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Understanding Your Contract

There are several parts of an elevator service contract that can be confusing if you’re not familiar with them. They are set up to provide you with concrete details regarding price and what’s expected from the start and finish of the job. At Southern Elevator, we care about the reliability of your machinery and want to ensure that it’s up to code. That’s why we want to make sure that you understand the different components of a contract so you feel more at ease. 


Most elevator service contracts have a duration of seven to 25 years. By choosing a longer-term contract, you will have the advantage of getting better pricing. Meaning that with labor costs always changing, prices will follow inflation. A longer-term contract should guarantee that your elevator will be properly maintained to prevent any future breakdowns. However, there is a risk of not getting a satisfactory contractor to maintain your elevator. This will lead to bigger problems, expensive repair costs, and no way of ending the contract early.

Frequency of Maintenance

An important aspect of a contract is the frequency of visits. Some contracts may not include the number of visits, despite being billed on a monthly basis. Make sure to read this portion of your contract so you know how often an elevator technician services your elevator. Once you know the level of frequency, you can keep a logbook to ensure you are receiving proper maintenance at the level detailed in your contract.

Automatic or Manual Renewal

The majority of service contracts will have an auto-renewal clause. One of the advantages of having your arrangement automatically renew is that you do not have to worry about your maintenance lapsing. This also prevents you from losing liability insurance coverage in the event an incident occurred while servicing your elevator. If you want to make changes to your contract service provider, you will need to notify them three to four months in advance.


Most contracts will include some exclusions. Often, the exclusions are repairs or maintenance that may have unpredictable costs. Some of the most common exclusions include:

  • Vandalism
  • Proprietary parts
  • Obsolete parts
  • Buried piping
  • Items outside of the service technicians’ control (power failures or debris)

When you go through your next contract, make sure there is someone who understands the elevator industry and can walk you through the agreement. This way, you’ll know exactly what the elevator company is contractually obligated to do. At Southern Elevator, we care about the safety and function of your commercial elevator. Call at 336-436-9174 or email us today to discuss your elevator maintenance needs.

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