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Proprietary Elevator Electronics Cost Customers Cash

It happens regularly during the Missouri summer. After a round of severe weather, a homeowner discovers that his elevator has stopped working. Even though the elevator was installed by another company, we come out for service when called. Upon examination, we find that the elevator control unit – a small, modular box that forms the “brain” of the elevator – has been fried by lightning. We then have the unpleasant task of telling the customer that this simple device, less complicated than the most basic home computer, will cost five thousand dollars to replace.

Understandably, most customers want to know why one small replacement part costs a large percentage of what they paid for the whole elevator. The answer is that it’s a single-source OEM part. You have to have it, you can only get it from the manufacturer, and the manufacturer knows it. Consequently, they can charge you whatever they like.

proprietary broken elevator controls
These fried elevator controls units can cost $5000 to replace.

Fortunately, not all elevator manufacturers choose to work this way. We recommend and install Symmetry home elevators, which, in addition to numerous other advantages, use open and generally available control units like the one pictured below. Service on these units can usually be done with standard, locally available electrical parts, which means that you don’t have to pay – and then wait – for an overpriced black box from the manufacturer.

In addition to being easier to repair than other systems, Symmetry control units are also less likely to need such service. This is due to their inherent resistance to electrical surges, the result of a design developed from many years of experience.

Like Country Home Elevator, Symmetry Elevating Solutions is out for the long-term happiness of our customers – which will, in the end, spell business success for all of us.

elevator control panel
Symmetry elevator control units use common and easily replaceable parts.

Elevators for the Pensmore Mansion

The Highlandville “Mystery Mansion,” long rumored to be the future pad of some anonymous celebrity, isn’t much of a mystery these days. A quick visit to Pensmore.com reveals that it’s simply an unusual house being built by a businessman named Stephen Huff for himself and his family. It’s also proof-of-concept for some of Mr. Huff’s innovative ideas regarding building safety, renewable energy, and futuristic construction techniques. Visit the Pensmore website for more details; it’s quite interesting.

Pensmore Manor getting home elevator
The Pensmore takes shape. More Pensmore photos by Craig Jones in our Photo Gallery >>
At 72,000 square feet, the Pensmore promises to be one of the largest dwellings in America when it is completed in 2013. Naturally such size means a greater need for enhanced mobility within the house, and that’s where Country Home Elevator comes in. We have been working with the Huff family and their contractors since they contacted us a few months ago about installing three elevators in the mansion. Currently, we are in the process of assisting with hoistway design and selection of optimal elevator units for the application. We look forward to completion of the project, and are happy to have a part in this remarkable undertaking. See our Photo Gallery for more images of the Pensmore in progress.

Leland Jones Attends Stannah Training

Country Home Elevator is constantly looking to improve its product knowledge to assure our customers the safest and best quality installation and service possible. In October we found out that we needed a specialist to be trained on the Stannah 260 curved stair lift product. We have serviced and maintained these units, but needed a current training certification. CHE has a network of Symmetry Elevating Solution partners across the US who offered to help in this training. HomeLift of Nashville, Tennessee and DME Access of Chicago, Illinois were the first to provide some options of local installations where our technical staff could get hands-on training. It took a couple weeks of coordinating schedules, but we were able to get Leland Jones to drive to Chicago and spend a day on the technical installation training required. It is our depth of national relationships that provides us the resources to have these opportunities. If you are looking for a Stannah stair lift for your home, please contact Craig Jones for Missouri, Kansas or Arkansas. Customers in Oklahoma can contact sales consultant Greta Walden at Country Home Elevator of Tulsa.

Custom Glass Elevator in HBA Parade of Homes

Country Home Elevator worked with Sam Clifton of Millstone Custom Homes to design and install a unique custom-built glass elevator in one of this year’s HBA showcase homes.

This project includes a custom designed cab with glass back wall panels and hoistway lighting to illuminate the cab exterior as it travels between the floors. We were able to maintain a great view of the golf course from the interior as well as in the cab as it travels between the three levels of this magnificent 10,000 sq. ft. home.

The cab wood interior was all finished to match the home interior and lighting systems integrated to turn on lights automatically as the elevator arrives at a floor. Hoistway doors also have full glass panels to allow light and a view with or without the elevator at the landing. Automatic cab gates allow for easy of operations and more complete accessibility and a trouble free operation.

Home Elevators are still a value add to any multi story home design. The volume of vacant multi-story homes without elevators has increased substantially in the past three years and realtors are calling weekly about how they can add an elevator to an existing home to make it more marketable. In this economy, every advantage is needed to make an existing home more broadly appealing.

The event took place from June 17th-26th at 3959 E. Huckle – Hickory Hills in Springfield, Missouri.

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