How To Use A Ladder On Stairs | 5 Perfect Ideas For Everyone

So, you need to work from stairs to do some handy tasks on a high spot?

But are you wondering how to reach that high? How to use a ladder on stairs? Or what is the safest way of doing this?

Is it possible to use any type of ladder – single, straight, telescoping, extension ladder- on stairs?


This post will give you the answer of all your asking and the guidelines on how to safely use a ladder on stairs.

How to Use a Ladder on Stairs- Before You Get Started

Why may you need to use or set up a ladder on the stairs?

If you live in a 2- story or multi-story home, the chances are that you’ve faced any of the following situations:

  • Painting or renovate a wall along a staircase
  • Fitting alarms or roof panels
  • Installing a new light fixture in a stairwell
  • Changing a light bulb in a fixture above the staircase
  • Hanging pictures along stairs

Professionals or tradespeople such as dry-waller or painter are familiar with these situations, and they have commercial solutions or special ladder to use on stairs to get the job done.

But for the homeowner, these situations are quite challenging as these don’t happen very often. Although these problems are small, the solution is troublesome.

What are the options for using a ladder on the stairs?

There are several options to use a ladder on stairs.

First, using specialty ladders that bend, articulate and transform. But these types of ladders are expensive.

Second, using a single or extension ladder with the help of different tools such as ladder aide for stairs, ladder legs leveler, wedge-style tools etc.

Third, DIY method to make ladder platform to use ladder on stairs

How to Use a Ladder on Stairs Safely and Efficiently – Different Options

Stairs and ladder often make a tricky combination. However, using a ladder on stairs requires a little know-how, and you’ll be able to get on with getting your tasks done efficiently and of course, SAFELY.

In the following section, I’ve tried my best to explain all the possible available options.

1. How to Use an Extension, Straight and Telescoping Ladder on Stairs

Using Ladder Aide

Ladder-Aide allows you to adjust the height of one side of a ladder to the appropriate height.

It sets up quickly, and there’s nothing to build or install. You can use it with most light- or medium-duty straight, extension and telescoping ladders.

 A ladder aid consists of three parts: the base, the upright and the platform.

So, how to use a ladder-aide with any single, extension, or telescopic ladder on stairs? Follow the guidelines below:

Step 1: Set down the base of the ladder aide on the lower stair.

Step 2: Slide the upright section into the base of the ladder aide. Then, lower it down and lets it sits level on the top step.

Step 3: Secure the top half of the upright to the platform by inserting the locking pin.

As you can see, there are multiple mounting holes; these allow for super fine adjustments so that the ladder aide can be installed correctly.

Step 4: Place your extension, straight or telescopic ladder on top of the platform. Make sure you locate the feet of your ladder between the platform’s safety ridges.

**Always make sure the locking pin is level.

Next time you need to use a ladder on stairs, don’t struggle. Just reach for your ladder aide.

Advantages: The best thing is your extension ladder sits securely on top since you don’t need to attach it directly to your ladder.

Once you set it up, you can quickly move your ladder from one stair to the next, as the height of the stairs is the same so you won’t need to adjust.

Moreover, you can quickly and easily use whichever ladder is right for the job.

Additionally, ladder aid features a non-slip base, and they are lightweight and portable. So when you’re done working, you can easily throw them into your truck or store them in your basement.

Disadvantages: They don’t work with all kinds of ladders such as platform ladders, step ladders and orchard ladders.

2. How to Use an Extension Ladder on Stairs

By using ladder leveler legs

By using ladder leveler legs you can extend any or both legs of the ladder to place your ladder on any uneven surface. When using your ladder with leveler, ladder’s one foot will rest on upper stair tread while the other foot will rest on the lower tread.

So, how to use the ladder leveler for stairs? Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install the levelers legs to the ladder legs

  • First, lie down your ladder on the ground keeping the base half of the ladder facing upward.
  • Next, remove the bolts that hold the foot and pull them off the ladder rails. You may need to use a socket set and an open-end wrench to do the job.
  • Then, according to the manufacturer’s instruction align one of the extender legs against the ladder rail. Mark the locations of the drill-hole on the rail. Keep away the extender leg and drill each hole at the recommended diameter. Use a power drill to drill the hole.
  • Reposition the extender leg against the rail. Align the bolt holes in the extender leg and slide a bolt through each hole. Also, attach the lock washer and nut to each bolt according to manufacturer’s instructions. And tighten the nuts by using a socket wrench.
  • Follow the same process to attach another extender leg to the other leg of the ladder.

