Standard Lifts vs Custom Lifts

Not all lift companies specialise in bespoke lift design, which is what makes Sheridan Lifts so special. Rather than only creating lifts using basic building design details, the team at Sheridan Lifts can also use our specialist knowledge to supply commercial buildings with lift design services that are certain to result in a seamless elevator experience. 

There has been much debate about elevator design and whether custom lifts are superior to standard lifts. In this article, we will:

  • Outline what bespoke and standard lifts are
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of custom lifts
  • Explore which lifts are right for your project

Keep reading to find out more about intuitive lift design. 

What Is a Custom Lift?

Much like the name suggests, a custom lift is a specially designed elevator, built specifically with the client in mind. This might be actioned in the form of building a tailor-made lift to suit specific requirements, or it might consist of a modern lift design being adapted to better meet the needs of a client. 

There are several different reasons why someone might require a custom lift. Here are a few of them:

Standard Lifts vs Custom Lifts

Getting a Lift That Matches Personal Requirements 

For areas that have a particularly large footfall, custom lifts are the perfect way to ensure that you can keep the flow of traffic moving easily. Shopping centres, in particular, are one such place that would benefit from large capacity lifts. 

Service lifts for commercial buildings often require a bespoke build to ensure they are suitable for use.

Listed Buildings 

Custom lifts offer an ideal solution for those with listed buildings, as they can be designed to fit with the often challenging requirements of the building – not to mention the vast array of lift standards and building regulations that must be fulfilled. 

With so many different rules and regulations that must be adhered to when it comes to listed buildings, custom lifts are really the way to go. In order to prevent damage or impact on the existing architecture or infrastructure, lifts in these buildings often have to be squeezed into very small spaces. 

The good news is that this provides a great opportunity for you to get creative. Whether it’s an old cupboard that’s being transformed and created with a black back panel or perhaps a stairwell, you can run wild with a range of finishes so you can work with the aesthetics of the building to achieve an authentic finish. 

Here at Sheridan Lifts, we have a wealth of experience working with listed buildings, so you can be rest assured that all rules and regulations will be adhered to at all times, and an innovative solution will be implemented in order maximise both space efficiency and accessibility. 

Reworking to Building Adaptations and Designs

For those who have a specific lift design vision, Sheridan Lifts can help you to design a lift floor that works with the available space in residential buildings, meaning you can choose from a range of colours, materials, panel options, and elevator lighting solutions. Tinted glass or transparent mirror glass are popular options where aesthetics are concerned, as are lifts with additional features, like blue light settings. 

With advances in technology coming thick and fast, you can change more than just your lift’s handrail panel, leading to modern and futuristic designs. Asymmetry is one of the key features here and in all futuristic design ideas, so don’t be afraid to get inventive with your designs.

What Are Standard Lifts?

At Sheridan Lifts, we offer a range of standard lifts such as our energy-saving lift range. If you decide to go with a standard lift, you can choose from a variety of existing car sizes, styles, and classic materials. However, unlike with custom lifts,  there isn’t the option of tailoring the design beyond this. 

So, you might be wondering what kind of shapes and sizes standard lifts come in. Let us fill you in. 

Standard Lifts vs Custom Lifts

Typically, when talking about standard lifts, it’s passenger lifts that are being referred to. However, at Sheridan Lifts, we can offer standard sizes for: 

  • Goods passenger lifts
  • Dumbwaiter lifts
  • Car lifts
  • Service lifts
  • Fire and evacuation lifts
  • Access lifts

In this article, we will be referring to standard lifts as classic passenger lifts for the sake of ease, but rest assured that there are tons of other ‘standard lifts’ available. 

What Dimensions Do Standard Lifts Come In?

As a rule, standard passenger lift dimensions vary depending on the required number of passengers to be carried. This is to ensure the safety of passengers. More specifically, standard residential elevator sizes can be as small as 800mm x 800mm for private houses, but this might go up to 3m2 depending on building requirements and regulations.

Accessibility Considerations

As stipulated in the Equality Act 2010, compliant residential elevators must have the necessary adaptations for wheelchair users. This means at least 1250mm x 800mm, with no on low incline, and the appropriate door width. 

