How To Use a Ladder On Stairs Safely

Using a normal ladder on the stairs without any guidance or extra equipment is as bad of an idea as it sounds. In lieu of shelling out for a $500 specialty ladder, there are several things you can buy that will help you get your home repairs or renovations done as safely as possible.

Use this guide if your home repairs have made it necessary to put yourself in danger by using a ladder on the stairs, either to reach a high window or access a high wall corner for water damage repairs, painting, remodeling, or whatever you have to do. Don’t rely on shaky old methods like a home-built ladder platform if you don’t have to, since they can be more complicated and dangerous than they’re worth compared to modern technology options.

Here are a few choice pieces of convenient modern equipment for staying safe while using a ladder on the stairs, what they’re good for, and even how to hack it if you really want to go homemade.


Use a ladder aide like the PiViT Ladder Tool

Ladder aides like the PiViT Ladder Tool are designed for modern renovators to have access to a ladder stabilizer and leveler without having to buy an entire specialty ladder to get it.

This multipurpose tool supports up to 500 pounds and is made of the same material that car batteries are encased in. No matter what your remodeling or repair project entails, PiViT can be a huge help.

For instance, you can flip the ladder tool onto a right angle and set one ladder leg on it while working on the stairs, using the tool as a makeshift step. You can also attach it to the rungs of the ladder and use a wide board to create a platform, particularly useful for complex painting jobs.

Multiple PiViT Ladder Tools can be useful in conjunction to level and increase the utility of any ladder on any uneven terrain, including on the stairs.

Use ladder levelers

When working on the stairs, you can also buy a ladder leveler that attaches directly to your ladder’s legs. These tools, like the LeveLok Leveler, permanently increase the utility of your ladder without the need to carry any extra equipment around.

LeveLok fits on any kind of ladder, including aluminum, extension, articulating, and fiberglass. It has plated feet to dig into the carpet on your stairs and stay in place no matter where you are.

If you’re worried about future renovations and want to turn your ladder into a much more functional, adjustable piece of equipment that can stay level even on a staircase, the LeveLok Leveler, or any similar ladder leveler, is a choice tool for your needs.

Use a multi-position ladder

If you plan on needing the utility of an adjustable ladder often, you may want to opt for an entire ladder built for the purpose to accomplish your extensive renovations or repairs easily and safely.

In that case, an adjustable, multi-position ladder like the Little Giant Velocity Multi-Use Ladder could be the tool for you. It can be set up and adjusted for heights on both sides to accommodate your staircase, no matter how steep. It can even collapse into a wall ladder with adjustable feet for particularly narrow spaces.

This ladder is ideal for a husband and wife renovation team working together on their dream home. The Little Giant Velocity will accommodate you with a 300-pound weight capacity on both sides. You can configure the legs for work on the stairs with convenient dual-pin hinges and patented Rock Lock technology for quick and easy adjustment. Then, both of you can use the ladder at once, even at different heights.

With an adjustable ladder like the Velocity, one of you could be painting the high wall at the top of the stairs while the other paints the landing. Look for a sturdy aluminum construction, triple-locking hinges for maximum safety, and the right height to reach your vaulted ceilings, around obstacles in your house’s construction, or to your highest roof repairs.

Use makeshift scaffolding

Makeshift scaffolding is the old-school way to make your ladder work for you on the stairs. Rather than buying an expensive adjustable ladder, you can use two ladders to create your own custom platform from which you can reach the vaulted ceiling in your stairwell.

There are a few conditions that need to be met for this to work. In the first place, you need two ladders, which may not be worth the price. However, keep in mind that the further the ladders are set apart from each other on the stairs, the more difference in height they could be and still work for your purposes. The ladder on the landing could even be a little two-step stepladder, if it works.

The second thing you need in order to make this adjustable ladder hack work is a piece of overhanging wall to prop the tall ladder against while it’s lower on the stairs. Without this configuration in your stairwell, this hack won’t work for you.

Finally, you need the materials (and the bravery) to make a platform that will rest securely between the ladders and will also hold your weight. If you’re a little hefty or a little off-balance, putting a single plank of wood between you and a fall down the stairs along with two ladders and a paint can may not be the best option.

The Takeaway

Working from a ladder on the stairs probably has you a little nervous. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.

However, there are quite a few products on the market designed to help you avoid falls and create a sturdy, stable working environment for yourself while you do roof and wall repairs, painting jobs, or renovations from the stairs.

These include levelers, ladder aides, and adjustable ladders designed specifically to increase your safety and stability during this risky work. You can also opt for a homemade option with makeshift scaffolding, providing you have a couple of ladders, sturdy materials, and a little bravery.

Regardless of which method you use, renovating your house using the best ladders doesn’t have to be dangerous, even on the stairs. These tips and tools are designed to make this job easy for you.