Viewrail Stair Systems: Fast & Fabulous
National floating stair system fabricator commands all aspects of a perfect stair installation.
Family-owned Viewrail has been exceeding builder and homeowner expectations with its stunning floating staircase systems since its founding in 2002. But what makes the Goshen, Ind.-based company even more exceptional came about over the past 12 months.
When COVID shutdowns, supply chain breakdowns, the labor shortage, and a runaway housing market slammed the building industry, Morris and his team took a breath amid the noise—and then got laser-focused on solving builders’ most pressing issues.
Stairs and Railing Are All We Do
Morris emphasizes that Viewrail’s secret sauce is design. “If we don’t have the right design, nothing else matters,” he says. “And we have the right design—our designs are on point, a modern aesthetic that works beautifully in today’s homes.” While the company’s designs speak for themselves, getting to that polished endpoint means addressing all the steps that come first.
“We have taken all our modern designs and applied a high level of software sophistication to them through our proprietary CAD-based design technology,” Morris says. “In fact, we can show our customers 3D renderings in 10s of minutes, not 10s of hours. The ability to do this with VRI—and the investment we have made in it—has really given architects and builders a great ability to visualize how the Viewrail product can enhance their designs and builds.”
“We have five modern stair designs that cover the full range of what customers want in modern design, and we have the manufacturing capability, design ability, and code authorization to build these. You have to have all of these aspects to produce a perfect product. If you are missing one piece of this sequence, you simply can’t do it.”—Len Morris, CEO, Viewrail
During the high-tech design process, the team also addresses building code and engineering issues so builders don’t have to worry about passing inspections or having to site-adjust faulty designs.
Once the design and shop drawings are completed, the company manufactures the components in its plant. “As soon as the customer says ‘Go’ we can manufacture, deliver the product, and have it installed in as little as three weeks,” Morris says.
Self Contained Means In Complete Control
Viewrail’s amazingly short turnaround time for a custom staircase or rail project is possible because the company controls its own pipeline. “We have been nearly immune to supply chain problems because we have vertical integration in aluminum, wood, steel, and glass,” Morris explains.
The command of raw materials and a well-honed design and manufacturing process put Viewrail in a good place to weather disruptions in the housing industry. However, there was one more missing link to a perfect process.
“One thing that blindsided us in 2021 was delivery,” Morris says. “Truck availability was difficult, and coupled with the high damage rate our heavy products suffered on third-party-owned trucks, we knew we had to solve the problem.”
Viewrail bought a truck fleet to address the dearth of quality truck delivery services. “This was an ambitious undertaking, but necessity is the mother of invention and we felt caught without a lot of options,” Morris explains.
Rounding out its complete control of the process, Viewrail tackled the stubborn labor shortage by hiring and training full-time installers. “We put these installers through great training and then give them a vehicle and all the right tools—everything they need for perfect installations,” Morris says. “Installing is what they do every day, and it’s why we are speedy.”
Sustainability as a Goal
While Morris and his team, which includes his wife and two sons, have always kept sustainability at the forefront as a general rule, the company’s shift to handling deliveries gave them a surprising green lift.
“One of the huge benefits of having our own delivery is that we massively reduced product packaging,” Morris says. “We now pack our products in reusable blankets and no longer use foam. We reuse sawdust from the manufacturing process and corrugated cardboard as packing material.”
“I have been on the warpath against our usage of plastics and foam,” Morris adds. “Now that we deliver the stair systems ourselves, we have reduced our use of plastic by 75 percent.”
Looking to the Future
2022 promises to be a big year for Viewrail as it expands its installer and fleet base. But Morris keeps his focus squarely on the main strength of Viewrail: extraordinary designs. “I have seen much of the world’s best architecture—from Shanghai to St. Petersburg to Greece—and I have spent a lot of time thinking, looking, and designing,” he says. “I am on the jobsite every week, talking to installers and homeowners and builders, keeping my ear close to the ground, and continuously bringing new ideas back to the company. From there, our R&D folks work through new designs that work beautifully for today’s homeowners.”
How can Viewrail help you achieve the highest level of design, scheduling, and customer service your home buyers deserve? Contact us today to find out!
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6 Ways to Designed, Delivered, Done!
- We control the raw materials.
- We know the building codes and engineering requirements.
- We dream up the most beautiful modern floating stair systems in the world.
- We measure and fabricate the project to precision specs.
- We bring your stair project directly to the job site using our company-owned truck fleet.
- We professionally install your stairs and rails using full-time Viewrail Employees.