craftsmanship, Vew Rail staircase, modern design, staircase construction

Prefabricated Staircases: Save Time and Increase Quality

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

In today’s video, we’re exploring the world of prefabricated staircases. We’re focusing on how these elements can be a valuable addition to your house building project.

Have you noticed how many houses have staircases as a key feature? Not many, right? That’s why we’re looking at a USA-based company specializing in prefabricated and modular staircases.

They streamline the process of staircase fabrication and installation. This video isn’t just about Viewrail, but an encouragement to consider using prefabricated staircase fabricators for your projects, especially if you want the staircase to be both a design feature and a functional element.

Regarding cost, if you can’t find staircase fabricators in your country, then consider importing if the price overseas is affordable even with added freight and duties. In terms of quality, based on our experience, prefabricated staircases set a very high standard. For instance, we came across an Italian company a few years ago with an impressive spiral stone composite system – something almost impossible to replicate on site. It was very affordable too.

In this video, Matt will discuss details like integrated LED tape lighting for staircases and choosing elements like glass panels that combine style with safety.

Now, let’s turn it over to Matt. Enjoy the video.

Unveiling Viewrail Staircase Mastery : Incredible Craftsmanship

Video Transcript

Build shows on the road today coming to you from Fredericksburg, Texas where we’re going to be checking out a stair kit in a box system for a modern floating staircase. Now we’ve made some videos before on view rail, but on this video we’re really going to focus on how a rural builder can take advantage of prefabrication to build a modern staircase really anywhere in the US. This build is sponsored by Viewrail, so let’s get going.

All right guys, let me introduce you to Matt and Bill from Tandem Building Corporation out here in Fredricksburg. Matt, is this your first time doing a Viewrail flight system?

“This is actually our second one. We did one previously, probably two months ago,” okay, good deal.

So if someone watching this has never seen one before, how do you explain this system?

“Well, what turned me on to Viewrail initially was the floating aspect of it, you know? We’ve done stairs over and over that aren’t floating, and so when we got the design drawings from the architect and showed floating, I started putting it together in my mind with the steel, the treads, the glass panels. Oh, you got glass coming for these as well?”

“Going to be glass, and then a handrail on top of that. And so I started thinking about how we put that together with the subcontractors that we have here in town,” yeah.

And I saw your posting actually on Instagram for Viewrail and how it went up, and I thought we could incorporate that into our project. I like it. So we’ve got a pretty contemporary staircase, and if you’re not familiar, Fredricksburg, we’re an hour and a half or so from Austin. This is a medium small-sized Texas town, wouldn’t you say?

“Yeah, I think they say the population’s 10,000.”

Okay, all right. So not a huge town, it balloons on the weekends, but what’s crazy about this is this parts kit that Matt and Bill are assembling on the job site, which all the engineering, all the fabrication’s done offsite. Man, it’s really going to speak to you guys as builders when it’s all done. People are going to be absolutely floored by this install, aren’t they?

“I think it’s a beautiful product. Once it’s all put together, you can’t tell that it came pallet-sized and all the different components. It’s pretty awesome.”

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“It’s awesome, and just from start to finish working with View Rail, you come with the design plans, but there’s all the little nuances with the glass and the landing heights, and there’s a lot of interaction with your design professional. And so they take the time to do that. I think this one went through six revisions before we got to the final plan, and they were patient with every revision, every question. So that’s awesome.”

It is, okay. So then walk me through the process. I think you told me earlier the View Rail truck actually delivered this. In the past, it was maybe a carrier that delivered, but now View Rail is actually delivering to the job site, yes.

And I’m noticing you’ve got temp stairs, so obviously you had a way to get upstairs prior to this happening. And even while guys have been walking up there, even while you’ve been working, I’m assuming this stringer was set on a separate day. It’s lunchtime, so we didn’t set the stringer and the treads today, is that right?

“Yes, it was a completely different day for the stringer, just the calculations and laying it all out. That’s a full day for that part of it.”

Okay, so then that’s all set. And then walk me through, and actually, I’m sorry to interrupt you here. I’m interrupting the workflow mid process. Show me how these treads actually get attached.

“Okay, so once we get the brackets attached to the stringer, we’re going to feed the LED through. That’s going to make a connection here. Check that out, plug. That’s pretty, and that’s going to end up lighting up the LED tape light that’s from there. We do a level on the bracket.”

