Category "Home Elevators"


Choosing the correct Stairlift Manufacture and Supplier

by Andrew @ Uppercut

There are a multitude of stairlifts available in the marketplace today, so how do you know you are getting the best “bang for your buck”? I believe when purchasing a stairlift you must consider two factors.

1. The stairway lift product itself
2. The elevator and lift company supplying and supporting the stair chair sale

Stairlift Manufacturers

Deciding on the product itself is probably the most difficult, simply due to the vast number of stairlift suppliers selling into the Calgary marketplace. I have personally installed and sold 5 different stairlifts over the years including:Stairlift

  1. Acorn Stairlifts
  2. Stannah stair chairs
  3. TK Access stairlifts
  4. Pinnacle stairlifts
  5. Bruno Stairlift

The one consistent over these years, however, is that I have always come back to Bruno Stairlifts. My professional belief is that Bruno produces the highest quality lift and backs it up with an industry-leading warranty. With Bruno stairlifts, we have, minimal warranty issues, a great looking product, and can offer this stairway lift at an exceptional price. I encourage clients to go online and read customer reviews and do their homework.

Stairlift installation and service companies

Once you have decided on the actual stairlift product the next big choice is who will install and service the device. This is where a free home assessment is valuable. Once you get face to face with your potential stair chair supplier ask them:


1. What if I need after-hours service on my stairlift?
2. If I need service, do I have to call a 1-800 number?
3. Do you have experienced stairlift installers who live here?
4. What labour warranty is offered on my stair chair?
5. How many staff do you have devoted to lifts?
6. Do you deal exclusively with elevators + lifts, or are your recourses diverted elsewhere?


I believe the purchase of a stairlift is not a “one-off” transaction where you never hear from the seller again. Inevitably you will require preventative maintenance, or perhaps a service call, so you want to ensure that your stairlift provider is there for you. By doing your homework, reading reviews, and dealing with a local stairlift supplier you can ensure you will make the right choice when selecting a stairlift.


Is a Home Medical Company The Best Place to Buy a Stair or Porch Lift?

by Andrew @ Uppercut

As the name suggests, home medical companies specialize in the sales and service of home medical equipment. Lately, however, there has been a trend for some of these companies to expand into the elevator and lift the world. As someone who has focused on the sales service and maintenance of elevators and lifts for the last 22 years, I find this trend disturbing.

I’m sure you’re thinking this is just an attempt to preserve market share or speak unfavourably about a competitor, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m writing this because quite frankly I feel horrible for the people who depend on this equipment and in my opinion have been let down.

Below are several reasons as to why you should purchase your stairlift or porch lift from an elevator and lift company, not a home medical establishment.

1. Focus

If you ask any HME (Home Medical Equipment) supplier where their focus lies, I’m sure there will tell you items such as wheelchairs, incontinent/ostomy supplies and mobility devices make up the bulk of their business. The phrase “jack of all trades and master of none” comes to mind. Our focus is exclusively on elevators and lifts – its all we do. Porch Lift

2. Experience

We currently have staff members who have close to 30 years of experience with the installation and service of stair and porch lifts. Our sales team has a combined experience of close to 60 years in this industry. I challenge any home medical company to come even close to this. We will make sure that you get the best product to meet your needs and that it is installed by a qualified technician.

3. Service

How can you offer exceptional service when your hours of operation are 8:30 – 5:00 Monday to Friday. We offer after-hours service should your device experience and issue outside of regular business hours. We will also send a qualified technician to do the repair.

4. Price

Uppercut VanWe have a defined focus, so we buy in bulk, install efficiently, and have limited callbacks. For these reasons, we will not be undersold. We will match any comparative product price and still include the aforenoted superior service.

In closing, I would like to say that I don’t believe home medical companies are awful entities preying upon people. Most do an exceptional job for their clients. All I’m saying is that an elevator or lift is not a wheelchair or a scooter. I’m trying to convey that this is a specialized industry that demands focus and expertise. After all, you wouldn’t buy your next car from a bike store, would you?


Your Experienced Elevator and Lift Supplier

by Andrew @ Uppercut
  • Residential Elevator Services

In my twenty years of experience in the elevator and lift industry, I have seen many companies come and go.

I have seen countless failed products hit the market and unfortunately, I have seen numerous clients hand over their money and not have their expectations met.
When making a big ticket purchase such as an elevator or a lift it is important for potential clients to do their homework. Clients should look past flashy marketing material and ask hard hitting questions of their sales person.  The following is a list of questions that we believe your Elevator or lift supplier should have no issues answering.

