How to Make a Ladder | Pro Guide to Build a Wooden Ladder

How to Make a Ladder

A ladder is an important item for any house or work station. You’ll always need one for different situations such as changing light bulbs, dusting, taking things down, or simply for the tree houses of your kids. For this reason, attention should be given while buying or building one.

Sometimes, it becomes difficult for a person to afford a decent ladder as most of them are high priced. In that case, you can always make one for yourself as a DIY project. Moreover, it will overall cost you less than $25.

To build a ladder, all you need is strong will power, little experience in woodwork, some working tools and of course, this article! here we will discuss How to Make a Ladder, especially, How to Build a Wooden Ladder…

Things You Need to Know About Making Ladder

In order to begin anything new, it is essential to gather knowledge about a particular subject. Similarly, before building a ladder, you need to do some research about the material and the tools you’ll need.


Although a ladder can be made of various materials like aluminum, steel, fiberglass, even plastic, I will only discuss the wooden ones here because it is nearly impossible to build one by yourself from the above mentioned materials other than the woods.

Generally, hardwoods like Mahogany, Oak, Alder, Beech, Hickory, etc, are used while making a wooden ladder. For the DIY ones, you can go with the softwoods like Cedar, Spruce or Pine.

However, I would personally recommend using wooden cedar boards rather than pine as the cedar will give a pastoral vibe to your ladder.

It is important to choose the right type of wood as both your safety and the durability of the ladder mostly depends on the materials used in it.


The height of a ladder is another important factor to keep in mind while constructing it. Despite the fact that a ladder can be of any height, it is always recommended to make them less than 12 feet. More specifically, 6-10 feet is preferable in case of DIY ladders.

However, in this article, I will provide you information about how to make a 12 feet wooden ladder. However, you will need to adjust some things if you intend to make a smaller one.


If you are planning to make a permanent ladder for tree houses, then setting the ladder in a specific angle is very important. The perfect alignment will ensure the safety of the users and will also provide comfort to their legs while allowing them to climb with ease.

In order to find a required angle, you can use a large measuring instrument like a level or a protractor. In addition, there are various applications available in mobile phones which you can easily use to find a perfect angle to place your ladder.

To measure the angle, you need to place a long wooden slab which will extend from the lower ground to the higher platform. Then measure the angle twice, first by placing the level or the protractor on the wooden slab once, near to the higher platform and then near to the ground.

By this method, you can find the accurate angle in which the ladder should be set.

Things You Will Need

How to Build a Wooden Ladder

After gathering information, the next thing you need to do is collect the tools and materials you will require to build a ladder by yourself. A list of the things is given below:

  1. Two pieces of 2 by 4 wooden boards which are 12 feet long
  2. Two pieces of 2 by 3 wooden boards which are 8 feet long
  3. A tube of glue that is suitable for wood
  4. 35-40 screws measuring 2-3 inches
  5. A table saw
  6. A drilling machine
  7. A marker pen
  8. Desired paint with brushes

How to Make A Ladder

Here is a step-by-step guide for building a ladder by yourself.

Step 1

First of all, line up the two 2 by 4, 12 feet wooden slabs by keeping them side by side and then fasten them together. These will be the main framework of the ladder. However, you can use a table saw to cut the wood into the desired size, if you can’t find the mentioned ones.

Step 2

Then, use your marker pen to mark a place. 8 inches apart from the end of 12 feet, 2*4 wood. Repeat the marking for the other piece as well. These marks are the points that will indicate the center for the topmost rungs of your ladder.

Step 3

After that, gradually mark the center points for other rungs. Keep in mind that the distance between two adjacent rungs should be 16 inches. This will allow you to climb the ladder more safely and easily.

Step 4

Once the marking is done, you need to make space to fit the rungs. For that, cut a rectangle of 5 x 7.6 x 2.9 cm by keeping the particular mark in the center of it. Cut out these rectangles in both the 12 feet pieces for the rungs.

Step 5

Afterward take the other two pieces of 2*3 wooden boards of 8 feet and cut both of them by the table saw to make a total of nine, 19 inches rungs.

Step 6

Now, assemble the parts and fix the rungs into the notches by using the wood glue. Secure the rungs one by one and don’t forget to compare both the sides to maintain the perfect shape. Check if the rungs are fitting in the notches, parallel to one another.

Step 7

Finally, when the assembly is done, it is time to permanently secure all the rungs by the help of screws. For this use your drilling machine. It is better to use four screws for each rung, using two in each side. This part is important to ensure the stability of the ladder.

Step 8

Lastly, you can customize your ladder with any paint you want or leave it to its rustic look. However, I would recommend painting it in order to make it more durable and give protection against external factors.


Building your own ladder can be exciting and fun. Moreover, it’ll be an easier task for you if you have prior experience in carpentry.

Nevertheless, I hope the article helps you to give an insight into basic carpentry and enables you to make a ladder by yourself.

4.5/5 - (2 votes)

Leave a Comment