If you have found this page, you are looking for advice on what to look for when hiring a stair company. Vision Stairways and Millwork provides that advice, whether you decide to use us or go with someone else.
The Stair Manufacturers Association is the BBB of stair companies. The SMA vets all it's members to make sure they aren't fly-by-night felons with hammers and old trucks looking to make a buck off unsuspecting homeowners. Before contacting a stair company make sure you see the SMA logo on their website. If you don't, make a point to ask. If the answer is no move on to another company. Your staircases are too important to trust to just some guy. When you see the SMA logo, displayed prominently at the top right of this very page, you know you are getting real stair builders at the very least, and not just a contractor hiring guys off the side of the road. Look for it, trust in it.
Examples of previous work
All stair companies should have pictures of work they have previously done. You don't want a first-time builder figuring out how to do the job on your time. You also don't want someone who isn't proud enough of their work to take pictures. And you shouldn't have to ask to see them. A quick search of this site will turn up numerous images of jobs we have completed as well a simple quick look at the top menu reveals a gallery of before and after pictures. A look on our Facebook page will reveal ten times as many. If the company you are researching has no photographic evidence of their quality there is usually a reason. And that reason is mainly because the quality just isn't there.
Your stair salesperson should never stumble with answers when questioned about work. A company is only as good as the experience of their workers. But there is a secret to being able to tell whether you are dealing with a fresh-from-the-farm-league rookie and a seasoned professional. And asking the right questions could save you from the headache of choosing the wrong company and having to have someone else come in and finish the work right. The best way to find out if a salesperson is the real deal or not is to throw out some bogus dimensions on your staircase and see how they respond. See what they say when you tell them you want 8 inch risers. A good, knowledgeable salesperson will immediately inform you that will never meet code. Even if you aren't 100% sure what the question means, you now know the answer you should receive. If they agree to it, look for another company right away. Safety is a priority when it comes to stairs.
How they handle negative reviews
Any company that has done more than three jobs should have at least one good review. And any company that has done any volume of work will inevitably have at least one bad review floating around the Internet somewhere. Often times you can learn more from the negative reviews than the positive ones. Did the company offer to fix the work that wasn't satisfactory? Were they professional in their response? In the face of adversity how did they handle themselves? These are important questions. Not every job goes right all the time. You want to see how your stair company has reacted in the past to deal with customer complaints so you can have the piece of mind that if anything were to go wrong on your staircase, the company you choose would not leave you out in the cold. If you see no negative reviews, beware. Anyone in any business knows they come no matter how great your work is. And hiding them, or refusing to offer to make things right, is a huge red flag.
Do they do Finishing/Staining?
This is important, because a whole lot of companies do not do this and are not up front about it. What it means is that when you get your stairs installed, the job will not actually be finished because you will have to hire a third party to do the finishing and staining. This is an extra hassle you do not need. You want one company to finish the job it started. This should be one of the first questions you ask. If the answer is no, do not be convinced to stay with the company by a slick talking salesman. Take your business somewhere that will do the entire job for you and not skimp out on the final stages.
Can you meet with an owner or someone in charge?
If you are making a large purchase such as a staircase, the owner of the company should be able to make themselves available for you given proper time consideration. Remember, these are very busy people, and you may have to work around their schedule, but the personal touch of having the person in charge be willing to sit and speak with you can speak volumes about how the rest of the company works. Now that you have got to the end of this list, we hope you will do your research when hiring a stair company and consider Vision Stairways and Millwork. You will find we meet all these requirements and more. We also give free estimates and design consultations. Simply call us toll free at 800-701-5169 or at our corporate number, 678-701-5520, or you can fill out our quick customer contact form to the right of this page and a representative will contact you shortly.