  • How long has the distributer been in business; will they be around years from now should you need support?
  • How long has the product they represent been manufactured; will parts be available in the future?
  • Are there multiple  installations available for viewing?
  • Do they conduct their own installations or is this outsourced?
  • Do they make over the top claims such as offering warranty periods that far exceed their experience in the trade?
  • Can they provide testimonials  from real people who have had their product installed past the warranty period?
  • Who services the product if there is an issue, and can they be reached after regular business hours?

As I stated, my experience spans 20 years and I have been at the helm of Uppercut since 2013. The home elevator and commercial accessibility lift products we represent – RAM, Bruno, and Wessex – have all been manufactured for well over 25 years. We have many satisfied clients throughout the province who are happy to share their experience with you.

We do not outsource our installations or service work, and are available when you need us. 9:00 am to 5:00pm doesn’t cut it in our business. Uppercut Elevators and our suppliers have stood the test of time and have a proven track record for providing exceptional customer service throughout the province of Alberta. Our products can be found in every major center including: Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray. Our installations include not only private homes, but places of worship, community centers, schools, retail spaces, office and professional buildings.

Call or e-mail us today and ask about our client testimonials.

After all the proof is in the pudding; if your elevator and lift supplier can’t show you a happy customer, how do you know one exists?


Calgary Renovation Show

by Andrew @ Uppercut

We are pleased to announce that we will be attending the Calgary  Renovation Show this weekend. We will be right by the front entrance in booth number 149, so come on by and find out how you can make your home accessible. We have a wide variety of accessibility solutions that include everything from stair lifts to home  elevators.

residential lifts residential elevator Wessex going through floor home elevator 1 glass elevator commercial lift Stratus Elevator TrustT Platform Lift gallery SRE 3000 07 small glass elevator car floor

The show dates are:

Friday January 13th – noon – 9pm

Saturday January 14th 10am-9pm

Sunday January 15th 10am -6pm

The show is down at the BMO Center and we have a few pairs of tickets to give away. If you would like free tickets please email Andrew to get the details





Elevator and Lift Servicing for Calgary, Edmonton and all of Alberta

by Andrew @ Uppercut

At Uppercut Elevators and Lifts, we take pride in servicing everything we sell. We believe the relationships we develop with our clients is ongoing, and shouldn’t end after the salesperson gets your name on the contract. We stand behind our products and won’t give you the run around when you need your elevator or lift servicing or repairing. We work in both a commercial and residential environment and are dedicated to getting your device up and running as soon as possible.

20160224_114223At Uppercut Elevators and Lifts  we:

  • Use experienced factory trained technicians
  • Have offices and staff in both Edmonton and Calgary
  • Sell elevators  manufactured in Alberta, so parts are readily available and delivered quickly
  • Offer 24 hour Emergency service
  • Specialize in RAM and Bruno products.  We don’t try to be all thing to all people , and believe you do one thing and do it right!
  • Focus on dealing with residential elevators/lifts and commercial accessibility lifts

When you consider purchasing an elevator or accessibility lift  make sure you  ask about your providers’ after sales service. Enquire as to where their devices come from, and typically how long it takes to get a part. Ask if they offer after hours service, and find out what their core business is.

If your home elevator or wheelchair lift needs service please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.


Evacuation and battery back up options for your residential elevator

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Home Elevators

I think humans by nature have a fear of being trapped in an elevator and therefore I usually don’t get through a sales meeting without one of the two following questions being asked:

  1. What do I do if the elevator gets stuck?
  2. What happens if the power goes out?

Both questions are valid and fortunately, we have a variety of solutions that can ease these fears.

I would start by saying that one thing you can do to guarantee piece of mind is having your elevator properly maintained by a factory trained technician. The second thing would be to ensure there is a phone in your elevator so you can call for help if necessary.

Ok, now back to the easing your fears about getting stuck in that elevator. The following are standard and optional features that can allow for a safe evacuation from your elevator.

Manual lowering (or raising)  

All devices that I am aware of have some form of manual lowering. Hydraulic units typically will have a button in the machine room that will open up a hydraulic valve and lower you at a regulated rate. Fluid is released from the cylinder, back into the reservoir. Of course, this means you can only be lowered and never raised, even if you need to get out at the upper level which is merely inches away.  Traction counter weight and ACME Screw drives utilize a gear reduced crank that allows you to be moved in both an upward and downward direction. The obvious benefit here is, in the event of a flood or fire you may not necessary want to be evacuated to the lowest level as the exit to your home may be on levels 2, 3 or 4.

