Love. Hate. Ladder.

Before we even moved in here, we knew we’d need a sturdy ladder. Painting, hanging curtain rods and replacing light fixtures were all on the agenda. On our first run to Home Depot as new homeowners, we bought this guy right here: A 6 foot Husky fiberglass ladder. Lightweight. Sturdy. Green. Win.

Little did we know that this thing would simultaneously become the bane of my existence and yet, our saving grace.

It all began innocently enough with a simple bathroom painting project. I tape, Kim cuts the edges and I roll the walls. It’s a fool-proof method that has worked for years, but on this first project in our brand new home there was a miscommunication. Kim asked me to move the ladder for her so she could cut in along the ceiling, but failed to mention that she had left a 7/8ths full gallon of paint perched precariously on the top step of the ladder. I was distracted and rushing to finish a different project, and the thought of a full paint can on the top rung didn’t cross my mind. The better part of a lidless gallon of Behr came crashing to the floor from six feet up, soaking me from head to toe, and the bathroom ¬†from door frame to baseboards, in mossy green paint. Whoops.

Kim broke down in tears, then went to the store for more towels. I cleaned up for hours. Our fresh, white grout never fully recovered. And so it goes. Notice the mossy green paint that now serves as a constant reminder of our first-day folly (but more importantly, what were we thinking with that color?).

Perhaps the “DANGER” sticker with the little stick figure man falling off of the ladder should have been a warning. It looks like he’s not wearing any shoes either. Just recently, as I was installing our new kitchen light fixture, I over-extended myself with the lamp in my hands, lost my balance, dropped the light onto our granite countertop, fell off the ladder in a graceless hopping motion and managed to give myself a massive bruise on my shin and a potentially broken pinky toe. I really should have paid more attention to our stick-man friend. And worn some shoes. I really should stop climbing this thing barefoot. (Next time.)

But it’s not all bad. I swear. In fact, it’s pretty great. As I mentioned, it’s light, it’s sturdy, and it folds up pretty compact to fit in our utility closet. It’s been endlessly helpful in almost every project we tackle around here (paint tragedies and all). From hanging bikes on the ceiling to wallpapering the hallway, a week rarely goes by when this well-used and well loved piece of equipment doesn’t get pulled out from it’s tidy hiding place next to the furnace.

As you can see, nearly every color of paint we’ve ever used in our space is represented somewhere on this ladder in drip (or splash) form. Like colorful badges of honor, this kaleidoscope of paint chronicles our home improvement journey drop by drop. It’s a necessary evil, I guess.

So, do you all have a tool in your kit that simultaneously allows you to accomplish a heap of projects but makes you cringe at the thought of using it? Not gonna lie, this home improvement stuff can be pretty dangerous. Be careful out there, folks! And remember those sneakers.

4 replies on “Love. Hate. Ladder.”

  1. Scott,
    A few years ago, Craig T. fell off his ladder while working on his roof. Things could always be worse. Shoes do help! Be careful! If you didn’t have a minor mishap every now and then, your not doing anything.

  2. Ahhh the ladder. I feel basically the same about ours, it’s such a necessity, but it’s a pain the rear. I often try standing on it without shoes, but they use the most uncomfortable rigid steps on those things. I also hate having to move it foot by foot to paint the top of the walls. Oh and did I mention the darned thing BARELY fits in our tiny bathroom?

  3. Sorry to hear about the green paint incident, I’m sure it was miserable in the moment but at least you got a funny story out of it.

    Not the typical kind of tool, but I think of my car that way, very love/hate. It’s moved me across country, saved me money by being inexpensive and paid off. But it’s not nearly as nice as most of the cars people have in LA, and has been through a number of silly mishaps that have worn it down (like having a moon roof leak that now only bothers me the five times a year it decides to downpour in LA, and I have to cover it to prevent more mildew damage), and snow salt rusting on the undercarriage from its early life in Ohio. I would love to get a new car, but since I try to drive as little as possible, and work from home anyway, it’s not essential.

  4. Ladders scare me all together! I can use one, but I always make sure to have a 2nd person around just in case 911 needs to be dialed. Both my husband (broken femur) and grandfather (death) have fallen off of ladders. Please be careful with them!

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