In terms of commercial elevator sizes, usually they comply with the Equality Act 2010, as they would have had to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 before that. Nevertheless, it is a crucial consideration for any new elevator or new building. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of elevators, bespoke or standard, are square or rectangular. This provides maximum functionality in terms of people it can physically fit and carry, the weight it can withstand, and ease of design and maintenance.  

Standard lifts are the most convenient option to use when you are dealing with compact spaces and in multi-storey buildings. According to UK regulations, passenger lifts are the preferred way of vertical transportation. 

Traction and Hydraulic Lifts

The two most common types of elevators are traction and hydraulic elevators. As might be expected, traction elevators are powered by steel hoists, whilst the hydraulic systems operate using pistons. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about hydraulic lifts, we have a more detailed handy guide here

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Lifts

In this section, to help you decide whether a custom lift is right for you, we’ll take you through some of the core advantages and disadvantages of their versatility of design. 

Standard Lifts vs Custom Lifts

The Affordability of Standard vs Custom Lifts

It goes without saying that standard lifts might be considerably more affordable than custom lifts, depending on the building designer or building layout. Lift prices vary a lot depending on the lift company and our quotation prices, but as a whole, you can expect a basic hydraulic lift with standard installation to cost between £23,000 and £28,000. 

Because there are so many different considerations for lifts, not to mention building costs, the cost of a custom lift will vary depending on the preferences of the individual. If you want to get an accurate quote, get in touch via our contact page

We will work with you to gain an understanding of your needs, and promptly follow up regarding pricing options. As a company, we have designed lifts to fit a wide range of budgets, so you’re certain to receive a quote at a cost that works for you, whatever lift type you’re after. 

Designing and Planning Custom Lift Projects 

Designing custom lift projects is obviously a more time and resource-intensive process than a standard lift. Some individuals go for a minimalist approach, whilst others want only natural materials and a colour scheme that matches their office space, for example. 

Inevitably, designing and planning a custom lift will take a lot more time and thought than would go into the same for an ordinary, standard lift, so you have to be willing to accept the benefits along with the drawbacks when it comes to having a bespoke lift created and fitted. 

If you know you want a custom lift fitted into your home or building, but don’t know whether to go for a certain colour combination or whether marble materials look better than metallic materials, you can learn more about the designing and planning of custom lift projects here.  

Lift Maintenance and Repairs

You might have sensed a theme going on here – lift maintenance and repairs can potentially be easier with a standard lift than they are with custom lifts. This will have nothing to do with the aesthetic considerations, such as the chosen colour palette, but more to do with the operational panels and lift shaft itself. 

When lifts are custom made, they also need to be ‘custom fixed’. In other words, they often can’t be repaired or maintained with regular products and replacements and will need specialised equipment or parts to fix or maintain them, unlike with standard lifts where regular parts can be ordered in with ease or are commonly already on hand.  

On the other hand, you certainly get what you pay for. A custom lift provider will have seen your project through from inception to completion, so will know the ins and outs of your elevator like the back of their hand. Coupled with our extensive knowledge and experience in the industry, it’s fair to say that Sheridan Lifts are more than capable of quickly and cost effectively maintaining and repairing all manner of custom lifts, no matter how complex it might be. 

Complex Lift Projects

With Sheridan Lifts, you’ll benefit from years of experience when it comes to planning your custom lift project. No matter the scale of the job, our team has seen it all and will be able to advise on the best plan of action to get your dream lift built. Whatever the intended function of your custom lift, we will ensure that each and every component is carried out to the highest of standards, so you are left with a custom lift with optimum performance

When designing your custom lift, you’ll have the option of testing out colour and material samples from a palette before you decide on anything for certain, so let your imagination run wild, knowing that whatever you choose can be delivered. 

Standard Lifts vs Custom Lifts

Are Custom or Standard Lifts Right for Your Project? How Sheridan Lifts Can Help You

Since it was founded in 1979, the team at Sheridan Lifts have worked alongside our customers to help make their dream designs a reality, whether that’s a standard lift or a custom one. Our values include providing next level product care, specialist knowledge and implementation – and all with the utmost level of customer service. 

The team will work with you during the planning, designing, and installation process to ensure that everything goes according to your plan. The company’s reputation for quality workmanship and customer service is second to none, and with a collective 40 years of experience, it’s no wonder that the team is known as one of the most hard-working and passionate out there. 

If you’re unsure whether a bespoke lift is right for your residential, commercial, medical or industrial property, get in touch with the team today