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Lift Modernisation and Refurbishment, a London Classic

Lift Modernisation and Refurbishment, a London Classic

A few our Lift Consultants put their heads together and suggested what might be a Classic lift modernisation or refurbishment in London

London Lift Modernisation Lift Refurbishment

We are talking about low to mid-rise buildings in central London dating from the 18th and early 19th century when several large expansions of London took place.


The ownership of these buildings has a significant impact on the type of lift modernisation. Many are owned by large pension and insurance funds, whole swathes of areas in London fall into large estates, privately managed and owned such as The Grosvenor Estate. These building are owned usually as longer term solid investments, and they are built to last and that influences the life span of the lift equipment installed.

Lift Refurbishment London Lift Modernisaton St James Square

There are three particular characteristics of these lift modernisations

Lift Design Life

As long as possible, usually 20-25 years is the maximum lift life expectancy you can get these days although, some more robust components may last longer.


To last that long the lift and its constituent components need to be robust. They are not just well engineered but also quite heavily engineered. What does this mean?

Well many components on lifts these days can be extensively ‘value’ engineered production line mass produced, designed to working within 5%-10% of their design capacity. We are not talking about those components. We are talking about components that are generally heavier, physically, literally, with more metal (or other material that they are made of), less likely to break and can withstand knocks and will last.

Non-Proprietary (third party)

These lifts are made of components from many different manufacturers. Those manufacturers sell to the whole industry and whoever maintains the lifts can get full support and spare parts and all the information and backup they need to properly maintain the equipment.

If these lifts were cars they would probably be a Volvo; reliable, durable, sturdy.

At what cost?

There is certainly a premium to pay and you will be looking at a maybe 10-20% over the price of a more mass produced lift from a single major lift manufacturer (global, national or European). Subject to the characteristics of the lift that premium could be higher.

How do I get one and competitively priced?

The best thing to do is to write a comprehensive lift specification. You can even list the components you wish to use – perhaps with the rider that you may accept ‘or equivalent approved’ which allows tenderers to offer alternative equipment for your evaluation.

There are numerous lift companies small and large throughout the UK that know this type of equipment very well, so you should not have too much of a problem getting several companies to bid. But make sure you perform necessary due diligence checks on those lift companies, just to be sure.

Our lift consultants have on average over 25 years of experience in the lift industry. Throughout our careers combined, we have been involved in probably 100s of these types of lift modernisations and refurbishments and we know exactly how to specify them. The first step is usually a lift condition survey and if you find you do need to modernise your lift then then we can also project manage the lift installation from start to completion, saving you time and ensuring you get the correct equipment specified and installed on time and to budget.


Telephone: 020 7118 8401

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