Symmetry Elevators Blog: Articles About Home Elevators & Lifts

5 Tips for Elevator Modernization in Your Home

A custom elevator provides you with decades of service. Regular maintenance and inspections keep home elevators operating safely and efficiently for 35 to 45 years, and it’s not unusual to find well-maintained elevators still working well after fifty years of use. Even so, wear and tear do have an impact on mechanical parts and an elevator’s cosmetic appearance. When this happens, it’s time to consider elevator modernization. Instead, you can install an outdoor home elevator.

What is Elevator Modernization?

Elevator modernization describes any elevator upgrades needed for the installation of new technology, improved mechanical systems, safety features, or updated aesthetics. A standard or custom elevator may be modernized by replacing an old motor, or to renovate elevator doors to match your changing home decor.

Benefits of Elevator Modernization

The benefits of elevator modernization depend on what upgrades are recommended by your elevator technician. Modernization can greatly improve the performance and appearance of a custom elevator in the following ways:

  • New parts and systems are less likely to require unexpected maintenance, replacement, or repair. Parts for older systems may be difficult to find.
  • Operational reliability may be improved by replacing outdated mechanical relays with modern solid-state electronics.
  • Replacing older, worn car panels, doors, lighting, handrails, and other custom elevator options gives your elevator car a like-new appearance.
  • Upgraded braking systems, sensors, and battery backups improve passenger safety.
Symmetry 3 Stop Elevator Brushed Stainless Steel fixutures

What is Included in an Elevator Modernization?

Elevator modernization must be completed by a qualified elevator installation company: this is a project that should only be completed by experts. Depending on the nature of elevator upgrades, you may need to consider how you’ll navigate your home while the elevator is out of service, especially if you have mobility issues and are aging in place

During the initial phase of elevator modernization, the elevator technician will evaluate the health of all mechanical, electrical, and cosmetic components, including the following:

  • Controller mechanics
  • Electrical wiring
  • Elevator doors and their tracks
  • Hoist machines, motors, and elevator cables
  • Paneling, lighting, electronics, and other parts of the elevator car
  • Safety features

The technician will explain where elevator upgrades are required, and help you choose the right components for installation during the modernization process.

Safety First

Evaluating existing safety features is an essential aspect of elevator modernization. The reliability of motors, machinery, electric wiring, controllers, and elevator cables will all be evaluated and replaced when necessary. Elevator components may need to be updated to meet new safety regulations, such as the installation of code-compliant ADA phones which connect to monitoring services.

Customization: Adding Your Personal Touch

You can keep the doors, panels, lighting, and finishes of a custom elevator looking great with proper maintenance and regular cleaning. Time, however, has two effects on your elevator’s appearance. First, regular wear and tear slowly has an impact, resulting in an elevator car that looks used and worn down.

Second, and equally important, home decor trends move with the times. The decor of a custom elevator installed in 1998 may look outdated and unfashionable compared to today’s decorating trends. Give your elevator car a makeover with some of the suggestions in our design gallery and you’ll make it look decades younger.

Repairing or Replacing Door Tracks

Elevator doors should open and close smoothly. Daily use can damage the door tracks, causing the door to stick or otherwise have difficulty closing. Repairing or replacing door tracks is an affordable elevator upgrade that restores your elevator door’s smooth operation.

New Flooring for a New Look

The floor of your elevator is a high traffic area. Daily use damages flooring over time, leaving it looking dull, unattractive, and possibly damaged in such a way that parts of the flooring rise up or are torn, resulting in a potential tripping hazard. Replacing the flooring is one of the fastest ways to improve the look of your elevator car.


Older elevators are usually exempt from new regulations, as the elevator was installed before the regulations came into effect. Elevator modernization can bring your old elevator up to code with the most recent regulations, which gives you peace of mind and can be important if you ever choose to sell your house. 

Elevator modernization can breathe new life into your home elevator’s performance and appearance. Learn more about elevator upgrades and customizable options on our Home Elevators page.

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