How to Build a Step Ladder

Building a step ladder can be relatively simple.

Where to start

Step LadderStep Ladder
Step ladders can be quite useful, especially if there is no support to lean a regular ladder against. Step ladders can support themselves by spreading their weight and balancing through a scissor movement.

First, decide how high you would like to have your step ladder be, and obtain two ladders of that height. Take two long metal hinges, like the ones on gates, and attach them to both ladders at the top so that the ladders can swing apart pivoted at the point of the hinges.

Using a saw, cut both the ladders across the jointed section at the top so that when they are opened out, a flat surface is formed. Attach a rope to the steps of the ladder, close to three-quarters of the height so that the ladder cannot open out further than this.

Next, attach by the hinges a flat piece of wood that will be the top step to the main side of the ladder at the top, so that when the ladder is opened, the hinged step can then swing down on top of the joint forming a safe area upon which to stand.

If after you have made the step ladder you require a longer ladder that can extend to full length, simply ensure that the hinges used to join the ladders are the type that can swing all the way. To do this, detach the rope from the step, and open the ladder all the way. Using the hinged step board to secure the ladder, it can now be used at full length.

Things You Will Need

  • Two wooden ladders
  • 4 hinges
  • Rope
  • Tools


  • If you want to be able to open the step ladder into a long ladder, make sure you have allowed room for the hinges to swing.


  • Use braces on wooden ladders to increase strength.


About the Author

Enzo Silvestri is an author and educator in English, languages, and social sciences. Currently teaching in college he has published novels, poetry and a variety of articles for online health and fitness publications, and is currently working on two new projects as well as continuing online writing.