I have a really high stairwell to do walls around (cca 18 ft). Scaffolding is impractical. I had rigged a temporary platform that I used to hang drywall and it worked well but I had to remove it because it was anchored into the structural framing and I needed to hang drywall where it was anchored. So I was thinking to put a 20' ladder at the landing of the stairs or the first stair leaning onto the wall that faces the stairs. Then I want to take another, shorter ladder (one piece 10') and rest one side on or near the top of the stairs and the other somehow suspend on the big ladder to act as a bridge between the stairs and the big ladder. From there, most areas will be able to be reached for drywall taping and mudding and later on painting.

My question is, since both ladders are the same width, are there contraptions (hangers) to mount on the big ladder to which I can suspend the small horizontal one? I googled "ladder accessories" but didn't find anything like. What is an accessory like that called? Because I can't just insert the small one into the big one securely. I was thinking some secure buckle/hook should exist for this type of rigging precisely.

See illustration.

enter image description here

  • 3
    No way would I stage with a horizontal ladder like the red ladder in you drawing. A solid 10' 2x12 ought to do for one person, but depends on the total weight. I'd use two, one on top of the other, for heavy loads or if uncomfortable with the amount of spring. Lumber yards also sell roughsawn two-bys for staging. They are a full 2" thick, or near to it.
    – mike
    Jun 11, 2013 at 4:22
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    Ladders are designed to carry a load in a vertical-ish direction, loading a ladder in this way could end badly.
    – Tester101
    Jun 11, 2013 at 11:54
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    Conventional ladders are NOT designed to bear horizontal weight! They will buckle very easily if you load them like that. They are designed to bear vertical weight at an arm lengths away from your self-with the base at your feet. Not more than 45 degrees.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jun 12, 2013 at 9:02
  • some secure buckle/hook should exist - It's called a ladder jack, but you still need a plank, and the ladder doesn't go the way you've illustrated, unless you just use one ladder and a plank.
    – Mazura
    Aug 3, 2017 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


Instead of a horizontal ladder, I'd use scaffold extension plank. These are designed to work with an extension ladder or with ladder jacks. Some have clips for ladder rung attachment, I've used a pair of c-clamps (just on the extension plank, to prevent it sliding) . OSHA spec on plankings, contains span ratings for wooden planks

Little Giant 8 -13 ft telescoping plank

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