Modernisation of the lift may become necessary for the following reasons:

  • repeated failures
  • service disruptions
  • increased maintenance costs
  • noise
  • unaligned stopping.

Modernisation of the lift will remove the above problems and increase safety. Replacing the doors of the lift with automatic doors and, if necessary, extending the trajectory of the lift to basement or attic spaces will also make the building more accessible.


Repairs mean restoring the lift or component to the original condition, or replacing a component with a component identical or equivalent to the original component. The requirements in effect at the time of original installation of the lift are applicable to the repairs.


Alteration means the replacement of a component or structural subsystem with a component or subsystem that deviates from the original assembly. The upgraded components or structural subsystems installed to the lift must conform to the technical requirements currently in effect, i.e., the Lifts Directive.

When new components or structural subsystems in conformity with the current requirements are retrofitted to existing lifts, the overall impact of such an alteration on the operation of the entire lift assembly must be ascertained. The person carrying out the alteration should conduct a risk assessment to ensure that the safety of the lift will not deteriorate in any respect.


In a modernisation, the lift is only partially upgraded. Typically, the modernisation includes upgrading the electrical and control systems, the lifting machinery, the alarm system, the car and the doors. If only the structures of the building core reserved for the lift, such as the lift shaft and the machine room, are kept intact, this kind of work is not considered a modernisation but an installation of a new lift. In connection with modernisation, the essential structures or components of the original lift assembly must remain intact or be restored to their original condition.

Lift replacement

In terms of safety, the best option is to replace the existing lift by installing an entirely new lift. In this case, the entire new lift will comply with the current requirements.

The structures of the existing lift can be used in the installation of the new lift, if such structures conform to the requirements currently in effect.

As a rule, the new lift installed to replace an existing lift is subject to the same requirements as new lifts. There are, however, some exceptions in the technical requirements. These exceptions are specified in standard SFS-EN 81-21.

The obligations of lift installers and the verification of conformity of lifts are set out in the Lift Safety Act. Before commissioning the lift, specific procedures pursuant to the Lifts Directive 2014/33/EU to ensure conformity shall be carried out, the lift shall be labelled with a CE certificate and a declaration of conformity shall be issued for the lift.