What’s Your Best Tip For Working With Stairs?

3 U 422 Wfb Am22 Talking Shop Ron Teljeur

Ed Sheridan

1-inch scrapers and detail (triangle) sanders are a must!





Make sure you measure your rise to run before you start installing, have a Stair Wizard or angle finder, and measure each step before you start cutting a bunch.




Ken Petersen

Don’t be afraid to charge because they will always take longer than you think. You want to be happy doing them, not ticked off ’cause you didn’t charge enough!




Jorge Perez

Invest in tools that get you there fairly quickly. Make sure you have a good file.




Jim Hyde

Pull the spindles whenever possible.




Ron Teljeur

Learn some carpentry skills to properly do more complex details. There’s lots of money to be had by doing more than basic work. Also far less competition. And buy or build a good marking jig!




James Harbour

Measure two or three times before you make a cut!





Learn how to use a scraper; it will be your best bud.




Chris Traver

Use a stair jig for installs—it lets you find the angle of the skirts and gives you exact length at the same time. Use a sharp utility blade to mark uncut treads; this helps avoid chips and is more accurate than a pencil line.




Steven Triplett Jr.

Finish everything you can in the shop. I see a lot of young guys staining and finishing in place.




Jim Dalton

They are a ton of handwork, it almost always takes longer than you think. Make sure to not bid too low. Also make sure you have a very good vibrating sander!




Michael Schuetz

Take your time—mistakes are often made when you’re rushing.




Derek Fenderson

Glue, glue, glue.




Brad Lawson

Charge 50% more than you think you should, especially if you’re sanding risers!




Michael Velli





Robbie Prevatt

Be passionate about the work you’re doing; it’s someone else’s house you’re working in.





Buy a Metabo paint stripper; it makes sanding stairs enjoyable!




Mark Whatley

Check your heights.




Frank Strohecker

Take your time, and don’t take on a job beyond your skill level.



RELATED: How I Do These Jobs: Creating Floating Stairs

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All Things Wood Floor, created by Wood Floor Business magazine, talks to interesting wood flooring pros to share knowledge, stories and tips on everything to do with wood flooring, from installation, sanding and finishing to business management.
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