Preparing Your Home for an Elevator Install

SONY DSCSo you have decided to include a residential elevator and you contacted us for a quote, you may be wondering what the next steps are. While Federal Elevator will provide you with a quality residential elevator, we are do not provide you with the hoistway that will enclose the elevator. We recommend that you work with a reputable contractor which can construct a proper hoistway and to also have the drawings of the hoistway approved by a structural engineer to ensure safe operation. Here are some other items that we will require you to provide before we can install your elevator:

• The hoistway shall be adequately enclosed, plumb, smooth interior surfaces and with one load bearing wall to meet the requirement of local codes.
• 8” minimum pit depth.
• A substantial, level pit floor slab to support loads (as indicated on General Layout).
• If required, pit water proofing or sump pump.
• Adequate support for guide rail fastenings (as indicated on General Layout).
• 96″ minimum overhead (this measurement is the distance from floor at upper level to underside of roof).

• Machine room to meet the requirement of local codes.
• A lockable Fused/Cartridge Type Disconnect Switch with auxiliary contact/switch to provide for emergency battery lowering that will allow the elevator with power to operate.
• 110 VAC lighting supply and fused disconnect for cab lights.
• Sleeves/Conduit for hydraulic hose and electrical ducts from machine room into hoistway as required.

• All doors, frames, and door hardware for all landings must be provided by you. Please note that the return walls on either side or above entrances must not be constructed until after the elevator contractor has marked where the doors and frames shall be located.
• It is necessary to add barricades outside the elevator hoistway for the protection of other trades or building occupants while the hoistway is without landing doors.

We will provide you with the General Layout which contains dimensions that were calculated for your project. You should always refer to and follow these dimensions and specifications as they pertain to your specific job.
All of this may sound complicated, but it is pretty straightforward. Know that you can contact us if you have any questions or require clarification. Trust us, we’ve been doing this for almost 30 years!SONY DSC


Safety Features Included in our Residential Elevators

A common inquiry that we receive from potential clients is: “What safety features are included in my residential elevator?”. This is an important question as unlike commercial elevators, residential elevators in Ontario and in most North American jurisdictions are not required to meet any specific code and are not required to be inspected upon turn-over to the client. It is wise to inform yourself on the safety features that are available as your home elevator will transport your life’s most precious cargo…….family, friends and pets.


SONY DSCAs a reputable elevator manufacturer we ensure that our residential elevators are equipped with numerous safety features so that each unit will operate in a safe and secure manner. These are some of our passenger safety features:

  • EMERGENCY BATTERY BACKUP POWER will activate many of the safety features described below. This system is rechargeable with an automatic recharging system that automatically works when normal power functions are not available.
  • EMERGENCY LOWERING DEVICE in the event of a power failure, this device will be powered by the backup battery and will allow the passenger to choose a floor (only in the downward position). When the destination is reached the doors will open for the passenger to exit.
  • EMERGENCY LIGHTING SYSTEM is provided in the cab and it shall automatically illuminate in the event of a main power failure.
  • ALARM button is located inside the elevator and can be activated in case of emergency to alert anyone nearby that someone in the elevator requires assistance.
  • DOOR INTERLOCKS are installed at every door entrance. This feature is designed to prevent operation of the elevator unless the hoistway door is closed and locked and to prevent opening of the hoistway door from the landing unless the elevator car is within the landing zone.
  • FINAL LIMIT SWITCH cuts off all power to the elevator if the upper normal terminal stopping devices fail.
  • LEVELING DEVICE a 2-way leveling device which will maintain the car within 13mm (½”) of the landing to avoid a tripping hazard.
  • HANDRAIL is included inside the elevator to provide support to the passenger if required.
  • TELEPHONE (Upgraded feature) located inside the cab and connected to a land line, this feature can used to inform others of an emergency.
  • FLOW CONTROL VALVE controls the speed of the elevator by the elevator mechanic.
  • SLACK/BROKEN CABLE DEVICE this device will stop and sustain the elevator and its rated load if either of the hoisting cables become slack or breaks.
  • CAR DOOR CONTACT located on top of the cab, this feature will prevent the elevator from running unless the car gate is closed.
  • INFRARED LIGHT CURTAIN (applicable to elevators with accordion doors) runs adjacent to the accordion gate and acts as an invisible shield to the entrance of the cab. The elevator will not move from the landing if the path of the lasers is broken.