Okay, so Bill put the bracket. Bill kind of pre-staged all the brackets, and then he’s going to level that and send those screws home first before you actually drop that on. Matt, is that a hollow tread or is that solid?

“It’s a veneer, so it is, but they offer a solid one. Whoo, that thing’s not light still, yeah. It’s still about 70 lbs just as a veneer.”

Okay, and I’m noticing that you’re plugging that in as you get go. It gets tucked underneath, so you kind of want to make this connection before you put the tread in place, yeah?

“Easier to get in there.”

Okay, and then you’re actually shoving that connection down into the hollow stringer. The power supply is in the stringer, uh go ahead, Bill.

“And then we’re just tucking that underneath, and it’s all pre-routed and pre pre-drilled, yep. It’s pre-drilled, even too.”

Right, pre-drilled, so you have the bracket underneath here. The screws are going to go up in the pre-drilled holes, and those look like some Timberlock-style screws. Maybe, yep, they feed right up in there. So go ahead and fasten one in temporarily. Put one on the other side so we can. Now Matt, did you find those screws locally? Did you have to go to the hardware store this morning to grab that?

“We have, we provided nothing. Vew provides every single thing, from even down to the triangle. When we set the glass, they’re going to have the glass suction cups, everything came as a kit.”

That’s awesome. I noticed in that box over there, there’s even glass cleaner. Did they send that to you as well?

“They did too, yeah.”

I know they think of everything, so it makes it just one-stop shopping. That’s pretty awesome. I did a View Rail railing system at my house with a more traditional staircase, and I was shocked by how everything I needed, every part, even the angle grinder and the blades, was in the parts kit for me. So they really want it to be when you open the box, “Oh wow, they’ve thought of everything.” I

t’s truly turnkey, you know? You think of turnkey as design and installation and maybe molding a bunch of different trades together, but just the package that you get, it’s turnkey from start to finish.

That’s pretty awesome. My experience has been amazing, directions, everything you need. If you feel like you’ve got some technical ability, if you’re not bad with a wrench, you could do it yourself. But nice thing is, if you’re, if you don’t have that capability, you certainly can have them subcontracted for you as well, you can.

And it all comes with a binder full of instructions also, that’s our instruction pack there. And then again, your designer on call basically, so we’ve had some questions. I called Zach, and he worked through it with me and answered all the questions that we had. That’s pretty awesome.

Now you mentioned earlier, Matt, this house is getting glass for the guard rail and then a handrail on top. For me in the building world, glass has always been a pain in the butt for me because I’ve got this big staircase that’s going to be exposed for weeks and weeks till the glass guy measures and then comes back and installs. Talk to me about that process with View Rail on this glass.

“Well, the glass panels, they come with the stair system, so they’re out in the garage here still in pallets. I’m tempted to save that till much later in the build, so we’ll probably put up temporary hand railing here, okay? And then put the glass in because I also want to protect the glass, dude, sure makes sense. I don’t hesitate to put it in once we’re farther along in the process,” yeah.

That makes sense. When do you advocate to install these? It looks to me like you’ve got finished floors in, and then you’ve got some RAM board or something to protect that. Is this the right time to do that?

“I’ve waited as long as we could just to protect the finished product. Your level five smooth is done, it looks like in here, exactly, mostly done. We still have some punch out, but I’ll wrap these treads so the guys can go up and down. Those temp stairs will come down, and so we’ll still be using this during construction, but I’m just trying to save it as long as possible just to protect the finished product.”

Smart man, beautiful work, man. Is there any chance I could go check out that other one that you did? Love to, yeah.

“We can head on over anytime you’re ready.”

All right guys, let’s go check out another house that these guys did a View Rail on.

All right Matt, what are we looking at here, brother?

“Matt, this is a house that we finished recently, oh mid-okay. So just recently, it’s fairly understated on the outside. The interior is amazing, so if you’d like, let’s take a walk in inside, let’s go check it out. Come on, guys.”

Oh man, check this out, Matt, wow! This is beautiful, what a fun house, right? So much going on, I love it. We got the pool right here, you got a beautiful living room, and there she is, the View Rail flight, check it out. That is a stair system that we cut our teeth on with View Rail, and so that’s your first one you’ve ever done.

