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Yes, You Can Fast-Track Elevator Replacement / Repair. Here's How

Ronda Kaysen in Building Operations on January 1, 2013

New York City

Expediting Elevator Replacement Repair
Jan. 1, 2013

Because an elevator is a small, enclosed space, only a limited number of people can work on the equipment. However, by expediting the project, a crew can spend ten hours a day, six days a week on it. In essence, a building pays for overtime to get the job done faster.

But remember: The savings in time come at a steep price. A condo / co-op board can expect to pay a 10 percent premium for the job, says Robert Schaeffer, president of D&D Elevator Maintenance. Modernizing the elevator in a typical, seven-story building costs about $125,000, according to Schaeffer. Expediting the job would raise the bill by another $12,500.

Even with an expedited schedule (and especially without one), build an extra week or two into the schedule. Unexpected complications like a missing part or an inspection delay can add a week to the timetable. If residents expect the work to take six weeks and it stretches into seven, tensions flare.

"If you underestimate the time, you are better off dead because they will absolutely crucify you," says Rosemary Paparo, director of management at Buchbinder Warren. On the other hand, if the work finishes sooner than anticipated — or sooner than residents think it's supposed to be finished — "then everybody's a hero," says Paparo.


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