Discount Quality Stairs
Discount Quality Stairs offers homebuilders a way to save time and money on staircases through its online ordering service.
By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor, Knighthouse Media
In the competitive world of e-commerce, Discount Quality Stairs (DQS) offers homebuilders, contractors and even homeowners something completely unique. “We are the only stair company that allows you to go online, type in measurements and actually create a stair, order it and have it delivered,” says Jesse Kehoe, partner. “As far as what differentiates us in this arena, there’s simply no one else doing it.”
The Monroe, N.Y.-based company has been offering customers the ability to order stairs online since 2010. The idea for DQS came to Kehoe after he ordered a set of metal security doors for his home. “I found an online company and they walked you through measuring and placing the order. You take responsibility for getting the doors off the truck and installing them, but it went flawlessly,” he remembers. “I got to thinking, ‘Why couldn’t we do the same thing for our customers in the stair industry?’”
DQS is a full service online stair company that has its roots in traditional brick-and-mortar stair manufacturing. Its parent company has been in business since 1985. “We started DQS under a different moniker than our traditional brick-and-mortar company because we didn’t know if it was going to work,” Kehoe says.
“This business reaches down market where you have lots of homebuilders who have carpenters build field-built stairs, and we wanted to tap into that market,” he continues. “This is not for high-end custom homes with curved staircases. This is for straight staircases that you can measure yourself and save time and money.”
Online Stair Builder
DQS’s proprietary Online Stair Builder program has allowed the company to modernize an industry that has been operating the same way for hundreds of years. The Online Stair Builder walks customers through the stair design process, showing both the 3-D and 2-D look of the stair.
Once a customer chooses his or her stair design and has entered the measurements, DQS creates a shop drawing that is sent to the customer for final verification. “They get to see the look of the stair in our Online Stair Builder, but we have an actual person input the measurements and make sure everything works by sending them a drawing to approve before we start production,” Kehoe explains. “We are keenly aware of the fact that people who go online to order stuff don’t want to be contacted and that’s the spirit we want to keep, but this is a complex product and we don’t want them to be disappointed if it doesn’t fit.”
DQS offers its customers fully assembled prefabricated staircases or “knocked down” stair kits. “Our stair kits allow the builder or carpenter to build the stairs onsite still, but with CNC machined goods,” Kehoe says. “There is no cost difference between the two. The only reason to not go fully assembled is if it doesn’t fit in the house.”
Moving forward, Kehoe says the biggest challenge for DQS is getting people to realize that stairs are a component that can be changed out in an existing home and installed in a new home. To overcome this, DQS will continue to market itself as an option for builders and contractors to save time and money and the company expects to continue to grow because of its high-quality product and user-friendly service.
“The simple fact that you are able to order online and not have a sales guy come to your house or someone come out to measure, we are filling a huge need whether or not people realize they have that need just yet,” Kehoe says. “Builders and contractors can now go online and order their stairs, just as easily as they order everything else, because we have proven for the last eight years that we can do this.”