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I live in a two-story condo and need to reach a spot on the wall high above my staircase to do some handy work. A ladder is the only way I can do this (I am stating this explicitly in order to avoid responses of Well, tell us exactly what you are doing so we can possibly find an alternative).

A scaffold for a staircase would be nice, but there's no place around here that rents them out for a reasonable price. I came across an idea on YouTube to set a ladder up against a wall and then lay a board across the staircase and one of the rungs on the ladder, but there's no way I can transport a board of such length in my sedan. As I am sorta forced to find a way to do this on my own, I came upon the dangerous idea of creating a platform by stacking a few cinder blocks on a lower step and putting a sheet of plywood across the blocks and a higher step. I have a rail that will serve as backing for the plywood. Conceptually, it seems like a sound idea, but I am coming to you guys for alternatives that might help me avoid breaking a part of my body.

Update: Since I am in dire need of a super quick solution and couldn't find a PiViT per Tester's recommendation, I picked up a Werner 22' multi-use ladder from Lowe's. Tester gets the mark for best answer since his answer addresses my question. Even though I haven't tried it, I know it would work.

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What type of ladder do you have? –  Tester101 Dec 22 '11 at 12:56
    
I guess it's what you'd call an A-frame ladder. It can be stood up straight against a wall or it folds out so it can stand on its own. –  oscilatingcretin Dec 22 '11 at 12:58
    
Are you planning to put the ladder parallel or perpendicular to the staircase? If the former, Tester101 has a good answer. If the latter, your concern is not so much strength as resistance to movement. And if you can keep the cinder blocks and plywood from shifting, that's about as good as you'll find. –  kdgregory Dec 22 '11 at 13:25
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For some of these ideas, make sure to take a picture and submit it to the "There, I fixed it" blog (see thereifixedit.failblog.org/2011/11/02/…). –  Kris K. Dec 22 '11 at 14:24
    
Ha! What's funny is that I had just recently come up with the idea to make a staircase scaffold out of 7' planks of moulding, 2x4s, clamps, plywood, and a stepladder. If I don't end up coming across a PiViT-like tool like Tester101 came up with then I fear I will end up doing something drastically dumb. If I suddenly stop posting on StackExchange one day, there's most likely a very good reason for it =D. –  oscilatingcretin Dec 22 '11 at 14:29
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you're using an extension ladder, they sell Ladder leveling feet.

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I also stumbled across this product The PiViT Ladder tool, though you'd need two for a step ladder.

enter image description here

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I like that PiViT thing, but, unfortunately, can't find anything like it at Lowe's or Home Depot. Any pointers on what I should be searching for in the event that I am just not using the right keywords? –  oscilatingcretin Dec 22 '11 at 13:33
    
@oscilatingcretin I did a google search for ladder levelers –  Tester101 Dec 22 '11 at 13:36
    
See update 12345 –  oscilatingcretin Dec 22 '11 at 17:16
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Here is a corrected link for the PiViT LadderTool. Looks like they got a new website. –  Zach Mar 27 at 21:39
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This can easily be accomplished with a bakers scaffold (you can buy/rent).

Bakers Scaffold

They're totally adjustable. I'm in construction for twenty years now and really, there's no better way to go.

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