Step 2: Setting and Using the Ladder on the Stairs

  • Carry your ladder to the stairs and place it on the stair treads against which you need to stand the ladder. And raise it into the standing position.
  • Place one of the leveler leg’s feet flat on the upper stair-treads where you intend to use your ladder.
  • Slide the fly section of your extension ladder to your desired height and lean it against the wall.
  • Hold your ladder in place on the stairs with one hand. Then, squeeze the locking plates of the leveler leg by using another hand.
  • Allows the leveler to drop down and take the position against the lower stair-tread. Adjust the extension of the leveler legs. Lock it securely in positions.


Advantage: Ladder extender for stairs is safe to use

Disadvantages: They are expensive.

Leveler leg requires to be installed permanently on the ladder. So, it makes a ladder awkward to carry around and use.

By Using Wedge-style tools

You need to place this wedge-style tool under the bottom of the ladder feet. Once you put the wedge-tool under the ladder’s feet, one foot of your ladder will rest on the upper stair tread, and the other foot will rest on the tool.


No installation required.


Ideal to use with your ladder on a sloping hillside, level ground, or a staircase.


Big and bulky.

They’re not safe on the staircase.

3. How to Use a Step Ladder on Stairs

By using the staircase platform

You can use the staircase platform to place your step ladder on the stair. You can make it yourself, or get on buying online or from stores.

By using an adjustable ladder for stairs

Another way is the adjustable step ladder for stairs. You can adjust the legs of adjustable step ladder on the surface where you want to place your ladder.

In fact, it’s one of the best options to use on the stairs.

By using the adjustable telescopic step ladder

The telescopic legs of this type of step ladder allow you to adjust the height of the legs as your requirements so that they stay stable on the stairs.

By using a DIY ladder platform to use step ladder on stairs

It’s a platform that you can place on the stairs and put the step ladder on it.

It’s straightforward and safe to use. You can quickly build it by using materials that you may find lying around your shop or garage.

To make a DIY platform you’ll need simply Plywood and Pine board.

If you want to save money on buying a ladder platform for stairs, making it yourself is the best option for you.

4. How to Use a Ladder on Stairs – DIY Methods

DIY scaffolding/ Make-shift scaffolding

If built safely, it’s a stuff that you can safely use on stairs. For longer project such as repairing the ceiling or painting walls, this option is perfect. But for changing a lightbulb or hanging a paint on the stair wall, this option isn’t recommended.

How to make a DIY scaffolding

Step1: Place and open your step ladder at the top of the stairs.

Step 2: Place an extension ladder on the lower stairs leaning it against the opposing wall.

Step 3: Position a plywood deck (2x4s) to make a platform between these two ladders. Screw/ nails to the ends of the plywood to prevent sliding it off from the ladder.

Advantages: DIY scaffolding is a safe and stable option to use a ladder on stairs.

Moreover, once set it up, make-shift scaffolding allows you to cover the whole wall without having to move or shift it into new position. It’s quite convenient if you need to paint the stair walls.

Disadvantages: You’ll need two ladders to make this platform.

Additionally, it requires additional materials that need to be sturdy enough to support your whole weight.

5. How to Use a Combination Ladder on Stairs

Looking for the ladders that work on stairs without any hassle? Then, combination ladder is the best option for you.

Investing in the best combination ladder will take away the stresses of stair work and make the tasks relatively easy. You can transform it to stairway ladder in a matter of minutes.

To set up a combination ladder on stairs, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Remove the extension part from the ladder and stand the ladder up with the stabilizer bar at the top of the stairway.

Step 2: Hinge the mid-section and the base so that they sit in the step ladder configuration. Then refit the extension part upside down on the back of the middle part.

Step 3: Stand the extension part on a step lower from the one that you need on working from and adjust until the locking bars are horizontal.

Always try to work with another person to ensure your safety.

How to Use a Ladder on Stairs – Safety Precautions

  • It’s very important to choose the right size ladder, which is perfect for reaching the wall or ceiling from your position on the stairs.
  • You should be well-versed with the ladder using manual and only then attempt to use it on stairs.
  • Follow the necessary safety rules so that your ladder doesn’t slides, slips or tilt over while being used.


Using ladders on stairs is a one-time job, but it’s essential to follow the best and safest possible options.

Hope, this post on how to use a ladder on stairs was helpful to you to find the perfect solution.

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