Category "Home Elevators"

6Jul

Safety and your Home Elevator

by Andrew @ Uppercut

Having a safe elevator installed in your home is of upmost importance, and is critical in jurisdictions such as Alberta where these devices are not inspected. The following is a list of items we feel are imperative to ensure your safety, and give you peace of mind.

Does your home elevator meet code?

This should be a no-brainer, but believe or not there are manufacturers out there that either “fudge” the code or completely ignore it. ASME A17.1 CSA B44 is the safety code governing elevators and escalators, which North American manufactures are required to adhere to. Home elevators are required to have either a safety gate or sliding door inside the car. This is designed to prevent a shearing hazard as the elevator travels.

There is some debate as to whether a light screen or light curtain is acceptable, but in my recent conversations with a code committee member, there was no question in his mind whatsoever. The answer was clear – a physical barrier was necessary and this “invisible light screen” was not code compliant. For this reason, we provide a door or gate with every home elevator. By doing this, there is no gray area and you can rest assured that your elevator offering is 100% compliant.

Elevator gates and doors

Elevator gates and doors

Does your elevator have battery lowering?

We highly recommend that your home elevator comes equipped with battery lowering in the event of a power failure. For this reason, all of our residential elevators have this feature included in our standard offering. It’s unlikely to experience a power outage while travelling in your device but if you’re alone in the home and the power goes out, you will be grateful you have the ability to exit the elevator safely. In addition to battery lowering, we also have a manual lowering device that is housed in a small monitored hatch above the upper door. This, of course, is only of use if someone outside of the elevator is available to assist you.

Does your elevator come with a phone?

If you purchase an elevator from Uppercut, it will come with a phone integrated into the car operating panel. All we require is a phone line ran to the controller and you will have the ability to dial any number from the elevator car.

Quality elevators

Quality elevators

Is someone local available to answer the phone?

Having a phone in your elevator is great, but this doesn’t do you much good if there is no one at the other end to answer it. I’m always amazed that there are companies that will sell you an elevator but either choose not to answer the phone after hours or simply don’t have local staff to assist you in your hour of need. At Uppercut, we have local staff in Calgary and Edmonton and are always available should you need us. We encourage clients to do their homework, read reviews, and see who answers their phone after hours or on the weekend.

Elevator and lift service

Elevator and lift service

As you can see, having a code-compliant device with the necessary features is critical for a safe elevator installation. Equally important is choosing a company that actually answers their phone and has the resources to provide after-hours service.

22Dec

The different types of residential lifts for your home

by Andrew @ Uppercut

Stairlifts serve as an essential piece of equipment at home for those with limited mobility. It allows for easy and safe movement around a multi-level home and helps with independent living. 

Stairway lifts come in various configurations to meet the user’s needs and are intended to fit the stairway’s layout. Residential stairlifts are a cost-effective way to improve your home’s accessibility and are mandated to operate under “constant pressure”.

Types of home lift elevators explained

Types of home lift elevators explained

 

This article focuses on three types of stairlifts – straight, curved, and outdoor lifts. 

Straight stairlift

The most common and economical type of lift is a straight stairlift, which can be directly installed along either side of a straight staircase. One of the benefits of this type of lift is that it is generally quick and easy to install with a standardized rail that can be customized to fit any staircase. We typically have these lifts in stock and can install them within 3 days.

Users have the option of choosing manual and power upgrades for added safety and convenience. Most models can come with an optional retractable rail and power seat swivel.  To save space, the seat, footrests and armrests can be folded when not in use. 

Curved stairlift

A curved stairlift should be customized to fit specific requirements for staircases with curves, turns, immediate landings, or unique and complex designs. If your stair chair isn’t custom-built for your specific set of stairs, it may not provide the tightest possible fit.  Much like a standard straight stairlift, this option comes with easy-to-use and intuitive controls and is equipped with a foldable seat, footrest, and armrests. 

Outdoor stairlifts

Outdoor stairlifts come in both straight or curved configurations. The features of an outdoor lift that differentiates them from indoor lifts are that they are designed to handle changing weather conditions and extreme temperatures, including sleet and snow and high winds. They’re also equipped with a lock-and-key for added security and a cover to keep the equipment protected.

Consumers typically use outdoor lifts for transportation to and from a deck, a porch, a driveway, or a detached garage. Like indoor lifts, outdoor stairlifts come with a foldable seat, as well as a seat belt.

2Jan

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:

Stairlift1

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.

19Dec

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?

19Mar

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?

13Jan

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

 

 

 

5Apr

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.

10Mar

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)

IMG_2230

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

 

 

9Dec

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.

 

3Nov

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:

LOCAL OWNERSHIPAlberta-flag

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.

OFFICES IN BOTH CALGARY AND EDMONTON

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.

LOCAL PRODUCTS

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.

PROUD TO BE LOCAL

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