Emergency Battery lowering

Battery lowering is useful in the event of a power failure where your major concern is simply being able to exit the elevator. As the name indicates the elevator will only continue to operate in the downward position. The intention is to have you safely evacuate the device at the lowest level.

Battery Backup (or DC operation)


This term is sometimes confused with Emergency battery lowering. A vendor may tell you “all our units have battery back-up” but they may be referring to the ability to lower only via an emergency battery system (see above). Battery backup or DC operation means that there is a battery system in place that  allows the elevator to function when the power is out. A true battery operated system will allow the user to have  uninterrupted use in the event of a power failure. The device will travel both up and down, and be able to complete 30-40 cycles while the mains power is out. This system can function using a variety of methods, but a unit like the RAM Crystal or Stratus switches between AC and DC power depending on the remaining charge in the batteries. This option gives you true piece of mind if you are reliant on your elevator due to an  accessibility need.

The interlocks on residential elevators and lifts will have a tool that allows you to open the door(from the outside) regardless if the lock is energized or where the car is located. I would, however, caution you to never crawl out of a device that is between floors unless it is absolutely necessary (life or death situation) . Your first  line of defence is to always call your elevator provider as soon as you experience an issue.


I would like to close by saying that getting trapped in your home elevator or lift is extremely rare. In my 18 years of experience and hundreds of elevator installations,  I can count only a handful of entrapments that required a technician to rescue an individual.


For more information on residential or commercial devices contact us anytime and we will be happy to answer your questions




Greener Elevators and Lifts can save you money

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Commercial Accessibility Home Accessibility Home Elevators News and Such

When I think of making an environmentally sound decision, especially if it pertains to green elevators or a lift purchase, I can point out 3 contributing factors .


                          alberta               #1 Where is the device  manufactured?

This seems pretty obvious but if you can purchase a locally manufactured elevator or lift, the transportation impact can be minimized. Buying local not only reduces emissions it saves you money on shipping costs associated with replacement parts.



#2 What impact could the drive mechanism have on the environment?

Devices that utilize large hydraulic pumps and reservoirs may need to have precautionary measures were taken, such as oil separators in the event of a hydraulic oil leak. This is to ensure that the oil cannot seep into the ground or water table. Some jurisdictions in the past have asked that food grade oil is used in order to alleviate this concern. Elevators and lifts that utilize a Traction Home elevatorCounter Weight or Screw Drive don’t actually pose this risk, as no hydraulic fluid is used. These greener solutions only require a 2″-3″  pit (or no pit at all) so there is less concern with disturbing ground water. You may even be able to save some money on your site preparation as hydraulic elevators can require anywhere from a 6″ to 60″ pit.

#3 What are the ongoing energy costs?

This cost is two fold; the energy consumed as it relates to the environment and the monetary cost directly to you. Do your research on how much energy your elevator or lift will require operating. Devices with a mechanical advantage such as a traction counterweight drive will be up to 50% more energy efficient that a comparative hydraulic unit. Hydraulic elevators have to pump fluid into a cylinder which is often located in a separate machine room.

It doesn’t matter if  your goal is to consciously protect the environment or simply save some money (energy costs, site preparation , and maintenance), it’s apparent that the two can go hand in hand.


For more information Elevators and Lifts please click here or contact us for a free consultation.



Uppercut Elevators and Lifts – A local company serving the entire province of Alberta

by Andrew @ Uppercut

What makes a company local? It is my belief that to be truly local your company needs to encompass the following principles:


It’s not good enough to have a local manager or even a local owner that has other interests and doesn’t make the time to come into the office every day. Local owners answer the phone, deal with client concerns directly, and treat their staff fairly. After all, the owner sets the standard as to how the business operates. We believe in being accountable, fair and ethical. At Uppercut Elevators and Lifts, ownership is present every day  to make sure this standard is met.


Believe is or not there are some companies that would mislead you into believing they are local because they have a PO box and a sales person who is willing to travel to your city on occasion. We believe in hiring the best local individuals who are able to participate and give back to the communities where they work and live. We believe it is imperative that local staff  are available to meet with you on your schedule not “when they are in town next”. We are proud to have offices in both Calgary and Edmonton, that are staffed with local employees.


Our Elevators and Vertical Platform Lifts are manufactured in Alberta by Albertans. In these tough economic times, it only makes sense to support the business and tax base where we live.


We are pleased to be able to service the entire province of Alberta with our  superior elevator and lifting product line. We know we can accommodate  the needs of our clients better if we hire local representatives, and ownership is present to steer the ship in the right direction. We are proud to be a truly local company operating in Alberta.


