HABITAT

Subscribe for Daily Updates!
Elevator replacementJul 17, 2018

Our pre-war building is moving forward with complete replacement of elevators (cabs, rails, motors etc.) It's a 6 story building. The project is expected to take 8-10 weeks. We have many tenants who have mobility issues (wheelchairs etc.)
We do not have a service elevator. The building has two wings with one elevator servicing each wing. We are considering constructing a covered rooftop walkway so that residents can take the elevator on one side, cross the roof and then take the stairs down to floors 6, 5, 4, 3. We've looked into motorized chair lifts on the stairways but were told this involves increased liability for potential falls. We are very concerned about people being stuck in their apartments or having to leave their apartments for the duration of the project. Any and all suggestions for how to address this problem are greatly appreciated!

Join the Conversation Comments (2)
Elevator replacement - Marty Jul 18, 2018

Our co-op (6 stories, 2 unconnected buildings) replaced both of our elevators last year and this year. We also had no service elevator and also had many seniors and people with mobility issues. It took 8 weeks from start to finish.

The good news is that the elevator company finished work on the 56th day, with the mandatory NYC inspection taking place the next day. Make sure your managing agent contacts the NYC agency who does the inspections before the work starts, so the inspection can be done ASAP after the work is finished.

There is no painless way to do this, so we felt that our #1 priority was to ease the pain as much as possible, even if that cost substantial $$.

Your covered walkway sounds like a possibility. We didn't have that option, so here's what we did...

1) Give as much lead in time as possible to the residents and constantly communicate to them exactly what the process will entail.

The less surprises there are, the easier the process will be for the residents and the Board. We gave our s/h 4-5 months notice before the work began.

2) Suggest that s/h arrange, if possible, to stay with friends/family for all or part of the time during the replacement process.

3) We placed 2 folding chairs on each floor landing in both stairwells so that s/h could rest if needed going up/down the stairs.

4) We provided water to s/h who requested it. Make sure the staff hands it out instead of having all the water in one public location because the water will grow legs and disappear if the staff doesn't control its distribution.

5) Try to do the replacement from March - May or Sept - Nov to avoid the hottest times of the year.

6) Inform the s/h of food delivery services such as Peapod or Fresh Direct as a substitute for going to the supermarket.

7) Advise your s/h to stock up on heavy shopping items (canned goods, bottled water, etc) in the months prior to the replacement so their shopping is limited to lighter weight items being brought up the stairs.

8) Our biggest decision was to spend money to hire extra staff (our managing agent took care of this) to be available solely for the purpose of helping s/h carry food up and down the stairs, in addition to helping residents schlep their laundry up and down.

We bought a burn phone and gave that phone number to our residents, and told them to call ONLY that number if they needed help (as opposed to calling the personal cell numbers of our maintenance staff)

We had our extra workers available 7 days a week with staggered hours, recognizing that not all s/h keep the same hours. Our extra worker schedule was:
Mon/Wed/Fri…8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday/Thursday…10:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday/Sunday: 10 AM - 4 PM

We felt that this would reduce the stress of our residents as much as possible.

Of course, we informed s/h that there may be times where 2 or more s/h call the burn phone at the same time, so we need everyone's patience and cooperation to make this work.

We kind of made this up as we went along since we never had such a massively inconvenient project take place before, but we erred on the side of caution to make sure we minimized the pain as much as possible.

Overall, we had very few complaints because we really tried to provide as much information and services to our residents as possible.

No one complained about the extra money because everyone felt it was money well spent.

I wish you the best of luck. You're going to need it.

Communicate often and provide as many details to the residents months in advance so everyone can plan ahead.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (2)
Elevator replacement - GS Jul 18, 2018

Thank you so much for responding and for the details of your action plan.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Elevator Replacement - Steven424 Jul 18, 2018

Marty - Excellent, excellent write-up and procedure guide for doing an elevator replacement where there are no backup elevators. We replaced our elevator in 2005 and followed pretty much the same process you did.

Communications is absolutely the key to reducing shareholder angst and aggravation. Emails and lobby fliers together are a potent communications tool.

Habitat should publish this as a HOW-TO for future elevator replacements.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Elevator replacement - GS Jul 18, 2018

Marty,
It sounds like you were happy with the elevator company. Which one did you use?
Thanks,
GS

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)
Elevator replacement - Marty Jul 18, 2018

We used Genco. One thing you'll discover is that the company you select to do the replacement must be your servicing company for the next 5 years after the replacement is completed. Apparently that is an industry wide standard.

We've learned that some co-ops are having trouble finding companies to do the replacement because the demand is very high at this time. That's because all elevators must meet new NYC code standards by 2020.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Log in below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.
Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?