What Custom vs. Modified vs. Standard Means at SnapCab

SnapCab Heritage Elevator Interior - metallic grey and light brown wood paneling with side handles, shot from floor angle

Elevators rely on balance to operate safely and efficiently. Balance is equally essential to the success of your elevator interior projects: you need to evaluate timelines and budgets – without compromising aesthetics – and deliver solutions that work. Which is the best way to do that: standard, modified, or custom interiors? Read on to weigh your options.

SnapCab: Redefining “Standard” Elevator Interiors

SnapCab’s patented system of interlocking panels work with virtually any elevator cab. You simply choose a design and the features your client wants from our comprehensive catalog. It’s that easy.

Benefits of opting for a standard SnapCab elevator interior model include:

  • Major Efficiencies. Modular systems allow for maximized yields on raw materials, streamlined production practices, and utilization of standard components. Every step of the process, from quoting and approvals, to ordering and installing, is faster – and much less expensive.
  • Wide array of Design Options. Often, though, when people hear “standard,” they think “boring Z clip laminate panels.” And that can be true – of other systems. SnapCab’s interiors are designed for adaptability. A modular system starts with a standard panel configuration. The composition of the layers has a myriad of color and texture choices built in that allow for flexible design combinations.
  • Code Compliance without the Hassle. Standard products are end-use configuration tested. For example, wall panels consist of a surface material, substrate, and adhesive. All of these are tested as a complete assembly to ensure they comply with applicable codes. Straight out of the catalog, you can be assured that these systems meet applicable fire regulations.
  • Innovative Materials. Through the use of innovative materials, notably Gorilla® Glass, Móz, and Gage, standard cabs can pop with color and come alive with clarity and beauty. You can achieve exact color matches and take advantage of beautiful patterns and textures.

Other materials, such as Wilsonart® Laminate, Wilsonart® Compact, and Rigidized® Metals, offer the perfect blend of form and function, helping achieve the right look and feel.

SnapCab’s standard models offer versatility, variety, and results that won’t break the budget or your schedule. Not to mention, they look great.

Need Something Else? Modified Elevator Interiors

Modified elevator interiors use existing designs and layouts as a foundation and alter them to fit the cab and the client’s needs. Say, for instance, that you like the Prism model, but you only want the Gorilla Glass on the back wall to save some money or it better fits your buildings design. SnapCab will then quote you a Modified Prism with whatever material from the catalog you want on the side walls. This is one case in which a modified interior can help you achieve your project goals.

Benefits of working with a modified elevator interior include:

  • Greater Flexibility. If the standard model doesn’t have quite the right look, you can alter standard catalog models to create a perfect fit. We can modify layouts, material combinations, inlay styles, and other elements to accommodate your needs.
  • Cost- and Time-Savings. Modifying an existing model is less expensive and requires far less lead time than undertaking a full custom job. The base for the modified interior already exists: you don’t have to wait for manufacturers or suppliers to reinvent that wheel. They just need to enhance it a bit.
  • Code Compliance. Because you’re not building from scratch, the modified SnapCab models will still be end-use configuration tested. This ensures they’re code-compliant when you receive them.

While a great solution for any number of projects, modified interiors do have a few drawbacks:

  • Increased Cost. Yes, we did just say modified interiors saved you money! And they do – compared to custom jobs. Alterations, though, may push the cost higher than a standard model. Swapping finishes or switching for a higher-end material, for instance, will likely increase the price.
  • Slightly Longer Processes. Again, this is compared to standard models. Catalog versions, for instance, can be quoted in minutes. For a modified interior, that can slightly extend the quoting time-frame to a day or two. Likewise, lead times can be longer and, depending on the modifications, installation may be more time-consuming.

Starting from Scratch: Custom Cabs

Custom interiors are built from the ground up, so to speak, with each detail tailored to the exact specifications of the client. This can apply to every aspect of the interior, from panel size, material, and finishes to ceilings, inlays, and toe kicks.

Now, when most people hear “custom,” they tend to think “better!” There is certainly a cache to custom models, and the results can be stunning. The benefits of customized cabs include:

  • They can meet client specifications exactly. This enables architects and designers to create interiors that complement the rest of the building without compromising on any detail.
  • They allow unlimited freedom. While professionals still have to work within applicable guidelines and regulations, they are not limited to specific color pallets, finishes, or material choices.

Here comes the “but.” But custom does have a number of disadvantages, including:

  • Lost Efficiencies. The efficiencies offered by standard is lost with custom jobs. Manufacturers essentially have to start from zero and build something they’ve never built before. This means it takes longer to do everything – from quoting to ordering to installing. As we mentioned earlier, for example, a standard cab takes a few minutes to quote, while a modified interior may take an extra day. Custom quotes can take a week or longer. And this is just one piece of the process.
  • Increased Cost. The lengthened processes and need to custom-manufacture each element drives the cost higher.
  • Mandated Testing. Custom interiors are not usually covered under the end-use configuration testing that SnapCab conducts on its standard models. This means that each assembly has to be tested to ensure that it meets applicable regulations. Failure to comply can cause costly delays.

Before you set your mind to custom, though, make sure you talk to one of our Interior Specialists to see if there is a standard or modified interior that closely meets your projects needs. Often, alternative materials or methods can render a custom job unnecessary. A value-engineered solution may be able to save customers money – and save you time and headaches. The lead-time for Snapcab to fabricate an interior can fluctuate based on design. For instance, and standard interior will take less time to fab a cab compared to a custom design, so get started today!

When completing an elevator interior build or remodel, you have to weigh budgets, timelines, and aesthetic concerns and help your customer install a solution that will meet their specific needs. In most cases, standard or modified can help you find the right balance.

Learn more about the SnapCab team.