Selecting Interior Design Elements With Your Customer | 3 Preparation Tips

When it comes to selecting design elements for a new cab interior, building owners or people responsible for managing their project often aren’t aware of what limitations they have. You may feel inundated with information about various cab interior systems, and with the advancement of technology, the decision process has become much more complicated.

Here are some basic tips to help you get the interior design process started on the right foot. 

Tip 1: What are the weight limitations of a new cab interior?

Since national code allows for a 5% increase in weight based on the total of the dead weight of the cab + full capacity of the elevator, it’s imperative that you know how much additional weight you have to work with. Knowing this upfront either widens or narrows the possibilities for the cabs’ interior design.

Tip #2: What is more important: the budget or design?

All cab interior-related projects are faced with this dilemma. It’s like asking whether the chicken or the egg comes first. Generally speaking, all projects have budgets but some projects are more motivated by one or the other.

Usually, it’s very clear when your customer is more focused on a budget over design. When this is the case, the journey through “design decision land” is fairly straightforward. When the design decision is not solely budget-based, you can navigate the process a little easier if you take the following information into consideration:

Navigating the design decision

It’s been said that in order to understand where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. When it comes to navigating design decisions this old adage couldn’t be truer. Take the earliest opportunity to understand the design limitations of your project and communicate them with your customer. It’s up to you to bridge the gap between the common perception of traditional interior design and elevator interior design.

In your case, “understanding the limitations” relates to a variety of things:

     – The design and material possibilities in consideration of the 5% weight rule +/-

     – The design and material possibilities in consideration of the budget

     – Pre-mod cab interior & shell condition

     – Maintenance ideals

Next, translate these limitations into real-world terms so that your customer understands how they impact the design. To help them understand, provide them with resources that will help set realistic expectations. Try using pictures–they speak 1,000-words. We’re not referring to architectural renders here, but real photos of real projects that display accurate lighting and depict how cab interiors really look.

Some people use elevator interior design software to help them visualize how different materials will look. There are various material vendors that offer this, although doing so requires them to provide their contact information and email address (and then suffer the consequences of receiving solicitation offers through email or phone calls—not a great experience in our opinion).

Whichever method you choose, chances are good that your customer will conduct some preliminary research on their own. If they do, embrace the opportunity to help them prioritize what they really want. Review whatever information they provide to you and make interpretations as it relates to an elevator interior. For example, explain why mirrors are not a good design element unless daily maintenance is planned.

Tip #3: Pinpoint appropriate interior designs that will work for their cab before your customer gets emotionally connected to particular interior design.

Unfortunately, the interior’s appearance is often the sole factor driving its design. When decisions are made about the design and finishes without consulting with the cab interior manufacturer you miss out on solving critical issues that reveal themselves during installation. Cab interior specialists can provide insight into which interior systems will work best given particular existing cab conditions. Existing cabs are often out of square or have bowed walls. Sometimes the walls are open-sided or constructed of wood, conditions which greatly affect the possibility of which designs can be executed.

So, how do you determine what appropriate interior designs will work for your cab condition?

With so many variables and different cab conditions, this is an answer better explained through a conversation with a cab interior engineering & manufacturing expert.

In conclusion, the cab interior design selection process involves more players than one, each with their own definition of success. It requires communication, investigation and carefully-made decisions if the project is to be controllable, maintainable, and also meet everyone’s expectations. By understanding the possibilities and considering focused options, the road to making design decisions is easier.

Scroll down to view a small sample of interiors updated through modernization.

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