How To Use A Ladder On Stairs

Ever wondered how other people did a project that is several meters above the ground?  Or what tools or equipment they’ve used to reach something elevated?  

There are also some projects where you must work on staircases, but how will you do it? Is it possible to make use of a ladder on the stairs?

If you have all these questions in mind, and you’re interested to know the answers, then keep reading ‘til the end.  Hope you’ll find the answers you’ve been looking for.

When you’re living in a tall, multiple-story house, you probably have encountered challenges that are related to your house projects, such as:

  • Renovations
  • Painting walls side by side your staircase
  • Installation of roof panels
  • Installation of alarms, bulbs or CCTV cameras
  • Attaching paintings or pictures on your staircase walls

These are all basic for people who are used to these kinds of jobs for they have the experience, advanced tools or equipment, or specialized ladders to get things done easily and quickly.  But for ordinary homeowners or individuals, they can be very complicated.  

Types of Ladders Used in Stairs

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have those commercial tools because you have a number of options that can help you with your various house projects.

1. If you want a versatile ladder that may be transformed or bent, go for specialized ladders.  However, the downside to this kind of ladder is that it is pricey.

2. If you can’t afford a specialized ladder, buy an extension ladder instead.  Along with the ladder, you can buy some tools that can make it more stable or convenient like leg levelers, ladder hooks, non-slip ladder base, ladder aide, etc.  

3. Last, is a DIY ladder.  This is the cheapest option but has the same functionality and output.

How to Effectively and Safely Use a Ladder on Stairs

A ladder and a stair almost have the same function.  Their solid difference is that with a ladder, you need to acquire knowledge on how to properly use it.  Having the right comprehension about a ladder will help you get things done with efficiency and safety.  

  1. Using extension, telescoping and straight ladders on your stairs with the use of a ladder aide.  

With the help of a ladder aide, this will allow you to alter a ladder’s height on one side to make it balanced.  This is easy to assemble and does not need any tool to install it.  It can be used on light to medium ladders.

1. Position the ladder aide’s base parallel to the lowest level of the stair where you’ll be working.

2. Next is to insert the upright part of the ladder aide and secure it properly with a locking pin.

NOTE: If what you have is the ladder aide pro, the top half still needs to be secured right into the platform.  

3. Lastly, slide the ladder aide’s platform on the upper stair, then secure again in place using a locking pin.

You will notice that a ladder aide consists of several mounting holes, which will allow you to adjust it according to your desired level.  

4. Then you may now place either your extension, telescopic or straight ladder over the ladder aide platform.  

Installing a ladder aide is so simple to do.  Your ladder does not need to be directly affixed to it, which means you can easily use any ladder that you prefer.  You also don’t have to worry about slipping as the ladder aide has a non-slip base feature.  

The ladder aide, whether pro or non-pro, is portable, very light and compact.  Therefore, you can easily toss it in your garage, car or storage room.  

Struggle no more the next time you’ll be needing a ladder for your project along your staircase.  You basically just need to take hold of the ladder aide.  

Advantages of a Ladder Aide

  • It is very easy to assemble without needing to attach it directly to your ladder
  • Once assembled, it can be moved from one step to another fast and easy.  
  • It works well with several types of ladders like the straight, telescoping and extension ladders.  
  • It has a non-slip base feature, which prevents the ladder from gliding. 
  • You can bring it along with you anywhere since it’s lightweight and compact.  

Disadvantages of a Ladder Aide:

  • It is not compatible with other types of ladders like the orchard and step ladders.

B. Using an extension ladder and a leg leveler

If you’re working on a surface that’s uneven, you may need the help of a leg leveler.  This tool can act as an extension to one leg of the ladder or both. 

How does a leg leveler work? Isn’t it that when you’re working on the stairs, there’s no way you can place a ladder without any supporting tool, right?  That’s when the leg leveler comes in.  One foot of the ladder will be positioned on the upper step or stair and the other foot extends to the lower step with the help of a leg leveler.

1. Attaching the leg levelers to the legs of the ladder.

Make the ladder stand on one side.  Now, detach the bolts that are holding the foot and unscrew them from the rails of the ladder using a spanner and a socket set. 

2. Assemble the leg levelers.

Get one of the leg levelers and align it to the ladder rail.  Put a mark on the rail where the holes of the leg levelers are positioned.  Then, by using a power drill, pierce holes on the marked spots of the ladder rail.  

Realign the leg leveler against the ladder rail.  Now, align both the ladder holes and the leg leveler holes.  When done, slide in the bolts – don’t forget to put the lock washers and nuts.  Make sure that the nuts are well-tightened.  

