Community Elevator Reserve Funds – Helping Communities prevent premature modernizations

Reserve FundV2Balancing reserve funds and knowing how and when to modernize an elevator can be a challenging task for many community managers.  To compound the problem, the community may not have established a reserve fund for elevators, creating a potential unwanted special assessment.

Two benefits of a reserve fund analysis for elevators

Communities that establish a thoughtful reserve fund for elevators benefit by:


  1. Having capital funds when needed – Planning for a modernization at the end of the useful life of the elevator ensures that the funds will be available when needed.
  2. Insisting that elevator contractors properly maintain and protect an elevator investment for the useful life of that asset. Often elevator contractors don’t perform to their maintenance commitment, thereby creating degradation in your elevator components and a need for premature repairs and modernization. Let’s face it; with proper maintenance your elevator system should function as designed throughout its useful life.

Three reasons communities should modernize their elevator system

Even with a robust maintenance approach, there are three very good reasons to modernize an elevator system.

  1. Performance – Newer systems can improve the overall performance of an elevator and its operations. It will meet the latest code and safety requirements.
  2. Aesthetics – Elevators, just like lobbies and offices, will show wear and tear over time. Periodically, communities should upgrade the look and interior of an elevator to protect the image of the community and preserve property values.  These aesthetic improvements will most likely be on a different cycle from system modernizations.
  3. Reliability – Some elevator components can become obsolete and affect the overall reliability and repairability of an elevator system. Just image if you are looking for a new component for a Kaypro luggable computer from the 1980’s.  Many of today’s elevators are of the same vintage technology.

A Good Reserve Study

A good reserve study should highlight the useful remaining life of each major component, detail the current replacement cost for that component, present an analysis using inflation and interest rates, and demonstrate an understand  of your current reserves.  The study should have the flexibility to be updated and adjusted annually based upon market conditions.

Three things Community Managers should insist that an Elevator Contractor provide

Community managers looking to protect their community’s elevator assets should insist that their elevator contractors have:

  1. A detailed elevator reserve fund analysis with pictures and tools for community management.
  2. A robust maintenance program built to preserve your asset throughout its useful life. Can your contractor guarantee and demonstrate that it is performing regular maintenance as committed? Make sure that your contractor can prove work through pictures and documentation.
  3. A commitment to preserve your elevator to its original condition throughout its useful life. Is you contractor constantly trying to sell you on upgrades or bill you for recurring callbacks? If so, it may not have your community’s long term interest in mind.

Charter Elevator has your solution

Charter Elevator has the expertise to deliver a robust elevator reserve fund analysis and establish an asset preservation maintenance program for your community.  It is our mission to help our clients preserve their assets until the right time for modernization.  Our virtual management program, CharterView, is the only customer communication tool of its kind in the industry today.  Visit Charter Elevator at or call us at 877-632-4278 to learn more.

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