What's the typical method for working on the ceiling of a stairwell? The
only reason why I ask is that even with an 8 foot ladder, it's simply not
possible to reach the ceiling safely, especially when the staircase
effectively lowers the floor by 6 feet and turns that 8 foot ceiling into a
14 foot ceiling.
I'm thinking the easiest solution would be to build an L shaped platform to
lay on the stairs but wasn't sure if there's a simpler solution that doesn't
involve creaky underdesigned platforms that give way right as I climb up on
the ladder I set down on the platform.
I did the walls all the way up to the ceiling once. This would only
work if you had the open kind of stairwell I have, only a wrought iron
railing separating the hall from the section of stairs from the
landing down to the floor below.
Wow, it's only been 10 years but I can't remember. I had a lot of
depressing news 10 years ago, and there are several things I can't
remember from that period, but I think I took 2 6-foot ladders and put
some 3 or 4 2x4's from one to the other at about 4 or 5 feet high. I
know that I eventually put 3 2x4's from the first set of 2x4's or from
a ladder, to the floor of the hall. And then I put a piece of 1/2 or
3/4 inch plywood on top of the 2x4s, to make a pretty big platform,
and to spread my weight over all the 2x4s. I guess the ceiling
everywhere was now 8 foot high. I used a roller with paint in the
handle. Can do a lot that way, without looking for more paint.
Maybe if I had an extension ladder, I would have just used that.
The L shaped platform I built out of 3/4 inch plywood and 2 x 4 's
wasn't creaky or underdesigned and works well.
If you don't trust your design and construction skills, you can rent
scaffolding from good rental places.
Yepper,,a ladder(stepladder if possible) and plank is what I do..
Had a plank on a clete once,,the helper did'nt nail the clete well
and it came loose with 3 of Us on it hanging a 12' sheet of rock!! I
fell farthest but landed lucky,,the helper that nailed the clete fell
medium distance and hit the wall with minor injuries,,3rd guy was on
the plank but near the sawhorse on the stairwells' landing so did'nt
fall at all..The sheetrock jammed sideways before it could hurt Us..I
was so pissed nobody told Me Who nailed the clete for a looong time!!
I re-did it Myself and We went right back up..
Stretchplanks can be rented and are adjustable length,,they
generally rate to support about 250lbs more or less depending on how
far the User stretches it..Very handy items..
I haven't done it yet but it is coming to the top of the list, the
ladder is in the stairwell. My plan it to use an 10' step ladder and a
long running plank from the top step to an equivalent step on the
ladder, should end up at around 8'. I'm 6' so + the 8' from the
makeshift scaffold, = 14' that should be just right, maybe a bit too
tall. Maybe I'll just send the wife up, she is 5'4".
Safety tip; a C-clamp on the junction of the step ladder and plank
makes a world of difference, it removes the tipping and rock and roll.
I use a running plank which has sides made of 2X4s on edge, which
makes it muck more stable and less bouncy
Would it be safest and most flexible to rent one of those 'little
giant' ladders advertised on TV that can be offset (unequal legs) so
as to adjust to the slope of the stairs?
If/when I can afford I might buy one! Cos other uses.
Another alternate to just paint up to that 14 foot above floor height
might be a self made ladder (2 by 4 etc.) about ten feet long? with
the bottom of the legs unequal by the height of one step?
Well, that's exactly what I did in a similar situation: built an L-shaped
platform from 2x3 angle iron bolted together, with more of the same as
diagonal bracing (probably over-engineered, but the previous owners left a
huge pile of the stuff in the garage -- it was there, it was free, might as
well use it) and a cut-down sheet of 3/4" plywood across the top as a
platform. Very, very sturdy.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Well I guess I do have all that flooring that I'm tearing out of the
basement. Plenty of 1/4 rotten 2x4s and 3/4" tongue and groove plywood.
The worst that can happen is that the stairs collapse under my 280 lbs and I
fall and break my spine and arms. Why not?
I realize you jest, but for all the DIYs on here doing a project like this
for the first time-
You ain't 18 any more. Keeping your balance on a bouncy plank while doing
careful painting or other work, will be harder and more tiring than you
think. And if you fall, it will take a long and irritating time healing up,
assuming you don't do permanent damage. If you don't have the skill set and
experience to site-fabricate a safe comfortable work platform, either rent
the proper scaffolding at the rentall store, or hire the work out.
This is said in all kindness. Last year, in my immediate circle of
coworkers, 2 different middle-aged guys were seriously injured in falls of
less than eight feet, from improper work platforms, while helping friends or
relatives work on their houses. Lots of time off work, lots of expense, lots
of pain. They are both damn lucky to be walking, and both will have fun at
airport security for the rest of their lives from all the metal added to
them. It ain't the short fall that is the problem, it is how you land, and
what you land on.
And just like confined-space work, high work has a number one rule- NEVER
WORK ALONE. You always want someone there to call the ambulance and rescue
Lecture mode off. Enjoy....
I was up to 240, but lost weight down to 170 by the time I did this.
It made it a lot easier. It was almost as if it was planned that I
would be down to that weight by the time I had to do this, and to use
an extension laddeer on the 2nd floor and gable outside too.
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