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November 8, 2021

The Iron Shop: Premium Quality Spiral Stair Kits

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A Q&A with Allen Cohen – President and 3rd Generation Family Member

Where do you begin when planning a home renovation or improvement project?  Do you ask friends and neighbors for suggestions? Or head straight to the internet for ideas? Armed with all of that information, what’s next?

Is this product safe? Will it last?

What type of materials are used to fabricate it?

How much experience does the company have?

How do you define quality?

Choosing a staircase can be particularly challenging; it’s not something we usually purchase more than once. Stairs are a key architectural feature in any home design so it needs to be right.

To help navigate this topic, we asked Allen Cohen, President and grandson of company founder Max Cohen, to explain.

Q: What Makes a Premium Quality Product?

AC: Many things create a quality product, but a premium product starts with the best materials available. In the case of The Iron Shop, we use the best available steel and aluminum to craft your metal staircase.  Our oak stairs are constructed from kiln dried red oak selected by our Master Carpenter from Northern and Appalachian stock.

In addition to quality materials, a premium quality staircase needs the best workmanship. You can have the best materials, but if the workmanship is poor, the finished product will be inferior. We have many years of creating custom metalwork– we have been in business since 1931. A hallmark of our legacy is to train all employees in the methods of our founders.  Their integrity and dedication to their craft created an enduring foundation for our staircases nearly a century ago.

The Iron Shop has provided stairs to over 100,000 satisfied customers throughout North America and continues to provide quality staircases for your indoor and outdoor projects. Our products exceed expectations because of their longevity, credibility, and reliable craftsmanship. Our reputation exceeds expectations because we evolve and adapt to home design trends, educate our customers, and provide them with truly personalized service.

Q: Tell us about the business and how it’s evolved over the years

AC: Four generations of my family have trained and worked in the business that’s over 90 years – since 1931. Skills were passed down. We’ve built a reputation for outstanding design and fabrication, including custom-built staircases. In 1972, we added spiral staircases, and our reputation went national, making us The Leading Manufacturer of Spiral Staircases™.

When people see our work, they know that it is from The Iron Shop and recognize that it came from our shop in Broomall, PA. I do believe that a great reputation is difficult to get and easy to destroy. We wouldn’t be around this long if we let our reputation diminish.

Q: How did you build your reputation?

AC: You can’t buy credibility, you need to earn it. Our goal is to produce the best metalwork possible. The Iron Shop has never been interested in copying competitors, and that shows in our finished product, whether we build a staircase out of metal or wood. Our customers are diverse; we work with a range of customer types: hospitality, education, residential, commercial, and healthcare.  Buyers know and trust us.

We offer a limited lifetime warranty on our metal, oak, and Victorian spiral staircases. If there’s a mistake, we will fix it! All manufacturing defects are covered for life. While we can’t prevent wear and tear, the quality materials we use to fabricate our kits help to ensure that with proper care and maintenance our stairs will last for a lifetime.

Q: Talk to us about Reliable Craftsmanship

AC: We use time-tested, and safe designs, formed from working with some of the world’s best architects. We have years of experience and are in constant communication with our vendors and customers.

An element of craftsmanship is making a safe design then ensuring that our customers are able to put the stairs together properly.  We make a point of being here for the customer – to answer any questions that come up during the installation process.

All Iron Shop Stairs are made in America by experienced fabricators who take pride in ensuring that every weld meets the standards of craftsmanship that we hold ourselves to.

Our spiral staircases installed near the shore have lasted over 30 years. Because our staircases are built to take a beating, you can install them inside or outside, even in the harshest of elements, like near the ocean. Additionally, our staircases conform to some of the strictest codes in all regions of the United States.

Q: What does your design and manufacturing process look like? How has it evolved over time?

AC: While we use techniques handed down from generation to generation, we also implement new technology and better manufacturing through science and human growth. It’s not about making our staircases cheaper or faster – it’s more about producing a better product using modern technology.

We are an American company that employs American workers. Our experienced metal workers are devoted and talented. They use their devotion and talent to learn and grow with new technology as it becomes available. We approach every day as an opportunity to be better than we were the day before.

Modern tools, including state-of-the-art plasma and laser cutters, give us precision accuracy for a more consistent product and often make manufacturing quicker and less expensive to the consumer. This is how we can offer fair prices for our product without sacrificing quality.

If we make a change to the design of a staircase, we build it and try it out ourselves first. We spend a lot of time testing the change before we release it to the public. If we don’t like the outcome, we use the knowledge to make it better before implementing the change into our design. We are constantly learning about new fabrication methods and tools and then in turn apply that knowledge to our spiral staircases.

Q: How do you provide great customer service for such a specialized type of product?

AC: Because a quality product needs proper installation, we want to help with the installation process, especially if a step is confusing or needs more explanation. We listen to feedback and apply those suggestions to make our products better, and installation easier for the next customer.

We take customer experience, including issues or complaints, personally, then use them to make a better product. Because we want our buyers to have a good experience, we provide detailed instructions and a phone number for live help during kit installation.

Don’t just take my word for it;  take a look at what customers say about the quality of our product, the installation process, and customer service by visiting our testimonials page. We ship our standard in-stock kits in two weeks with a detailed installation manual right from our Pennsylvania showroom.

Home improvement projects can be intimidating, even for the experienced Do-It-Yourselfer. We hope our conversation with Allen Cohen has taken some of the uncertainty out of spiral staircases and given you the confidence to get started. Remember: Allen and The Iron Shop team will be there for you every step of the way.

 Contact The Iron Shop

When you need a quality metal, wood, or Victorian spiral staircase that maximizes space, contact The Iron Shop for more information on our products, customization, and the installation process.