Tag Archives: handrails

Getting the Benefits of In-House Without the Costs and Trouble

In a time of market volatility, customers can depend on the experience and stability of our “in-house” experts. Think of the benefits of having your own in-house structural steel facility… There are many major worries that you could eliminate from your day-to-day operations. Things like quality control, transportation costs, and material issues would no longer keep you up at night. The biggest problem with this dream might be the overwhelming start-up costs. Just purchasing the machinery can put you in the red for years, not to mention hiring and training workers to both operate and maintain the equipment. It would be ideal to find a solution for Benefits of In House Imagethe inkling of hesitation. At Macuch Steel Products, we have the tools for this age-old problem. Our biggest goal is to bring customers all the benefits of an in-house structural steel operation without the costs and staffing headaches.

From Inception to Completion

In many ways, Macuch is six outstanding companies under one family-owned and operated umbrella. Each of our divisions offers contractors unique services that act like your own personal in-house operation.

  • Structural Steel
    Our full-service shop provides clients estimating, budget pricing, detailing, engineering calculations, fabrication, welding, shearing, bending, punching, painting services, and installation.
  • Rebar
    Since the 1960’s, builders all over the Southeastern U.S. have come to Macuch for their rebar needs. We supply just about every type of rebar you will ever need.
  • Steel Service Center
    As well as carrying a wide range of steel products, Macuch will also cut, punch, bend, weld, and paint steel to our customers’ specifications.
  • Em-Co Metal Products, Inc: Structural Steel Fabrication
    Located just outside Savannah, this smaller offshoot of Macuch mainly focuses on heavy welding high-man-hour-per-ton types of work. This facility fabricates steel in lengths typically up to 60′, widths up to 17′, and weights that range up to 10 tons, with 170′ lengths.
  • Shewmake Steel Erection Inc.
    If you need efficient and cost-effective installation and erection of structural or other steel products, our subsidiary Shewmake is the perfect choice. We have the experience crew to operate cranes, lifts, trucks, and welding equipment to complete all of your projects.
  • Southeastern Stair & Rail
    If you need high quality stair and rail products, including ladders, compound radius stairs, grating platforms, grating treads, hand railing, ornamental railings, monumental stairs, primary egress stairs, and guard rails then Southeastern Stair & Rail is the perfect choice.

By allowing the divisions that make up the Macuch family to handle all the services above, you get personalized service without having to pay the often-debilitating cost of bringing everything in-house. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

If you want to learn how to eliminate your next contracting head-ache, please visit our website. We also post more industry news on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Industry Voices – Achievable Tolerances for Mortal Builders of Handrails

Negative handrail tolerances

People build buildings.  However, being human means that nothing we do is perfect.  With this thought in mind – why do designers of buildings require handrails to be installed without negative tolerances?

“Buildability” is a valid design objective that includes, among other factors, achievable tolerances.  Life Safety Code supports buildability of handrails, but it is ignored or misapplied in most contracts and designs.  It becomes low hanging fruit for the inspector.  Life Safety Code, as published by The National Fire Protection Association, states in section “New Handrails on stairs shall be not less than 34 inches, and not more than 38 inches, above the surface of the tread, measured vertically to the top of the rail from the leading edge of the tread.”  Most contract documents specify for the top of the handrail to be 34 inches.  When we draw the handrails to anything other than 34 inches, the approver typically marks up this dimension, specifying the minimum 34 inches (no negative tolerance).

Tee Center – handrails by Macuch Steel’s affiliate Southeastern Stair and Rail

In the real world of construction, nothing is perfect.  You add the bevel of a stair into the equation and problems become magnified.  Life Safety Code also allows variance in the placement of treads ( * dimensional uniformity).  This variance alone can cause the Fire Marshal to fail the height of the handrail above the treads when the handrail is designed at the minimum height.  When you add in variances in the surface flatness of poured-in-place treads, you can experience more variations in the dimensional uniformity.  Finally, many treads are covered with vinyl or terrazzo.  This allows another possibility of the leading edge of the tread being slightly different than the designer’s intent.

In conclusion, being human, we need both negative and positive tolerances when constructing buildings, and designers need to specify the tops of handrails to be at 36 inches.  This will provide tolerance both ways and will allow the best chance for success in passing the Fire Marshal’s inspection.

Macuch Steel – inherently imperfect humans.

William L. Macuch “Bill”


Macuch Steel Products, Inc.