A Stair-Step Approach to Learning

Have you ever done something knowing you don’t have a clue what you are doing? That was what I felt like the first time I clad a stair in strip flooring and bull nose. I remember thinking, “I can do floors, how hard is it to do a stair?”

I must have been disappointed with my finished result because that was the only time I ever used flooring for doing stairs. I then started buying manufactured treads and risers (until I got fed up with the poor quality and started making my own).

I soon self-graduated to my first handrail install. Again, lots of missed cuts, buying more handrail, not having the right parts when in mid install. Another expensive learning experience.

Tens of thousands of dollars later combined with plenty of anxiety, frustration and disappointment, I finally got to be moderately decent at it.

So when the NWFA announced a specialty training class focused on stairs and wood flooring taught by REAL stair people (the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association), I had to sign up just to find out if I knew what I needed to know.


Just hours into this and I can see what a head start these guys are getting compared to the money I spent learning this on my own. Best bang for the buck for sure. I wish I had this opportunity 30 years ago. Thanks NWFA!


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