ladder technique when exterior painting around window

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Old 11-01-15, 07:44 PM
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ladder technique when exterior painting around window

I have a 20' ladder which is fully extended in the photo below. The ladder is not big enough to reach the higher areas on the house.

Regardless of ladder size, I am wondering how to handle a situation where a narrow strip, such as the area to the left of the window, is too narrow to lean ladder against with both side rails of the ladder making contact with the wall.

And, how to paint the area above the window? The photo shows the ladder in front of the window but it is not leaning against the window; I presume that should not be done. If I had a bigger ladder - say, 24' -, should I lean the ladder against the gutter above the wall to paint some of that high area? Actually, I think a bigger ladder could just be leaned against the wall higher up on the wall.

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Old 11-01-15, 07:55 PM
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I use a 28' ladder for work like that but I only use fiberglass ladders.

You definitely don't want to climb up the ladder if the top is not resting on something solid.

Just as an aside.... I see you're working near the utility's.... watch the ladder around the electric service.
 
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Old 11-02-15, 03:23 AM
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I try to limit setting a ladder on a gutter. I'd first set the ladder over the window and paint what I could reach especially to the left. The rest can be painted from the right side of the window and below. It is important to have the proper sized ladders! They can be rented. I have set the bottom of a ladder on a pickup truck bed to gain extra height. All my extension ladders are aluminum although I wouldn't own a cheap Type III ladder in any configuration as they are too flimsy and get worse with age/use.
 
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Old 11-02-15, 04:32 AM
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Getting cool, but if your shingles aren't to brittle you could use 2 or 3 roof brackets and a 2x12 for a platform just below the window.

Or, you could open the window and fabricate a 2x6 across the window, secured to the inside and with stand-offs to hold it away from the window. The ladder could then rest against the 2x6 to the left, center ot right of the window as needed.

Safety rope and harness are advised and be sure to secure the ladder at the base and to the left and right.

And, looking at the height of the house, pick up a good 16' extension ladder.

Be safe,
Bud
 
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Old 11-02-15, 05:34 AM
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How about a taller, right size ladder and a standoff?
 
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Old 11-02-15, 06:26 AM
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The ladder must not rest on the gutter, only on the upper wall. It should be at the proper angle. Stand at the bottom of the ladder and stretch your arms out to touch the ladder, adjust the ladder so your hands touch the ladder.
 
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Old 11-02-15, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for all the comments, folks. Very helpful!

I'm not familiar with the stand-off technique but I think I get the gist of it. I'll search for some info or youtube video and might give that a try.

I've also set the bottom of a ladder on a pickup truck bed to gain extra height, as mentioned by marksr. At that time, I borrowed a truck but that person no longer has a truck. So, this might not be an option now.

I've also checked on ladder rental at Home Depot. Since I have other areas where a higher ladder is needed and rental gets expensive as the time held increases, I am inclined to think buying a 28' ladder and then selling it once the work is done would be a better option than renting. Even if I would have to sell the ladder for half what I paid for it, the net cost could be about the same or less, depending on how long I actually need it, and I would not feel pressured to get the work done faster than I otherwise would do it. The 20' ladder I have can be stored in a shed but a 28' ladder will not fit in the shed. So, the only way I can imagine to store it during short-term ownership would be to use lock and chain to secure it to a tree. This could done in a location somewhat secluded from view from the street but now entirely hidden. I could also put the ladder in a spot where the motion-sensor security light on back of the house would come on if someone came into the area.
 
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Old 11-26-15, 09:57 AM
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An update. I bought a ladder stabilizer at Lowe's. By attaching it to my 20' ladder, I was able to paint the left section of that back wall of house, shown in the photo, and a wider right section.

I'll attach another photo here to show the full width of the house. The cables coming to the house from the left side, shown in the photo in my first post, are coaxial cables, so I was not worried about ladder contact with them. However, the middle section has the main power line connected to it, and the line is at a somewhat diagonal position to the house, as opposed to a right angle. That makes positioning a ladder there more difficult.

I think I'll try to get a painting contractor with a fiberglass ladder to do that middle section. However, I wonder whether getting someone to do a small project will be difficult. Two other areas, which would roughly double the area to be painted, could be added to the project to make it more appealing.
 
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Old 11-26-15, 10:25 AM
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You could use a ladder corner stabilizer, but why not just rope off and stand on the roof to paint this corner of the house? Qualcraft Corner Buddy Ladder Stabilizer-2470 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 11-26-15, 12:28 PM
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Small areas tend to cost more because of the inconvenience of going to and doing a small job. If you can get a painter [not self employed] to come by after hours it would be cheaper.

As Larry said, there really shouldn't be any reason not to diy. Posting a pic or two of that section will allow us to help you formulate a plan.
 
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Old 11-26-15, 12:30 PM
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Perhaps I was not clear in my preceding post. I replaced the photo to highlight, with a red border, the area not yet painted. That area has no roofing at mid-level, like to right and left sections.

And, by the way, the roof areas at the base of the right and left sections of that wall is rather short and steep; no way I'd want to try standing on it to do the painting I did there.
 
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Old 11-26-15, 12:34 PM
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The most difficult part is the top left of the window. Most of it can be painted off of a ladder without getting too close to the live wire. I assume the 2nd wire is cable/phone so that shouldn't be a big concern. Reaching out the window might help some but you can buy a brush holder to extend your reach. Basically it clamps onto the brush handle and screws onto a roller pole.


Like one of these, available at most paint stores https://images.search.yahoo.com/imag...hspart=mozilla
 
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Old 11-26-15, 01:53 PM
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The most difficult part is the top left of the window. Most of it can be painted off of a ladder without getting too close to the live wire.
If I could be absolutely sure I can handle/move the ladder without any swaying or tipping, then, yes, I could be confident about not bumping the power line when setting up the ladder to the left of the line. But, that is not a safe assumption.
 
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Old 11-26-15, 01:59 PM
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All my extension ladders are aluminum and I wouldn't be overly concerned about the hot wire BUT I've worked off of ladders all my life and have the confidence/ability to stay off of the live wire. I'm sure a fiberglass ladder would be safer but the main thing is to use care and not get cocky.
 
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Old 11-27-15, 08:06 AM
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Call the power company an see how much it would cost to turn the power off.
 
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