How to Build a Ladder to Get Up on My Roof


A ladder is an essential tool for any homeowner because it gives the much needed height to reach the upper levels of your home and roof. Whether you want to get on the roof to repair the shingles or clean out the gutters, you need a stable ladder that will not fall over or fall apart under your weight. You can build a ladder at home from simple wood and screws more cheaply than purchasing one at a store.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 hardwood boards, 12-foot-long, 2-by-4-inch
  • 9 hardwood boards, 19-by-3-by-2-inch
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Wood glue
  • 18 1/2-inch deck screws
  • Square
  • 18 L-brackets
  • Cordless drill
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • 4-inch long, rubber ladder feet
  • Set two 12-foot-long, 2-by-4-inch hardwood boards next to each other length-wise on your workspace floor. These boards make up the outside rails of your ladder.

  • Draw a line across the rails width-wise 8 inches in from one end. Then, draw another line every 15 inches. The last line will be 8 inches from the end of the rails.

  • Connect the rails with nine 19-by-2-by-3-inch hardwood boards. These boards are the treads of your ladder. Place one tread on each set of lines. Use a cordless drill to drive two 2 1/2-inch deck screws through the rail into both ends of each tread. The screws should be 1 inch apart.

  • Check that each tread is perfectly square, or at a 90-degree angle from the rails.

  • Screw an L-bracket centered beneath both sides of each tread, securing the treads to the rails. Use 1/2-inch wood screws and the cordless drill to attach the L-bracket.

  • Fit 4-inch-long, rubber ladder feet over the bottom of the rails to prevent the ladder from slipping.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a colorful no-slip strip to the front of each tread to personalize your ladder.
  • A one-story house is typically 8 feet tall. A 12-foot ladder is more than sufficient to reach the roof from the ground.
  • Do not stand on the top rung of any ladder without securing the ladder to the building with straps or hooks.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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