For more information on our products click here

To find a local representative click here

You can find our products installed in Cold Lake, Edmonton, Drumheller, Red Deer, Strathmore, Calgary, Okotoks, High River, Lethbridge, Vulcan, Brooks, Olds, Medicine Hat, and all across the great province of  Alberta



Designing an Elevator or Lift into your Home

by Andrew @ Uppercut

Designing an elevator or lift



There are many items that need to be considered if you are designing an elevator into a new home or doing a renovation to your existing home. Accessibility and “Ageing in place” are often topics that come up during the initial design. In this blog post, I will highlight some of the items that should be reviewed prior to the work starting.



Do I need/want an elevator or a lift?

This is usually the first thing to consider. While lifts typically are installed for pure accessibility, elevators are provided for a variety of reasons. An elevator will operate using single touch controls, have much more flexibility in design, and have a car complete with a ceiling. An elevator will, of course, cost more than a lift. A detailed list of the difference between elevators and lifts can be found here. While a lift may meet your needs, another factor to think about would be the resale value of your home. A lift may be looked at as a piece of medical equipment, but an elevator is often regarded as an asset to the home and could be more appealing to a potential buyer.

Elevator under construction

Elevator with 3 stop access – under construction

Where should I locate my elevator or lift?

This is a matter of aesthetics and functionality. Ideally, you would like one device to access every level of your home, including grade or garage level. For this reason, we often install devices in or adjacent to an attached garage as shown in the picture to the right. This home owner originally came to us just looking for a 2 stop device to access the second floor. We suggested placing the elevator in the garage and adding an additional stop and entrance. Our client was now able to access all levels of her home. If you have the ability to access your home at grade level many more options are available. We often install devices outside of the original building envelope. This method is popular during a renovation as it does not interfere with the existing layout. It also avoids taking  up valuable floor space.


Configuration , car size and overall footprint

Finally, we must look at how the device with function within the home, and how the design will affect the usage. Elevators and lifts can be ordered in a variety of car sizes and configurations. It is very important to not only consider your needs today but look at what the future may hold. I recommend having a platform or car of 54 inches long. This will make it possible to accommodate a wheelchair if necessary. If the design calls for adjacent access or a 90-degree turn it is important to ensure that the elevator or lift platform is also wide enough. I like to incorporate a 40-48 inch wide platform in this situation.  This will, of course, affect your overall footprint of the device. Clients should also be made aware that some devices require a machine room, which can take up an additional 15 square feet or so.


If you require design assistance please contact us for a free assessment


Custom Glass Elevators

by Andrew @ Uppercut

We recently completed a custom glass elevators project that started out with many unique challenges . We were asked to install a glass elevator within a spiral staircase. The device could not utilize a pit as there was in-floor heating, nor did they want to give up space for a machine room. These requirements alone can create  issues due to space and functionality, but when paired with the request of a glass car and hoistway,  the challenge was multiplied.

Door open in glass elevator

Door open in glass elevator



My first call was to RAM Manufacturing where their engineering team had to determine if we could even fit the device in such a small space. After a bit of deliberation, the design included a pie shaped platform utilizing a traction counterweight drive mechanism. This elevator featured a machine room-less drive and had a low profile car floor so we did not need a pit. In order to preserve space, we incorporated an off-board controller that was located in a room beside the elevator enclosure. These features made it possible for us to maximize the elevator car, and create a functional elevator that can accommodate 2 people with an 800lb capacity.


Now that we knew that we could physically fit the device in the stairway core, we need to address the  request of having as much glass in the elevator as possible. We did this at the client’s request in order to maintain an “open view” through the stairway core.

The car was designed to have wood panelling to match  home décor on the controller wall, with curved glass surrounding the rest of the car area. The doors were made entirely of glass  with a stainless steel trim. To these doors, we incorporated our interlocks for safety. The contractor then fabricated  glass panels held together with stainless steel “clips”. These panels served as the elevator hoistway or shaft.

The end result was an unobstructed view where you could look straight through the elevator on the upper floors. We maintained the look of the home without taking up any valuable square footage and avoided a costly addition. All in all, we are very pleased with this project and look forward to many more custom elevators in the future.


glass elevator hoistway walls custom glass elevator glass elevator between floors glass elevator rail wall for glass elevator glass elevator with door open Exterior glass elevator view controller and tower of power glass elevator car floor

For more information on custom elevators please contact Uppercut Elevators and Lifts