I'm a life-hacking reuse junkie.
Up until about six weeks ago, I had a largish house with a basement, a shop, a lumber pile, a mountain of hardware, and a river. Conveniently situated on a wooded acre with no noise ordinance. As long as my diy madness didn't require more than an acre of space, there were no restrictions on the scope or execution of my projects. I could build, leave my tools in the living room, cut holes in the walls. Whatever my hacking heart desired...

Then my guy and I split and I left my doer's paradise and moved into a corner of a smaller house on a regular sized lot in town.

My mom's house.

I love my mom a boatload and am glad she's willing to put a roof over my head til I find a suitable space, but I gotta say it's less than ideal for either of us. I'm 35 years old. I have a table saw and a teenage son. I have been known to leave my tools in the living room. And here's the kicker: my mom likes her house just the way it is. She doesn't want it changed. She and my stepdad don't want their place "modded".

But they can't monitor me 24 hours a day. So I do what I do. I try to do it subtly without making a giant mess, but I do it anyway.

Sorry, Mom. I can't help it.   

Which brings us to the first (maybe only, we'll see) Mod My Mom's House -ible... a loft ladder. My temporary bedroom is in the loft space above the office, and I just can't jump that high. Traditional stairs are floor space hogs, and ordinary ladders are soooo boring. 

Modeled loosely from a ship's stairway, this ladder uses just a handful of materials and takes up very little real estate. It also went up in a snap.
And in case you were wondering, I didn't even leave my tools in the living room.

Note: This, like most of my projects, is probably in violation of your local building code and may or may not be safe for the loads you intend to put on it. Works just fine for me, but it might not for you. Just so you know.

Also, I forgot to wear my gloves and safety glasses, but I am a very bad example of safe work habits (see DIY Sutures). Wear yours and work safely.

We good? Alright, then: let's make a ladder!

Step 1: Gather your tools & materials

Note: in this Instructable, I'll be sharing the materials/tools I used, and steps I followed. This project, like most, can be customized to fit your set of circumstances. For instance, I used 3 saws, but the same cuts could be made using just a hand saw. There's more than one way to do everything. My way is right. So is yours. 
saw(s): compound miter saw, jig saw, table saw
drill, driving bit, countersink bit
staple gun with staples
tape measure
speed square

10' stick - 2x6 fir 
9' - 1x4.5 Brazilian Cherry wood flooring 
2- short lengths 2x2

11 - heavy duty iron handrail brackets
pile of screws
Pile of bolts & nuts
Simpson Strong Tie joist hanger
2- IKEA shelf brackets (to help stabilize the bottom, since I couldn't fasten anything directly to the floor)

Finishing supplies
few scraps of spongy grip shelf liner
primer & paint and/or stain

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm a life-hacking reuse junkie who loves to create, even if all I'm making is a mess. I love hammers and rocks and ... More »
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