March 2017

Why take the stairs...When you can take the elevator

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Your arms are loaded with groceries, the dog needs to go out, the package at your door is too heavy to carry up the stairs, your elderly mom is coming to visit, or you just got a new knee and can’t safely navigate steps yet. Whether you are tired of climbing on your own power or are unable to do so, Elevator-Lift Systems, Inc. has a solution for you.

According to Debbie McCandless, who owns the local business along with her husband Jeff, residential elevators have gone from the ultimate home luxury to the ultimate home appliance. A necessity for many, a convenience for others, there’s no denying that elevators are red hot in Lowcountry homes, adding to the homeowners’ enjoyment, increasing resale value and even boosting the aesthetic.

“This is one luxury homeowners come to count on,” said McCandless’s daughter Erica Welliver, operations director.

Elevator boutique
With a growing demand for elevators, the name of the game is options, options, options. “We are focused on a new concept we are calling the elevator boutique—custom and unique options for your elevator interior,” Welliver said. “The custom home industry is all about personalizing your new home to make it your own, and Elevator Lift Systems, Inc. wants your vertical transportation to be a part of that.”

Boutique elevator cabs are handcrafted beginning with a collection of hardwoods or metals for the cab’s paneling. Homeowners choose from a wide range of exotic hardwoods to textured metals and mirrors for paneling, custom light fixtures and flooring options. “The hottest Elevator Boutique cabs are industrial metals right now,” Welliver said.

Whether you are looking for an antique or retro design or something more sleek and modern, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and personal taste, as function meets beauty and your elevator system becomes an integral part of your home design.

New installs, upgrades and repairs
New elevator systems can readily be installed in existing homes where there are stacked closets or where there is an open space in a garage over a closet. In fact, most architects today are ahead of the game in home design. “It’s kind of standard for architects to pre-spec them in. They are easy to install in that situation,” McCandless said. “We can also add elevator shafts outside the home or do a platform lift outdoors that will take you from a ground level to a porch so you can access it from outside.”

If you have an existing elevator, in addition to a cosmetic makeover, Elevator Lift Systems can meet all your service and repair needs. They can replace the cab, upfit it for a more modern look and/or replace electrical computer components to make it like new. “These kinds of modernizations can give homeowners another 30 years of use from their existing elevators,” Welliver said. “We’ve seen a lot of interest in that.”

Most recently, Elevator Lift Systems has been focused on helping homeowners get back into their elevators after Hurricane Matthew. “We’ve been redoing interior cabs as well as modernizing controllers and electrical parts that were damaged due to flooding or power surges to electrical components,” McCandless explained. “Elevators have thousands of parts, and depending on what year they were purchased, they would have different components that might need to be replaced. We track them down to repair the unit instead of a complete replacement.”

Experience that counts
While quality pieces and parts are essential, it’s the people who make the magic, starting with the office staff and continuing through to service and installation. “Our people are really important. We have some great guys who have been with us a long time. We are committed to being a team—working together and getting everything that’s on the plate done,” McCandless said, adding that Elevator Lift Systems, Inc. technicians are local and trained to the highest standard of certifications and continuing education.

“We are so very proud of our service and installation crews, who have extensive industry experience and training,” Welliver said. “They are customer-oriented and completion-focused. Whether it’s a repair or an installation, we are going to get the job done.”

Starting their elevator business on Hilton Head Island 37 years ago, the McCandless family has seen many other elevator companies come and go, as well as several manufacturers. They have also seen shifts in the economy and have made the appropriate adjustments to grow their business and build a solid reputation.
The motto at Elevator Lift Systems, Inc is: “We have the products and the people of the future, and we are here to take you to the next level!” 

Elevator Lift Systems is based at 365 Red Cedar St., Suite 104 in Bluffton. Technicians are certified in South Carolina and Georgia and are on call 24 hours a day. The company installs and services elevators in a broad region, from Brunswick to Savannah, Ga. and on Hilton Head Island, in Bluffton and Beaufort, S.C. For more information, visit or call (843) 785-7101 (Hilton Head Island) or (843) 837-7900 (Bluffton).

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