“The first one we ever did, and it worked out perfectly, man. This is gorgeous, check out those lighted treads, too.”

I like those, each one’s lighting it cascades all the way down. You can kind of get a view from of the upper treads, but they’re, they’re very sleek, they’re very hidden, so you don’t see that, yeah.

“There, they’re actually routed in there, and the View Rail guys tell me that they’re not a dot LED. They really have a true line.”

That’s right, and I think I heard them say that they’re color tunable and dimmable, is that right? You can do all of that, and it’s just a straight line, so you don’t get the dots on the tread. That’s pretty awesome. I don’t see any wires. I guess that’s all kind of hidden in that process again.

They, they put it all in the tread here, I mean the stringer, I apologize. And then it pops out into each tread, and you make your connection there, so it’s all hidden. You just get the beauty of the stair system itself. This one was challenging because the way it transitions from true floating, it’s still floating over this wall here, but then it ties into these walls on either side. I like that, you know?

This house kind of reminds me of my house in that it’s transitional, you know? It kind of has some traditional elements and some modern elements, right? You could call it mid-century modern, there’s contemporary to it, but I, I just love the flavor of the whole place, it’s beautiful, the craftsmanship here, man, incredible, thank you.

Talk to me about the glass install, the standoffs, how hard was that? Was it pretty straightforward?

“Very straightforward, so we set the treads as we had mentioned. You put the standoff in, it just screws on to the pins that come out of the treads. Once those are on, you put some washers in there, you set the panel on, and then you cap it with this, and this kind of clamps it all in. It feels super sturdy, it’s not moving at all, no, not at all.”

And some people might worry about glass, but you have the protective washers there, and then once it’s all locked in, the glass is just as strong as anything you might consider, so I like it. And then the handrail came from those guys as well, the whole thing, yes?

“The handrail came, it’s got a gasket, is that wood or what is that?”

It’s, it’s metal, and the finish is called speedboat silver.

“That’s pretty, I like it, yep. And it’s got a gasket, so once we get these panels on, you just kind of push it down, and we tied it into the brackets up there on the walls.”

Oh, that’s nice, yeah, so a couple wall brackets and then down to the glass, cool design too. I like how the architect did this, it’s really interesting, yeah.

“That was his idea. If you look at this stringer, it floats all the way up, even though it doesn’t look like it’s floating once you get to this wall, that’s really cool.”

Matt, I’ve always said that stairs in my houses are kind of the, the way for the builder to show off his craftsmanship. I got to tell you, Matt, I’m really impressed, really well done, man, thank gorgeous house. I get, I bet everybody who comes here says something beautiful about this, and then your homeowner says, “Oh yeah, Matt and the guys at Tandem did an amazing job on this.” It’s a focal point, yep.

“And and that’s kind of the character of the house, like you said, every stair system conveys that, so it’s a, it’s a joy to put these in.”

Fabulous, fabulous. I said at the beginning of the video, Matt, that one of the cool things about View Rail is that you know, you can be in a small Texas town or a big Texas town or wherever, and get this kind of incredible craftsmanship using a smart builder, a smart carpenter like Bill who, you guys are putting together just absolutely gorgeous work. And you guys get full credit even though some craftsman back in the home office in Indiana got to actually help you out with this project.

“I would like to take all the credit, but Bill definitely lent a hand in it. And then the View Rail guys themselves, they make it easy cuz you just give them the design, you talk through some of the details, and then you just start putting it together, so amazing work, man.”

Guys, if you need a great builder in Fredericksburg, give Tandem Building Company a call. Matt, amazing work, thanks for having me out, great to see you. And of course, if you’re interested in View Rail, I’ll put a link to those guys in the description, fantastic family-owned company, building these products right in the heart of America, shipping them to Matt’s job site on the View Rail truck, and we put it together and we get all the credit as a builder, very cool stuff.

Big thanks to View Rail for sponsoring today’s video. Guys, if you’re not currently a subscriber, hit that subscribe button below. We’ve got new content here every Tuesday and every Friday. Follow us on TikTok or Instagram. Do you know how he closes out, man? Will you help me out? Otherwise we’ll see you next time on the build.

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Modern Steel Stairs