Modern man may take for granted the mechanism that takes us up 100 floors or more in buildings around the world, perhaps because the rudimentary elements of the elevator have been around since ancient Rome. Early elevators were open cars or platforms with pulley systems that were manually operated by animals, people, or water wheels and used mostly as a means to transport heavy materials. It was not until the mid-eighteenth century that the first passenger elevator was designed. King Louis XV had the first elevator in his residence in Versailles. Thought to be the first of its kind with doors that could be opened and closed, it resembled the more modern version that we are now familiar with. It may come as no surprise that elevators are once again a status symbol in some homes. However, for A+ Elevators, a company that manufactures accessibility products of all types, that is only one aspect of their business.
For in-home use, residential elevators can be extremely elaborate in design and aesthetic, mobility, or both. If you can envision it, A+ Elevators can make it a reality. A+ does all custom fabrication with fastidious care and detail. This encompasses not only home elevators but lifts and all types of accessibility products including wheelchair lifts, dumbwaiters, freight lifts, and child safety designs. All of these products are manufactured and engineered with the same safety criteria developed throughout the company’s decades-long experience in commercial and industrial lift systems, safety, and guidelines. Whether it is a 100-pound dumbwaiter or a 20,000-pound semi elevator, A+ does all design manufacturing and equipment servicing in-house.
“We are a family of employees. We listen, because it’s about making that concept a reality, and safety and engineering are where we have to figure out how to make it work for the client.”
– Chris Harris, A+ Elevators
The firm’s owner and founder Chris Harris is a humble hometown businessman and he considers A+ to be a family company. “A family of employees,” as Harris describes, some of whom have been with the company since it opened. It is therefore no surprise that first-time clients are treated like family from the moment they step in the door. Employees work with a homeowner very closely, as well as with architects, builders, and designers every step of the way. A+ Elevators is involved in all aspects of the process of having an elevator in your home or business. It all starts with a client’s specific vision or need and it is the A+ mission to make that a realization. “We listen, because it’s about making that concept a reality, and safety and engineering are where we have to figure out how to make it work for the client,” says Harris.
Harris strives to give back personally and professionally to the community that is his home. Two local organizations are especially close to his heart—Festival of Trees, a Christmas charity that donates resources to the well-known Primary Children’s Hospital, providing medical care to children of all ages, and the Wheelin’ Jazz basketball team, a non-profit organization and a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association that competes on a professional level. Harris is also active in the business community’s Realtor and Home Builder Associations, participating in association events and holidays and donating to families who need equipment and resources. Harris aims to share knowledge about his industry as well as learn from others to work together and offer the unique A+ products and services to homeowners and business owners alike.
Always putting safety and quality ahead of the dollar, Harris sits on many boards within the industry, including regulating, safety code, and design elements. Harris ensures that his staff stays current with changes in the industry through continuing education and industry safety training programs twice a year. To ensure this quality and safety, A+ does all the design and manufacturing in-house as well as the preventive maintenance service that home and commercial elevators and accessories require.
The relationships that A+ Elevators has with its clients begin the moment they step in the door and develop throughout the entire process, from a client’s idea and needs to design, manufacturing, and the entire life of the product. “There are many options out there,” says Harris, “and what we feel sets us apart is that we treat everybody like family.” Whatever your precious cargo may be, Harris and A+ Elevators will treat it like their own.