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You may need to access your ceiling and high parts of walls in your house for many types of DIY tasks. If you are planning to drywall a large section of your house, and finish the walls with paint or wallpaper, you may want to investigate renting or purchasing basic equipment that helps you readily access and safely perform elevated work. Scaffolding is a traditional method of increasing your reach. Unlike a ladder, it provides a longer platform so you can tackle more of the wall without having to keep re-positioning yourself. If you want to be completely free from setting up a work station to reach tall tasks, try using stilts.
Before you begin to consider scaffolding, keep in mind that it is critical to follow all safety guidelines. Each year, one of the top four construction fatalities involves jobsite falls. A few basic safety precautions include making sure that scaffolding has crossbars every 15 in (380 mm). The floor beneath the structure should be sound, rigid, and capable of carrying the load. If the scaffold is higher than 4', you will need guardrails on all open sides. If it is higher than 10', you will also need toerails. Scaffolding provides a platform for performing work. Available in many different types that are appropriate for a range of construction work, scaffolding can be purchased and rented.
A popular type of scaffold, baker’s scaffold is appropriate for most residential remodeling work, as it is narrow enough to fit through door openings. Available in 6', 8' and 10' lengths, the scaffold can be adjusted to up to 6 feet in 4-inch increments. It is recommend for working on ceilings up to 12' high. It is made of two ladder ends, one platform, and two guardrails. If you use an outrigger, you can stack them two high.
If you want to be able to reach the higher parts of walls and ceilings without having to set up scaffolding or benches, try stilts. There are models that are adjustable for different heights and some kinds even flex with your ankle movement. If you are comfortable on stilts, you will save time as you do not need to set up and move benches or scaffolding for each area. Make sure the floor surface is clear and safe for movement on stilts.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
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