How Much Time Does It Take to Install a New Elevator or Remodel an Existing One?

When you consider getting an elevator installed or modernized for your commercial or residential property, there are some serious concerns you may have. Is it economical? How long will be the installation process? Is it worth spending money on? How long is it going to last? These are all important questions and should definitely be answered before making a decision. If the installation time is what has got you hung up, then here you’ll get all the information you’re searching for. So let’s see what are the key upon which the installation time period depends:

  1. The Structures Involved

If you’re getting an elevator installed in an existing building, then you may have to make some improvements to that building. It is because in order to install an elevator, certain requirements have to be met. So you have to ensure that those improvements are done.

Depending on the adopted code requirements and the jurisdiction, these improvements may vary for different properties. One good way to identify the work that needs to be done by others is to conduct a meeting and an onsite assessment with your hired elevator contractor. Depending on the building’s condition, this work can take weeks or months to be completed.

It is safe to say that if everything goes as planned, a shorter structure will have a lesser installation time as compared to a taller one. Also note that if the elevator is being installed in a new building, you have to make sure that it is able to support all the requirements of the elevator to be installed. While new construction takes a lot of time, the requirements of elevator installation should be met as the structure takes shape.

2. The Installation Process

If installation has to be done from scratch, it will be important for a pit made from concrete to be poured. The requirements of the pit’s foundations and reinforcement depends on several factors, such as state or local codes and the condition of land beneath the structure. Note that the dimensions of the pit vary depending on the project, but a rough average for thickness of pit wall is 8 to 12 inches for floors.

You also have to take care of safety measures when installing an elevator. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire sprinklers must be installed around or in the elevator according to local codes. Also, as the water released by fire sprinklers can be dangerous in itself where electricity is concerned. So you need to make sure that they are integrated with the electrical systems. A telephone line for emergencies is also important to install.

Once you have fulfilled all the safety requirements, local code enforcer or a third-party elevator inspector must be called to examine the finished product. If he considers it up to code, then the elevator can be used. All of this can take a generous amount of time and often architects and engineers could be needed to approve the drawings and documents.

3. Every Job is Different

Even if you hire the contractors for this job, you’ll have to remember that every elevator’s installation process is different and has its own set of obstacles. Every project varies for modernization and new construction as the equipment is built job-specific and also the things such as capacity, floor rise, door operation, speed etc. play into the elevator’s design. One can never predict the exact amount of time that an installation process will take based on previous projects, but it can give you a general idea.