Taking a step up in quality - new stair installation guidance to help reduce costs for house builders
Published by Liz Male for British Woodworking Federation in Housing
A free new guide to high quality stair installation is set to help reduce defects, complaints and remedial costs for house builders.
The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme Installation Guide comes out this month. It provides practical information about all aspects of the installation of timber staircases, focusing on key workmanship areas to ensure that stairs are built to a high quality standard, are safe to use and are not compromised by poor practice.
Michael Finn, Group Design and Technical Director at Barratt Developments plc and Chairman of the NHBC Standards Review Group, says:
"At first, many house builders would probably say that stairs are not their number one priority. However, digging a little deeper, many will admit that stairs can give them problems, both during construction and after handover when some stairs may start to squeak or become unstable, resulting in complaints from homeowners or warranty claims.
"NHBC's claims data confirms that, in recent years, over two-thirds of all valid claims relating to stairs in years 3 to 10 relate to insecure strings, risers, newel posts and, in particular, treads. This is why the BWF Stair Scheme is so useful - it's expert guidance that ultimately will help us save money and boost customer satisfaction."
Iain McIlwee, BWF Chief Executive, says:
"Huge progress has been made in recent years since the formation of this industry group with all credit to the members who are focussed absolutely on raising standards even further in areas of design, manufacturing and production quality control.
"However, even the best products can be compromised by poor installation. Workmanship issues during construction can lead to squeaks and even premature failure of components and ultimately the collapse of the stair.
"This new installation guide is an excellent resource that BWF Stair Scheme members have spent much time and effort in collaborating on, to provide advice for all involved in the stair installation process. Stair Scheme stairs continue to be a product that house builders can specify with confidence, knowing that their teams and sub-contractors on site can work to this guidance and achieve speedy, high quality construction with real attention to the details that keep stairs safe and defect-free."
The BWF Stair Scheme is the only accreditation and certification scheme of its kind in the UK. It was established in 2011 to raise awareness of timber stair standards, to give accreditation to high quality stair manufacturers and to improve safety. Ranging from domestic, common and fire protected common stairs, the standard expected of the manufacturers for their stairs is extremely high to ensure quality and safety. The scheme now represents approximately 70% of the timber stair market, bringing together like-minded manufacturers committed to driving up standards to make the industry more competitive against rival materials and to increase market share.
The new installation guide expands on the BWF Stair Scheme's existing resources, including its 'Top 10 Tips to Avoid Common Staircase Problems' which is available as a fact card and an electronic presentation.
The timber stair installation guide is available as a free download from www.bwfstairscheme.org.uk