Repeat the process with the other leg of the ladder.  

3. Setting up the ladder with leg levelers on the stairs.  

Now that you’ve finished assembling the ladder with its leg levelers on it, you may now position the ladder on the stairs.

Let the ladder slant against the wall vertically on the staircase with one foot rested on the part of the stair where you’ll be working.  While firmly holding the ladder, push the leveler leg’s locking plates.  This shall release the leg leveler and take a position on the lower step.  Make some adjustments until you achieve the right balance.  Once settled, lock it up steadily.  

You’re all set!

Advantage of a leg leveler

  • The leg leveler is well-secured. 

Disadvantages of a leg leveler

  • It is high-priced.
  • It needs to be attached permanently to the ladder, which adds weight to it.   

4.  Extending the ladder’s foot using a ladder wedge

As compared to the previous leg extenders that were discussed, the ladder wedge is probably the easiest to use.  

Place the ladder wedge on the lower step from where you’ll be placing the ladder.  Next is to position the ladder with one leg resting on the ladder wedge and the other on the upper step.  

When the ladder is already in place, you may begin working on your project.  

Advantages of a ladder wedge

  • There is no installation needed
  • It is versatile.
  • It can be used in several surfaces, such as staircases and slopes.  

Disadvantages of a ladder wedge

  • There is problem in stability, which makes it unsafe.
  • It is bulky.  

Different Options in Making a Ladder on Stairs

1. Staircase Platform

Place one end on one of the steps of the ladder and the other end goes on the stair.  You can buy one from physical stores or online stores.

2. Adjustable Ladder

This works almost similar to a leg leveler; the only difference is that its leg extension is built in. There’s no installation needed.  Adjusting the ladder’s legs is the only thing that you’ll be doing.  And because it’s easy to use, this makes it one of the most popular ladders for stairs.    

3. Adjustable Telescopic Step Ladder

This type of ladder allows you to adjust suitably to the conditions of surfaces.

4. DIY Platform

With DIY platforms, you may use simple pine boards or plywood.  When your resourcefulness strikes, you don’t need to spend money on expensive leg ladder extenders.  

Woods with the right thickness are just as durable as staircase platforms.  Look around your garage or workshop as you might find something that you can turn into a platform and use a ladder on stairs.     

5. DIY Modified Scaffolding 

If you can customize a scaffolding that can be used as a ladder on stairs, much better.  However, this may be limited only to long-term projects in your house like ceiling repair or wall painting.  It’s not ideal to use when replacing light bulbs or hanging pictures on the wall of your staircase. 

  • Set up a step ladder at the topmost part of your stairs.
  • At the bottom part of the stairs, lean an extension ladder against the opposite wall.
  • Use a plywood that measures 2”x4” to connect the 2 ladders.  Secure the ends by using screws or nails.  This shall prevent the plywood from slipping.  

Advantage of DIY changed scaffolding

  • This choice shows off stability and safety when used as ladder on stairs.  
  • Allows you to work in wider coverages without the need to reposition your tools.  

Disadvantage of DIY changed scaffolding

  • You will need a step ladder and an extension ladder to make such platform.
  • To make it sturdy, you will need to instill added support.  

6. Combination of Ladder on Stairs

With all the options already given to you, have you already made up your mind on what ladder should you use? If not, here’s another possibility – the combination ladder.

Doing stairwell projects is stressful, especially with all the setting up and installation processes.  If you want to prevent stress from bugging you, try to invest on a combination ladder.  Using this type of ladder involves so little work.

  • Position the ladder and let it stand at the topmost part of the stairs with its stabilizer bar.  But before doing so, remover first the extension from the ladder.
  • Join the base and the middle section of the ladder forming a step ladder shape.  Then, get hold again of the extension and overturn it behind the middle part.  
  • Let the extension part stand on the lower step where you’ll start working and keep on adjusting ‘til the locking bars assume a horizontal position.  

Note: As much as possible, ask someone to help you when performing these procedures.  

How to Safely Use Ladder on Stairs

1. Always get the right ladder size as well as the type of ladder for the project that you’ll be doing.  Take time to assess the height or length of the ladder that you need before buying one.

2. Be mindful of what’s written in the user’s manual.  Every bit of information and instructions in it are important.  

3. Always keep in mind the safety precautions before you begin setting up the ladder on the stairs.  

I guess, you already have, by now, an idea of what method to follow when using a ladder on stairs.  

I hope I’ve answered all your questions.  If so, you better start moving and start working on your project! 


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