There are other safety features not listed here as they are only used by technicians during servicing. Our elevators are designed to keep our clients and our technicians safe!


If you have any questions, please email Keep in mind that you can see many of these safety features in our Showroom.




Why Home Builders, Architects and Designers Should Include Elevators in Their Residential Projects

Federal Elevator’s resSONY DSCidential line is unique and can be used as a way to anticipate client’s needs and wants through the span of their family’s life. An elevator provides accessibility and investment for those that have the necessity and budget to allow for it in their home. This feature can make people’s lives easier on a daily basis and for years to come and is a way for them to future-proof their home.


An elevator helps to increase mobility and ease of access for homeowners and eliminates having to relocate if lifestyle or needs change. By 2050, it is estimated that over 32% of the Canadian population will be 60 years of age or older. As a homebuilder and designer, appealing to the growing senior market makes sense. An elevator can increase the value of a property by 10% and adds uniqueness that will set the home apart from other listings.


Although an elevator can be added through a renovation, it’s much easier for builders to think of it early on and to include it in the design process. Keep the following pointers when planning a home. Ensure that stacked closets or alcoves are included on all levels, this makes it easy to transform this space into an elevator hoistway when the need arises. Rough-in all of the elevator’s electrical needs. Create an 8” minimum pit at the lowest level of the home covered with false flooring until it is required. Finally, ensure that there are no load bearing beams in the areas where the elevator is roughed in to go. These simple tips will help you to be able to offer this feature and will also help your clients with renovation costs and ease of construction should they decide to add an elevator at a later date.


As a builder, it is important for you to consider the elevator company that you want to build a partnership with. We are confident that we can be that partner as we can provide you with a solid product along with excellent service. Here are some other reasons why you should consider Federal Elevator:


  • Provide special pricing for home builders with multiple projects.
  • We can offer you a Show cab for your Décor Center.
  • Learn more about us and our process by attending one of our free informative Lunch & Learn sessions.
  • Our dedicated in-house Engineering, highly trained Manufacturing Team and our TSSA-certified Installer Teams work in unison to customize every project.
  •  We are a reliable company with over 25 years experience and have a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.
  • Don’t take our word for it, come visit us! Our Showroom, the largest in Canada, has functioning elevators on display. This is a benefit as you can see our product and manufacturing plant for yourself.


Whether improving, building or investing in a home, the bottom line is that an elevator is a smart feature to offer. When you decide to go ahead with the process, please contact us at or at (905) 458-4015 ext. 238 for more information. It would be our pleasure to help you with this endeavour.




On our way to Tampa, NAEC here we come!

By: Florence Facchini


Here is a photo of our crate awaiting for the shipper to pick up. The crate has now gone and Alan and I are next to go on Monday afternoon. The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) 64th Annual Fall Conference takes place in Tampa from September 22 – 26. NAEC is an association of elevator contractors, suppliers of products and services, and other industry professionals. The Association serves the interests of the industry by promoting safety in the elevator industry and advocating excellence in the management of member companies.


Federal Elevator is a proud member of this Association and has been exhibiting at their Annual Conference for over 15 years. This year we have been assigned booth #1000. Look for show photos on our Facebook page.




This is one of the several door opening options that Federal Elevator offers. Bi-parting doors are a great option for the client who is looking for a modern and elegant entrance to their elevator. They are finished in a brushed stainless steel and are fully automatic. Bi-parting doors are widely appreciated by many clients for their durability, stability and sturdy design. The professionals at Federal Elevator can help you in designing the ideal elevator for you, send an email to for more information on this or any other feature.