Herman Sandvoort has been making stairs for over 15 years, first as an employee, and more recently in his own company Sandvoort Woodworking.
“I started small with the resources available,” he says. “As a carpentry company, we make everything that is made of wood and that certainly includes stairs! About two years ago I made stairs on the plate. That means that I manually draw the total result of the stairs on a wooden plate. Then, based on that result, I made my stair parts by hand. It was nice and fun work because I was in full touch with the wood. But because I have a sole proprietorship, saving time is a crucial factor. Making my stairs manually was too time-consuming, so I had to come up with something else. For a while I used a 2D drawing package to draw my stairs, but I soon realised that I didn’t gain much time with it. I was digitally drawing the result of a staircase, which I first drew manually on a plate, line by line, digitally. A quarter turn staircase quickly took four to five hours of drawing work and then I only had a top view. There was not much room for changes after the design, because then I could start all over again.
My previous employer worked with Staircon to manage stair production, so my choice was an easy one. I sent a request for a quote and an online demonstration via the website. Two days later the software was installed on my computer. Due to my previous experience with the drawing package, I did not need much training. Staircon is very user-friendly, which makes it easy to learn.
Buying Staircon was an excellent choice. I can now completely design a staircase in less than 30 minutes. If the customer wants a change, I can immediately apply it to the design without having to start over from scratch. The 3D display is also a huge plus. Most customers cannot visualise a design, that’s why I always include a 3D image of the stairs in my quote. This way my customers immediately have a clear picture of what the staircase will look like in real life. In the future I want to automate production even more with a CNC machine, but for the time being I am still plotting out my stair parts to their actual size. I roughly cut the parts from the paper and glue them to the rough wood, I then stencil around the printout and mill the stair parts with my semi-automatic router.
On an annual basis, in addition to all the other carpentry work, I make about fifty stairs without any advertising. I am convinced that if I put our company in the spotlight, the production of my stairs will increase. Then an investment in a CNC machine is definitely a good idea!” said Herman.
Flexible, future proof stair design. Book a free demo to explore the capabilities of Staircon by Elecosoft.