Visual Interpretations to the Stair Building Code

We now have three versions of the printed Visual Interpretations to the Stair Building Code available.  You can stock up on these pictorial depictions of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 International Residential Code in the SMA Store at The 2012 is in black and white and the NEW 2015 and 2018 versions are in full color!


SMA Stair Academy


by Rusty Parks & Robert Aulicky

Grow your business! Do you have adequately trained employees to assist your company as you take more significant steps to continue your growth? Let the SMA help.

The SMA Stair School hosted two successful classes, with our class hosts Carolina Stair Supply and Crown Heritage, during the 2019 calendar year. Our students gave the class rave reviews. The class teaches theory and practical application skills for both post-to-post and over-the-post installation skills.

The Stair School Class focuses on theory, to better explain how and why the balustrade post-to-post system works. The class offers hands-on training with student workstations designed specifically for this learning opportunity. The workstations allow students to practice their balustrade layout from the starting newel to the wall termination. Students are taught how to calculate handrail height, baluster lengths, and placement of newels. They are also instructed on methods for correcting issues without stopping the workflow.

As seasoned builders, the instructors cover everything from checking paperwork for proper materials to calculating for newel heights to block depth styles to baluster lengths. Students are taught to layout the whole balustrade before they start making their first cut. They are also exposed to several different types of newels and the mounting hardware used, from the 3-inch newels to the more massive hollow box newels. This gives the students perspective and the ability to fine-tune their projects, as necessary.

This class benefits both the shop craftsman and the sales representative. It provides a better understanding of the preparation needed for blocking and premounting newels and balusters. The class also helps attendees understand take-offs with the proper lengths, quantities, and hardware for each installation.

Take advantage of your growth today by setting up for the next wave. The SMA answered your request for more, better-trained employees. Are you ready? We are!

Register for an upcoming class, today!


SMA Member Social Media Accounts

SMA Members!  Let’s get connected, socially. The SMA is on social media and we would like to connect with you by following your business on the various platforms!  Please complete the quick form so we can easily find you and follow your incredible work.  Click here and let us know where we can find you. We will see you soon, socially.

Connect with us so we can stay connected with you.






SMA Annual Business Meeting

The SMA will be holding our Annual Business Meeting on Thursday, April 30th at 2:15 PM EST via Zoom.  This meeting is open to all SMA members.  Attendees will receive updates from the SMA President, Code Representative, and Committee Chairs.  There will also be a time for you to ask questions.  Please watch your email for details of this meeting.

SMA 2020 Annual Conference – Cancelled

The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association’s (SMA) Board of Directors, in response to the  CDCs advisory, has determined it is not in the best interest of our attendees to continue with our Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, April 16-18. Therefore, the April 2020 event has been cancelled.

The SMA Board of Directors will meet in the coming days to discuss rescheduling this event. We will be in contact with you again as soon as we have a plan to share.  Thank you for your patience as we navigate these unique circumstances.


AWI & SMA Release Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard for Review & Vetting

AWI & SMA Release Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard for Review & Vetting 

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) are excited to announce that the AWI SMA 0643 – Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard has been completed by the SMA Quality Standards Committee.

The AWI and SMA teams are now preparing to begin the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process, during which the standard will open to public comment. At the completion of this process, the AWI and SMA teams will address any comments or suggestions submitted.

AWI SMA 0643 – Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems provides standards and tolerances for the quality fabrication and field installation of wood stair, handrail, and guard systems. Further, it establishes minimum aesthetic and performance requirements intended to provide a well-defined degree of control over a project’s quality of materials, workmanship, and/or fabrication.

The standard draft is available for public comment at both AWI ( and SMA (, effective January 31 through March 16, 2020.

Individuals and organizations that wish to participate in the upcoming canvass must complete the pre-canvass registration form, regardless of whether the individual/organization has participated in any previous canvass processes. To register for the canvass body, please complete the Pre-Canvass Registration Form. For additional assistance or information, please contact Cheri Dermyre at or Terra Erb at

Regarding the development of the standard, AWI Executive Vice President Doug Hague said, “I am grateful for the collaboration between our associations to produce a standard now beginning the canvass process that will enhance the entire industry. My thanks go to the volunteer experts from SMA who contributed their time and knowledge to create this standard. SMA’s work is appreciated and will leave an imprint on our industry for many years to come. I look forward to following this standard through the ANSI process and celebrating the day it is released with an effective date.”

Terra Erb, Executive Director of the SMA stated, “The SMA is thrilled to join forces with AWI to create a standard for stairs, handrails and guard systems that aims to provide clarity across the spectrum. The proposed standard will aid in ensuring all involved in the stair design process, from planning to execution, are aware of the standard for stair creation. This clarity will allow for streamlined processes and increased customer satisfaction as all design members work from the same standard.”

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) has produced and collaborated on the development of standards in accordance with its mission since its founding in 1953 to the present day. AWI is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developer Organization. AWI’s mission is to continually improve Standards for architectural woodwork and related interior finishes, provide education and opportunities for collaborating and sharing resources, improve AWI’s member benefits, and cultivate and strengthen relationships within the industry.

The Stairway Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) was formed in 1988 to insure the growth and prosperity of the group’s industry and craft. In 2014 the name of the association was changed to the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association to more clearly reflect its constituency of more than 70% professional stairbuilding companies from the smallest one-man shops to those among the largest in the industry. SMA Mission is: Building the greatest resource of knowledge and tools contributing to the success of our members and the stair industry.

Founded in 1918, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system and is committed to strengthening its impact, both domestically and internationally.  The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations, and 30 million professionals worldwide.