Simple Homemade Scaffolding

Written by jack burton
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Simple Homemade Scaffolding
Painting a home often requires a scaffold. (paint image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Home maintenance sometimes requires greater reach and movement than what a step or extension ladder gives. A scaffold may solve the problem, but exercise great caution when setting up any homemade scaffold. Creating a scaffold is easy but you should always work under a buddy system. A spotter can help if there is a problem, and provide emergency care if needed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Two or more end braces such as sawhorses or stepladders
  • Two planks of sufficient length, width, and thickness

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  1. 1

    Place two or more sawhorses side by side.

  2. 2

    Place the planks lengthwise upon the sawhorses to provide the footing for the scaffolding. This works if the height to be reached is less than 10 feet.

  3. 3

    Place two identical stepladders with the steps facing one another for higher projects.

  4. 4

    Slide the planks through the steps at the height you need. This set up allows you to adjust the scaffolding height by using a higher step if you need to reach higher.

Tips and warnings

  • According to OSHA the maximum span for a 1-1/4 x 9-inch or wider plank is only four feet. The OSHA minimum recommendation for total front-to-back width of the scaffold is 18 inches.
  • Objects such as paint cans should not be placed on the scaffold where they can trip the worker or be knocked off to endanger someone below.
  • Unstable footing for any part of the scaffold can cause it to fall down. Ensure the feet are solidly placed on the scaffold.
  • Leave a sufficient length of board past the contact point to ensure it does not "walk off" the contact.

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