About Us

We Love Our Work and the People Who Do It

How We View Success

We are successful when we design and create stunning stair projects that exceed our customers' expectations. If we have to solve problems, create the unique or build something challenging along the way, it is even more enjoyable!

We are successful when we provide a healthy and caring work environment for employees to support their families while learning and growing.


Bob DuCharmé

How It Started

In 1969 Bob DuCharmé started R.S. DuCharmé and Company — Wood Stairs and Railings. The business was located in the garage of his Naperville home. By 1981 he had expanded to 7500 square feet and seven associates. Three of those original employees are still with us.

Like most stair companies, initially we were focused on installing stairs. Parts were purchased from stair parts companies. After many incidents of not getting parts on time and not meeting our quality standards, we started manufacturing our own stair parts. Today we are a full service custom mill manufacturer. Each part we make is to the highest level of precision that can be found in the wood industry.

Bob instituted a culture of learning, growth and problem solving. Whether we are making custom parts or designing stairs, our focus is always on how this can be done more efficiently, to a higher degree of accuracy and with the greatest aesthetic appeal.

In 1981 we incorporated under the name of DESIGNED STAIRS, INC. The name was chosen to reflect the fact that we RE-DESIGNED stairs as we know them today. Designed Stairs has led the development of the stair industry in Chicagoland. If you look outside the Midwest you will still see companies using outdated, inefficient methods. Through these DESIGN changes, the stairs have become stronger and more affordable.

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Where We Are Today

We are a second-generation family-owned business. Designed Stairs is the largest stair builder/manufacturer in Chicagoland and the leader for high-end stair work. We employ 35 individuals who have a combined stair experience of nearly 700 years, and occupy a 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

What Makes Us Unique

Precision Joinery

Precision Joinery

Stairs built by Designed Stairs arrive at the jobsite with a greater degree of shop-fabricated parts than our competitors. Read more …This allow our highly trained field installers to build a higher quality stair in less time than other stair companies. You can get your next trade in and complete your job faster!

Our shop fabrication simply can't be matched by work done in the field. Designed Stairs quality standards and shop fabrication methods deliver the highest quality joinery you can find in the stair industry. Our work follows the highest level of Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) quality standards.

Our high-quality standards are "built in" to every Designed Stairs stair.

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Less Time On Site

Less Time On Site

We understand that getting your sub-contractors on and off the site quickly and efficiently is one of the keys to your success.Read more …

Due to our advanced shop fabrication techniques, Designed Stairs consistently maintains shorter times on site. Our shop fabrication not only creates a higher quality product — installation is faster.

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Unique Methods

Unique Methods

Designed Stairs has developed many systems that provide a higher quality product.Read more …

Designed Stairs has developed unique methods of interlocking our newels into the staircase. These methods create newel connections that are superior to the "bolt down" methods used by many of our competitors.

Similarly, the Designed Stairs system of pinning iron balusters creates superior stability, fit and finish over the method used by other stair companies. Our iron baluster system leaves a precision-fit, streamlined look compared to the bulky "iron boot" hole covers that our competitors use.

Our curved staircases are completely fit and dry-assembled in our shop, providing a level of precision that sets us apart. Our ability to laser measure curved framing allows us to design to details that most of our competitors miss.

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Exacting Standards

Exacting Standards

Each component of your staircase has been designed and engineered by Designed Stairs to meet strict quality levels, Read more …maintain the highest level of durability, and provide the maximum amount of aesthetic appeal.

We control the entire manufacturing process from the purchase of the best material, all the way through to final assembly or installation.

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We Believe in Serving Others

We believe that it is our privilege and responsibility to serve others. Close to our heart are areas where we can help improve the lives of those struggling or less fortunate.

Narrow Gate provides a transformative experience for young men ages 18-25 to pause from the distractions of daily life to consider their direction for the future.

Designed Stairs provided a stair for the facility.

HorsePower provides creative, inspiring, and challenging therapeutic horseback riding lessons to children and adults with disabilities.

Naomi's House is a ministry of Moody Church in Chicago. A home in Wheaton was purchased and remodeled to house and to provide a safe place for women who have suffered from abuse and sexual exploitation. Most of the work and materials were donated and provided by volunteers from all over the Chicago area. Designed Stairs was happy to provide stairs and rails for this project.

Christmas of Compassion 2017

Gift drive to help single mothers, and single men and women without families living in group housing.

Charities We Have Supported Over The Years

Hessed House, Aurora IL

Wayside Cross, Aurora IL

Mutual Ground, Aurora IL

Hephzibah Home, Oak Park IL

Salvation Army

Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc WI