What Should Condominium Complex Owners Look For In An Elevator Maintenance Contract?

Construction & Contractors Blog

When you're trying to find the perfect elevator service contract, price should never be your only consideration — you'll need to find a company that provides great routine maintenance services and offers excellent emergency response times. Maintaining your property's elevator helps you avoid breakdowns that can become extremely frustrating to your tenants. Frequent breakdowns will also lead to frequent emergency calls to your elevator maintenance provider, and the costs can add up quickly.

What should you look for in an elevator service contract? Whether you're renegotiating a contract with your current maintenance service or shopping around for a new one, here's what you should keep in mind in order to keep your expenses stable and your tenants happy.

1. Get Quotes for a Full-Service Contract

A full-service elevator maintenance contract is typically the best choice for property owners. This type of contract covers routine maintenance along with the replacement cost of parts. Some components, such as the sheaves in a traction elevator, wear down with use and need to be periodically replaced during a maintenance visit. With a full service contract, you won't be invoiced for the cost of the replacement part or the time required to install it — it's covered by your monthly fee. This helps property owners keep their expenses stable and avoid being invoiced for replacing common wear components in an elevator.

Limited service contracts don't cover replacement costs and are only suitable in two situations. The first is when your elevator is very new, as the parts haven't worn down enough to warrant replacement. The second situation is when your elevator is used very infrequently, such as a service elevator that's only used three or four times a month — its components will wear out very slowly, and you'll save money by choosing a limited service contract.

2. Look for an Elevator Service Company With Excellent Emergency Response Times

Your chosen elevator maintenance company's emergency response times need to be reasonable and guaranteed. Don't forget to ask about emergency response times during non-business hours as well — they're typically greater than response times during business hours. Out-of-service elevators are a great inconvenience for your tenants, and they'll quickly begin complaining about having to take the stairs. Tenants on the upper floors who are disabled may not even be able to leave your property at all. Worse, elevators sometimes become stuck between floors with tenants inside — you need an elevator maintenance company who will send a technician very quickly to rescue your tenant if such a situation occurs.

3. Be Aware of Extra Fees Included in the Agreement

Some services may not be covered as part of your maintenance contract fee, so you'll be charged extra for them. One common example is fire alarm testing — you need to regularly test the fire and smoke alarms in your elevator and note it in the elevator log. If you fail to do so, you'll fail your elevator inspection and incur a fine. It's a good idea to have the technician test the fire alarm during every elevator service visit, since the technician will be available to fix it — if you test it on your own and the fire alarm doesn't function, you'll need to make an emergency call. However, fire alarm testing isn't technically considered part of maintenance. You'll often be charged a small fee for this service.

However, the existence of fees shouldn't be a deal-breaker. If you don't want these fees as part of your contract, you can often negotiate with the elevator service company to eliminate them in exchange for a slightly higher monthly payment. Otherwise, you'll need to be aware of these fees and budget accordingly.

To sum it up, full-service contracts with little extra fees will help your property's monthly elevator maintenance expenses remain stable with few surprise costs. A maintenance company that provides fast emergency response times will also keep your tenants happy whenever something goes wrong with your elevator, and excellent elevator maintenance will reduce the likelihood of emergencies happening at all. While keeping the above three considerations in mind, shop around the different elevator maintenance providers that operate in your area and see who gives you the best deal.


18 April 2019

All About Building a Home

Welcome to my website. I'm Albert Frost. Besides my dad, one of my biggest role models was my uncle Rick. He was a construction contractor who would let me come on his construction sites and also taught me everything he knew about building homes, including how to install hardwood flooring and add insulation. I always wanted to grow up to build houses like my uncle. I used to help my uncle with a lot of the grunt work needed to make a home a reality. But then I hurt my back playing football. Until I heal completely, I'm going to devote as much of my time as possible to teaching others about various construction topics I'm interested in.