Innovative Custom Projects Boost Local Profile of Stairline Railings
QUALITY WORK AND ingenuity has earned Stairline Railings Inc. a well-earned reputation across Ottawa’s National Capital Region, as an excellent stair and railing contractor for residential, commercial and industrial construction projects, as reflected in on-line reviews and other feedback.
Operating as Stairline Railings since 1995, the company initially was home-based. “In 2016, my long time business partner Alexis L’Italien and I formalized and incorporated our business relationship and we haven’t stopped growing since,” says Sébastien Melbourne, Stairline’s Founder, President, and Director of Operations.
“We gradually acquired our first commercial workshop/officespace, along with an administrator and fabrication assistant. Our growth required the eventual move to an upgraded full-scale manufacturing facility, including an in-house professional finishing facility,” he adds.
In order to keep up with its exponential growth, Stairline has adopted some new technologies and automation techniques along the way, in order to keep its operations organized and on track.
“We are now fully equipped to provide digital plans and 3D designs, which enhances communication between Stairline, as a specializedtrade and the general contractor or home owner, says Melbourne.
“We are at the cutting edge of evolution and innovation in terms of product quality, product design and installation,” he adds. “What sets us apart is the quality of the materials, and the quality of the builds that we do.”
Prospective clients often approach the company with complex builds or installations and say they are seeking the ’right’ expertise required to complete the job.
“The answer is yes. Here in our shop, we focus on innovation, and are always trying to come up with new ideas,” Melbourne stresses, noting that many times Stairline must invent the tools/supports needed in order to achieve the desired finish.
Providing quality customer service is another source of pride for Stairline, which has now a team of twelve employees, and is growing.
“We work diligently to earn our employees’ respect and trust in order to maximize their well-being, capabilities and growth within the organization. Annually, we select an engaging team-building activity in order to welcome new members and strengthen existing relationships,” says Melbourne.
“You can find us racing through the tracks at top-karting, challenging each other during a round of golf, or letting it out on the paintball field.” Stairline’s residential work which focuses mainly on custommade homes and custom-made staircases, includes retro-fit and renovation projects, as well as comprehensive household projects, such as glass staircases that incorporate living gardens, with waterfalls and lighting systems.
Stairline’s commercial work includes exterior and interior railings, as well as staircases and stairlifts in store businesses. The company has built railings for staircases in high-rise apartment buildings. “We’ve also done railings in several retirement homes,” says Melbourne, citing as an example the new)Kemptville Retirement Living Long-Term Care Home, where the company recently installed railings. “We do parkade units. If you have underground parking garages that require handicap access railings or just standalone glass panels as the divider or separator, we take care of that as well,” he adds. Stairline’s work is also applied to exterior applications, such as railings on concrete applications like sidewalks and curves. “We work closely with structural engineers to ensure compliance, and can provide the stamps/certifications required for the scope of work.” says Melbourne. Stairline’s product designs use natural wood products, metal, and glass. “When it comes to wood and/or any type of material that’s going to be used for the fabrication, we can make available all types of local and/or exotic hardwoods to deliver what our customer wants,” says Melbourne.
“For example, if the customer wants stainless steel, black metal, or a composite type of rail, which involves a hard, plastic material, that can all be made available to them. Or if they want exotic woods like Purpleheart, Yellowheart, or Tigerwood, Stairline has suppliers that will provide that.” he explains.
The company’s custom projects offer a wide range of designs, including minimalistic, rustic, modern, and traditional. Minimalistic design might involve, say for a glass panel, a cap rail instead of a hand rail – a tiny metal strip that strings along the top of the glass panels.
“That, in itself, is sufficient to count as a railing in some instances, and keeps the look very minimalistic,” Melbourne explains.
“We also cut and fabricate steel posts that are as small as the Ontario Building Code will allow us. We embed them literally within the floor structuring, or steel I-beam, or whatever the case may be, so that the only thing that remains visible when the house or the project is completed is a simple steel bar coming right out of the floor as though it grew out of there. Then you have glass panels around those or just inset with nothing on top. That makes it as minimalistic as possible,” he adds.
Stairline’s rustic designs provide a country feeling – that sort of warm blanket on a cool day or a nice, cozy fire feel, using wood, such as pine, or rustic white oak and hefty posts, with perhaps a dark chocolate brown or dark walnut stain, says Melbourne.
For a commercial or industrial look; Stairline services many dentist, optometry, accounting, and legal offices. “We’ll see a bit more stainless steel in those cases, because it matches a lot with everything, and the stainless steel always gives this nice, bright, awake, alive kind of look,” says Melbourne.
“We can even go as far as [to] have some sand blasted designs in the glass, like say a lawyer’s office would have their logo applied right on the glass panel,” he says.
A modern design would include a square railing and black plain metal spindles, along with plain square posts with no design or special feature. This type of design is most popular today, notes Melbourne.
A traditional design uses colonial style posts, railings and spindles. “Today there’s the odd builder that still clings to this traditional design where it’s just like those posts that have lots of little rings and rungs around them with finials on top,” he explains.
Stairline is also visible in community recreation, sponsoring a recreational adult baseball team for the past three years.