illustration of man working on ladder above stairs
Illustration: Steve Sanford
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12. Safely Work Above Stairs

Rather than rent a scaffold or buy an articulated ladder when making repairs where high, sloping ceilings elude easy reach, Tom Silva improvises a sturdy platform supported by ladders. Here's how: Open a step ladder and place it at the top of the stairs. Then position an extension ladder on the stairs, leaning it against the opposing wall (pad the arms to protect wall paint). Construct a platform to span the distance between the ladders by screwing 2x4s to a plywood deck. Nail stops to the ends of the 2x4s to prevent the assembly from sliding off the ladder rungs.
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