Have you bought a ladder but now the place you need to reach is only accessible from the stairs? Then you are in luck; you can use a ladder from the stairs. However, it might feel a bit risky and even more difficult if you are not careful enough. There is a correct way to use your ladders on the stairs. Here we will give you some tips and tricks for using a stairs ladder. Make sure you know the difference between ladders and stairs.
Table of Contents
- Reasons You Might Need to Install or Use a Ladder on Stairs
- The Best Ladder for Stairs
- What to Do in Case of Uneven Surface
- What to Do in Small Spaces
- Special Ladders for Use on Stairs
- Other Tools You Could Use
- Other Methods to Try
- Things to Note Before Using a Ladder on a Stair
Reasons You Might Need to Install or Use a Ladder on Stairs
You’ve probably faced one of these situations if you own a multi-story or 2-story home.
- Renovate or paint a wall on a staircase
- Roof panels or installation of alarms
- Install new light fixtures in a staircase
- Changing a bulb in a light fixture above the stairs
- Hang pictures along the stairs
These situations are every day for tradespeople like drywallers and painters. They have commercial solutions or special ladders to help get the job done.
However, these situations can be challenging for homeowners because they don’t happen often. These problems may seem minor, but the solution can be complicated.
When working in places too high to reach, you should never use unstable surfaces like boxes or chairs to give you the height you need. Using a step ladder makes it safe to work even on uneven structures like stairs. To work safely on stairs, the rear legs of the ladder should have a shorter angle than the front legs, which support the entire device.
Inspect the stepladder to make sure it is safe to use. Examine it to ensure it has no visible defects and that all safety mechanisms work correctly.
Open the stepladder and altogether remove the shelf. Place the front feet of the ladder on the bottom surface of the stairs. Place the back legs of the ladder on the second surface, where the second surface is raised above the first surface.
Lock the spreader onto the ladder after placing the ladder in the correct position. Put on a sturdy pair of shoes with rubber soles before attempting to climb the ladder. If you feel unbalanced, have an adult stand behind you and hold the ladder securely while you work.
The Best Ladder for Stairs
3-section and 2-section combination stair ladders are the best all-purpose ladders and are great options if you need ladders that you can use on stairs. Working at high stairs can present several challenges and difficulties, not the least of which is working safely. A fall from a ladder from a height onto a hard, uneven surface like a staircase can have serious consequences. Besides that, there are other factors to consider when working on stairs.
What to Do in Case of Uneven Surface
If you only have a regular “A” frame ladder, it may be tempting to position it on two different treads for “just a quick, one-time job.” However, it would be best if you did any work on stairs at a 70-degree angle for complete stability, balance, and safety. As ordinary stepladders are designed to open at this angle when fully erected, attempting to balance them at different levels, in this case by varying the steps of a staircase, immediately places them at a dangerous angle and increases the risk of the climber falling. Even the tiny amount of “bounce” you feel when climbing the ladder can make you more vulnerable to a fall or small movements, and overextending at the top can cause it to tip over. The higher the step ladder, the greater the chance of this happening.
What to Do in Small Spaces
Interior stairs are usually narrow and confined, making the job more difficult. However, it is possible to place the base of a straight ladder on a step and brace it against the opposite wall for added stability.
Special Ladders for Use on Stairs
If you have a bit more budget, you can choose to buy a ladder made for use on stairs. They exist, and these ladders will fit comfortably over your stairs. They bend the body and are snug with the steps so you can easily reach over. However, these might be a bit costly as well.
Other Tools You Could Use
There are also other tools you could use, like leg extenders which will make the ladder longer to fit the staircase. However, these are permanent, and once you install them, there is no way you could get them off in the next instant. You will also need to buy many of them, which makes the ladder a bit more challenging to carry.
Another tool to use is the wedge-style stairs. They are easy to use and carry, but not so sturdy, and also not a good option if you need to use the ladder for a longer time on stairs.
Other Methods to Try
You could use a makeshift scaffold. Scaffolds are pretty helpful and come in handy; place the ladder on the stairs and take a heavy tool on top. You need to wedge a piece of wood in between and tie them so that the ladder does not move. However, make sure you tighten it. You will need an overhanging wall for this to work and some additional materials to support the user’s weight on the ladder.
You could also try making a ladder platform. These are stable and also a great idea. These are also very easy to set up and flexible. However, you cannot change the height as these the custom-built. Platforms are a single-use kind of a hack but will solve your problem.
You can use a ladder aide as well. Make sure to place the Ladder base on the lower stair and slide the top into the ground. After this, slide the platform and lower it down to the next step. You just have to insert the locking pins in place, and you are done for the day.
They are also straightforward to carry around, work well, and are a more durable option than the others.
Things to Note Before Using a Ladder on a Stair
Make Sure the Ladder is Stable
Once you have found the right ladder, you must set it up. If you are not used to this operation, plan a time for this installation.
Indeed, while a standard ladder has equal feet, a stair ladder adapts easily to the slope of your staircase because of its telescopic feet. After a few level adjustments, you will have more stability to work with.
Have Someone Hold the Ladder
Finally, remember that you will be on a ladder and a staircase. Unlike a flat surface, the risk of an accident will therefore be more significant. Don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. This person will be able to hold your ladder and even give you the necessary tools as you go along.
While working on the ladder, always remember that safety is a must. Therefore if you are getting any of the above tools, ensure they are secure enough to climb. Since you will use a ladder on top of the stairs, you must proceed with utmost caution.