Elevator Modernization & Upgrades: Three Bids, and the Viewpoint of an Elevator Consultant

“I have three bids.” This is very common for an elevator consulting firm or vertical transportation consulting firm to hear from building owners, property managers, facility managers – whether they are commercial, condominium association, developers or the like – and when they are completing an elevator repair, upgrade and/or modernization. Elevator Modernization & UpgradesThis holds true for elevators, escalators, lifts, dumbwaiters, etc., and other similar projects.

In this blog post, let us unpack some of the hidden problems in the “I have three bids” idea when it comes to elevator repairs, modernization, or upgrade projects.

The building owners feel that these bids are accurate for their project, and an elevator contractor can be chosen based one of these three bids. The building will typically call three or four elevator companies and have them come out and bid on their project. The building assumes that the elevator companies will send in similar bids because they (the building) told them that the elevators need to be “modernized” or “repaired” or “upgraded”. The elevator company bids on the elevator repair, upgrade and/or modernization. The building then has bids in hand and ready to choose a vendor/ elevator company to complete the work. At this point, it is common that the building understands that this is not their domain and they need an expert to help in deciphering the bids. They may at this point turn to an elevator consulting firm.

Why This Might Not be Ideal for Your Elevator Modernization, Repair, or Upgrade

This is a very common process buildings experience which is a disservice to the building and all parties that have fiduciary responsibility to the project. The elevator companies that bid the project may submit bids that are similar in some aspects yet vastly different, thus exposing the building to change orders and code violations. This is where an elevator consulting firm can really help in the process; by working at the beginning, the elevator consultant can frame the project so that all necessary work is included.

In order to eliminate needless cost and mitigate risk, the building simply should have an elevator consultant complete an assessment of the elevator equipment for repair, upgrade and/or modernization. Once the assessment is complete, and the elevator consultant understands the needs of the building, a complete “scope of work” can be written. The scope of work typically follows the International Building Code and elevator industry best practices that can eliminate change orders and give the building the vertical transportation it requires at the desired budget.

A few simple steps like these are critical to a successful elevator, escalator, lift repair, upgrade and/or modernization project completed on time, within budget and code compliant. If you are thinking of undertaking a major elevator repair, elevator modernization or upgrade, please reach out to us for a consultation.

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