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Common Elevator Contractor Terms

Elevators are used in multiple floor commercial and residential locations for vertical transportation of people and goods. From office buildings and apartment complexes to various types of industrial settings, these locations all use elevators as a means to get from one floor to another. When constructing a building, general contractors will determine the best area for an elevator to be installed. Buildings with offices may only need standard size elevators to transport people, while industrial settings may need larger ones to move cargo. General contractors will need to be licensed to install elevators to ensure safe operation. Part of the job is also to make repairs and periodic inspections. Contractors can even install elevators in homes. A home elevator can be useful if someone in the family is living with a physical disability that makes it difficult to walk up and down stairs.

  • Counterweight - Counterweight is a structural steel frame that contains weights that run vertically in the hoistway. This weight works as a balance to the car as it goes up and down safely. When a contractor installs an elevator, a diagram will feature the electrical operating system, circuit controls and other components involved in the system.
  • Governor - The governor is a safety device that is located in the upper part of the hoistway. If something causes the car to malfunction, the governor has rope that engages the guide rails to bring the car to a controlled stop.
  • Hoistway - The hoistway is the shaft where the elevator travels up and down.
  • Controller - The controller is the electrical system that controls the movement and acceleration of an elevator.
  • Cement Bucket Elevator - A cement bucket elevator is used in the construction industry, as a way to transport cement up and down during a project.
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    Elevator contractors, quite simply, install and service elevators. They may also provide maintenance, cleaning, and repair of all types of commercial, industrial, and residential lifts. Elevators—platforms or enclosures that can be raised or lowered to deliver people and objects to a different level of a building—are sometimes needed in buildings more than two stories tall. High rises, in particular, require efficient elevators to haul people up and down several floors on a regular basis. Elevator types range from freight and hydraulic to dumbwaiter and wheelchair. People may have simple elevators or chair lifts in their homes, but most often you will see them in apartment and office buildings. Mobility varies from building to building, but high rise office buildings need the most speedy and efficient ones to get high volumes of people to their destination. Contractors skilled in installation of elevators are the professionals called in for jobs relating to lifts of all kinds. Contractors are often hired by a company to install elevators and stair lifts as part of new construction or as part of a renovation. Elevators feature complex systems, pulleys, machines, and parts, and are more efficient alternatives to stairs. Elevator contractors may be able to come up with custom lift designs, depending on the industrial, commercial, or home customer. Repair is a big service, as is maintenance for inspection purposes. Various electrical and hydraulic components are involved, and contractors know the ins and outs of this business. Dumbwaiters, lifts that carry objects but not people from floor to floor, have an interesting history in this country. The ancient Romans first utilized this concept back in 200 BC for movement of goods. The 1800s saw the invention of the first electric dumbwaiter for business use, as homes at the time were still using manual ones.
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