Removing old ceiling wallpaper can be quite a challenge, especially in stair wells that rise 20 feet or more above the ground floor. For the do it yourselfer, reaching those areas is not impossible as long as you have a sturdy 8-10 foot ladder and a long, heavy board that’s a couple of feet wide and a few inches thick. These materials and a couple of strong clamps can be used to build a temporary scaffolding system that can support a person’s weight while bringing him closer to a ceiling repair project.
How to make your own scaffolding
Scaffolding is a temporary platform that allows workers to stand on a level surface while doing work that ordinarily would be out of reach. Since improperly constructed scaffolding can lead to injury, it’s important to recognize that any DIY scaffolding a homeowner tries to build for his own use must be able to support his weight and permit movement without danger of collapse. If you don’t trust your own ability, then it’s best to rent a scaffolding system instead for your staircase project.
1. Keeping the ladder in the closed position, place the feet squarely on one of the steps. Lean the ladder against the wall that you face when descending the stair well. The ladder should be slightly tilted towards the wall to prevent it from slipping, with the feet firmly braced by the rise of the stair step. If the ladder is straight up and down, bring it up a couple of steps and try again.
2. Place one end of the board on one of the ladder rungs, firmly resting the other end of the board on one of the stair steps. The board should be horizontal as possible. Clamp the board directly to the ladder so that it will not move.
3. Carefully step on the platform created by the plank and test for strength. If the board is springing up and down, it won’t support your weight. Remove the plank, and replace it with one that is more solid.
4. Since this temporary scaffolding will not have sides to prevent someone from stepping backwards and off the board, it’s important to enlist the help of a friend who can act as a spotter. Your friend can also hand materials and supplies up to you, eliminating the need to continually move off and onto the scaffold through out the project.
To avoid injury to yourself, remember that the scaffolding must provide a stable walking surface while also supporting your weight. If you aren’t completely sure how to construct or use scaffolding, then you should consult a professional contractor instead.