How to Adjust Drywall Stilts

Stan Mack

If you are doing a lot of work at ladder height, drywall stilts can save you time. They are surprisingly easy to use, but you will need to be cautious. It is easy to forget you are wearing them, and many beginners make mistakes that lead to injuries. Check your drywall stilts carefully before every use.

The hardware occasionally breaks and falls off, creating a hazardous situation. If you do find they need repairs, many professional building and lumber supply stores sell replacement parts, or you can contact the manufacturer.

  1. Decide how high you need to reach.

  2. Remove the wing bolts from the extension tubes (on the lower half of the drywall stilts).

  3. Adjust the height by extending or shortening the extension tubes, which should slide freely once both wing bolts are gone.

  4. Line up a new set of bolt holes with the extension tube.

  5. Replace the wing bolts by inserting them into the new set of bolt holes.

  6. Make sure both drywall stilts are even.

  7. Check the height by raising the stilts upside-down over your head. Place your hand on the footrest. If the bottom of the stilts can reach the area you want to reach, then the height is set properly. If not, lower the stilts and place the screws in a different set of holes.

  8. Tighten the wing bolts. Do not over-tighten them, as this will eventually strip the screw threads.

  9. Attach the stilts to your legs one at a time. Place your foot in the footrest, tighten the calf straps, then tighten the foot straps. Lean on a wall or ladder for support.

  10. Tip

    If this is your first time on stilts, take some time to walk around and get comfortable before trying to do any work. Clear the room you will be working of anything that can trip you up, such as loose drop cloths, rugs, furniture and debris. It’s helpful to have a friend around in case you drop something.


    It may seem odd, but many first-timers smack their head against door jambs because they are not used to their new height. Remember to duck as you pass through doorways.

    Occasionally check the condition of the stilts as you work. Sometimes the wing bolts fall out, causing you to trip and fall. Also, keep the ankle and foot straps tight in order to prevent ankle twists.

    Do not walk up or down stairs or attempt to step over obstacles. You will trip.

    Watch out for pipes or beams while you are working. It is easy to forget how tall you are now and smack your head.