?
- Is a battery back-up failover package included with the elevator? This can be left out of a bid to reduce cost, and you can get charged for it later in the process—or even worse, unknowingly riding your lift without it. Everybody gets power outages.
- How long has the manufacturer of the elevator been in business, and what is their track record? How long have they been installing this particular brand of elevator? Have you looked them up on the Better Business Bureau and Contractors State License Board web sites?
- Can you confirm that your elevator will be installed per the ASME 17.1 Elevator Standard Code? It should be clearly stated on the contract.
T.L. Shield & Associates (www.tlshield.com) has been successfully installing conveyance products for over 25 years. We our proud of our well established ability and consistency in our industry. Please call us at 1-800-954-3887 for a free consultation.