Handyman, My life

Returning the ladder

The Toyota Corolla is highly prized by contractors for its large payload capacity coupled with fuel economy.


I saved $20 and quite a bit of time by using my own car to return the  ladder to Home Depot rather than renting one of their trucks. After I took this picture, I tied a piece of fabric to the end of the ladder to make it more visible.

A week’s ladder rental is far too expensive, about 60% of the purchase price. The ridiculous thing is that their price table include a monthly rental rate that is far more than the purchase price! Seems unethical to me.

Oh, well. I’m just glad to have most of the high parts painted. I still have the side of the middle dormer to do; there was no safe way to reach it because the porch roof is in the way. When I tried leaning the ladder against it from the side, I couldn’t make stable contact, although the picture makes it look sooooo close… The porch roof doesn’t appear designed to handle my weight. I think I’ll screw a 2×4 down along its back edge as a safe base for my own light ladder. (I wonder what color of paint will hide the paint spatters.)




14 thoughts on “Returning the ladder

  1. I am amazed at the fastidious way you have anchored the ladder to the trunk of your car. You are not just creative and a great handy man, you are also very bold! Good for you Tim.
    love to Alicia. Is she stateside or visiting family in Columbia?

    • Hi, Zakiah. Yeah, I didn’t want the ladder to scratch the car, so I padded it above and below and used a bungee to anchor the trunk lid. Inside the car, I covered the seats with another blanket and held the front end of the ladder with my hand on the short drive to HD. It was secure enough for a six-block drive.

      Alicia will be back this Friday, finally! I’ve missed her a lot, but her absence did give me plenty of time for painting the house. There are still details to be done but I need to concentrate on getting the house clean so she doesn’t come home to a mess. She sends her greetings.

  2. I hope you didn’t have far to go with that ladder sticking out that far! It looks really dangerous. We had to tie some lumber to the top of our Escape and I’m sure that anyone who could see us doing it, was having a good laugh. We put towels on the luggage rack, tied with rope, and used a strap with a come along. Then we took the back road home so we didn’t have to go fast. That was a lot of trouble for a ten foot 2×6.

  3. Ha! I like your l-o-n-g-ladder-totin’-Toyota! 🙂
    My first car was a Toyota Corolla and I loved it!
    Could Home Depot match that color to cover up the spatters?! I’m sure the Home Depotites can do anything! 😀 (or are they called Home Depotans?)
    The new color really pops against the brick! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  4. OK, six blocks, in extremis, you could just put a wheel-buggy under one end and tow it by hand.
    (I had to cross-check what 32 feet is: just a tad longer than my normal 8.5 meter in two meshing sections extension ladder I take to Tel Aviv without fear. I can’t believe you put the thing *inside* the car(!) Here, my first job after buying a car is to securely screw a 2X4 (inches) roof rack to the body. Of course, any car I buy… I’m the last owner of, fine by me.
    A week ago I brought back from the lumber yard 6 pcs 6X6s (inches) whose length was a personal record for the mild-mannered Subaru: seven meters. About 21 feet, for readers in the Untied Snakes and Uganda.
    The key is to memorize a convincing cover-story if I happen to be stopped en-route.
    Anyway, 32 feet is high enough that a fall isn’t an ‘oops’ event anymore. More like “should have written a Will while I still had a chance.”
    Be glad you are mostly done with it, and alive and well/ JS

    • Well, the ladder is 32′ but I never extended it full length because my house is only two stories high. But it was heavy, and I did all the manhandling myself. I was grateful for a sturdy contractor’s ladder, though, rather than the flimsy one my neighbor lends me that is now bent because someone hit it with a car.
      I painted the midsection of the front door the other day, and then it rained all night, so the next day I had bubbles. I had to peel much of it off, pulling off the next layer and a layer of varnish in the process. I sanded it and covered it with a plastic drop cloth until Tropical Storm Colin passed by, which took a couple of soggy days. Tonight I may paint it again.

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