Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association Stair Academy

Stair Balustrade Core Design and Installation.

The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association’s Stair Academy presents Stair Balustrade, an instructional class focused on teaching post-to-post and over-the-post handrail theory, skills, and basic installation practices. The fixtures, materials, and instructional workbook required for hands-on balustrade installation training are provided to each student. 

  • 3-Day, Hands-On Course
  • Balustrade Theory with Calculations and Layouts
  • Newel, Baluster, and Handrail Placement
  • Over-the-Post and Post-to-Post Techniques
  • Cable, Iron, and Wood In-Fill Styles
  • Radius Level Balustrade Layouts


Attend the Next Session.

Stair Balustrade is an 3-day, hands-on instructional course focused on core design and installation of stairway systems.  For more information, contact or call 877-500-5759.

Stair Balustrade Class.

Sponsored by JD Stairs
A Shop Tour will be Provided!

Las Vegas, Nevada

January 19, 20 & 21, 2022

Course Description.

SMA Stair Academy - Stair Balustrade

3-Day Course

The Stair Balustrade Instructional 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 finetune 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 pre-mounting newels and balusters.  The class also helps attendees understand take-offs with the proper lengths, quantities, and hardware for each installation.


Learning Objectives: 
  1. Participants will be able to plan layouts of balustrade locations on flights, landings, and balconies on both open and closed stair configurations.
  2. Participants will be able to plan elevation layout locations for newel mountings in notched and surface applications on stairways and landings.
  3. Participants will be able to plan layout options of baluster grouping and installation, landing tread, fascia/apron, and trim.
  4. Participants will be able to plan elevation layout locations for handrails, fitting connections, and balusters in drilled and plowed installation.
  5. Participants will be able to secure various types of accessory hardware and use connection methods common for newels, balusters and handrails.

Keep up to date with all of the latest code changes and design inspirations. No membership required.

Become a Member.

Membership in the SMA is an invaluable resource that allows stair industry professionals of every type to advance their careers through networking, engaging in continuing education, keeping up with changes within the industry, and accessing new products.