Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) – This organization was formed in 1988 to represent the stair and millwork industry. Members include stair parts manufacturers, stair builders, installers, millwork distributors, dealers, and other related businesses. Unfortunately, most of their Web site appears to be restricted to SMA members.
Arcways – Founded in 1966, this Neenah, Wisconsin, stair company manufactures curved, spiral, and straight custom stairways, railings and stair parts. Arcways staircases have been featured on “The New Home Show” and “This Old House” television programs.
Arke – a subsidiary of Italian stair company Albini & Fontanot, which offers spiral stair kits, modular stair kits, and space saving, alternating staircase kits designed for limited access areas such as lofts or attics.
Coffman – has been making hardwood stair parts since 1874. Their Web site is a little dated, but you will find catalogs for each of their product lines.
Crown Heritage – produces stair components in cherry, oak, maple, poplar, beech, and hemlock in their Lenoir, North Carolina factory. They also feature a large collection of wrought iron balusters. If you are looking for information about building stairs, check under the “Resource Library” section of their Web site for their “Step-By-Step Stairway Construction Guide” and estimating guides for calculating post-to-post and over-the-post rail systems.
Historical Arts & Casting – designers and builders of traditional architectural cast ornamental metal products of all types. Their Web site includes many examples of their work, including a railing gallery with pictures of some incredibly detailed aluminum, bronze, and iron railings and rail parts.
Lapeyre Stair – a unique stair with alternating treads that uses minimal floor space. While their current products are used mostly in industrial applications, the original stair introduced years ago was made of wood and advertised as a loft ladder. With changes in building codes over the years, alternating tread stairs are generally only allowed as secondary, non emergency stairs. So, be sure to check with your local building officials for specific requirements.
Salter Industries – manufacturers of pre-engineered spiral stair kits made of various types of wood and/or metal. Many of their staircases are suitable for exterior applications, including hot dipped galvanized steel spiral stairs with optional cedar tread covers and optional cedar handrail, primed or factory finished powder coat aluminum spiral stairs, and forged iron spiral staircases. This is a well organized Web site, which includes plenty of pictures of spiral stairs.
Spiral Staircase Plans – Jim Self is offering a complete set of plans and step-by-step instructions for building wooden spiral stairs. His site also includes pictures of stairs he has built, stairs his customers have built, 3D drawings, a tutorial on how to cut stair stringers, information about building winding stairs, and a brief article about the tools and materials needed to build your own stairs.
The Iron Shop – offers metal spiral stair kits, oak spiral stair kits, “Victorian One®” spiral stair kits, and custom spiral stairs. You can also download installation manuals, order installation videos, and request a free catalog.
Memphis Folding Stairs – according to their Web site, this is “the largest manufacturer of folding attic stairs in the industry.” Also known as disappearing stairways, they make light and medium duty ladder style stairs in wood or aluminum, and heavy duty folding stairs with 2 x 5 southern yellow pine treads. BTW, they also sell Omega Ironing Board Cabinets Disappearing Stairway.
Stair Books – our own list of books about the history of stairs, stair building and design, handrail installation and trim details.