How To Build A Platform For Stairs

This ladder platform is a great way to safely reach higher walls and ceilings in your home when the ladder needs to be placed on a staircase.

Finally, a safe way to get to those high walls that line our staircases! I’ve used this contraption for years when Shari and I would paint in someone’s house with high stair walls and it hasn’t failed me yet! Best of all, it is very simple to build using materials that most folks have lying around their garage or shop.  

1. The first step is to measure the width of three steps, which will be the measurement for the length of the platform.  Place a level on the top step of three and measure from back of the top step to the outer edge of the third step down. Then place the tape measure on top of the third step and measure the distance to the bottom of the level, making sure to strike level.  This will be the height of the legs for the platform. For my stair case, the 3 steps measure 28 inches, I made the width of the platform 24 inches, this will allow plenty of room for the ladder to rest on the platform, and also give me space to go up and down the steps around the platform once it is in place.   So allow for about 10 inches of walking space.

2. Once you have the measurements for the platform, use a circular saw to cut out the platform using MDF or plywood. Notice that I use a 1” x 2” clamped to the MDF to use as a guide for the saw to ensure a straight cut.

3. Using a miter saw, or the circular saw, cut the legs to length

4. Place the legs on the edge of the platform and measure between the two legs, this measurement will be for a support board between the two legs.

5. Cut the support board to length using the miter saw or circular saw. Tip: make a pencil mark where the legs are placed; this will give you a reference when drilling pilot holes to attach the legs to the platform.

6. To attach the legs, drill two pilot holes per leg through the MDF platform, use a counter sink bit, this will allow the screw heads to rest flush on top of the platform.

7. Drive 2 inch screws through the MDF into the legs to secure, Notice that I have secured a 2” x 4” to my work surface to give a brace to keep the work from sliding on the bench willing driving in the screw.

This is what the legs and support piece will look like once attached to the platform.

8. Drill pilot holes through the legs and attach the support brace using 2 inch screws.

9. To give the legs more support, cut 4 inch blocks out of 2” x 4” to be placed on the inside of the legs.

10. Cut another support brace to be placed on top of the blocks, this will support the legs giving them more strength to support the weight of the ladder and of course you!

11. Secure by drilling pilot holes through the legs to secure the blocks and the support board.

12. The final step is to attach 1” x 2” pine boards along the outer edge of the platform on three of the sides; this stops the ladder from sliding off of the platform while working on the ladder.  Use wood glue and screws to secure.

A couple of final safety tips.
• Always have someone working with you when you are on a ladder.  To help position the ladder as well as support the ladder while you are climbing and working.
• Never over reach, don’t reach more than a couple of feet from the ladder; it is far safer to move the ladder than to try to reach too far.
• Always keep one hand on the ladder at all times.
• The platform can be placed under a top step to keep from tipping forward.
• To protect the wall place ladder mitts on the end of the ladder.  They can be purchased at a paint store or a home improvement center. This ladder platform is a great way to reach high places when you are working on stair cases.  Just make sure that you always practice ladder safety.

By the way once your neighbors know you have built one of these, they will be borrowing it, so make sure that it is within easy reach.

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