How to Climb onto a Roof Without a Ladder: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Get on a Roof Without a Ladder

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you want to get onto your roof but don’t have a ladder handy. 

Fear not! There are several ways to get on your roof without a ladder, and some of them can be done with items you have around the house. 

We’ll share some of our favorite methods and tell you which are the easiest and safest in case there are children or pets in your home that you don’t want to risk injuring or sending to their death on the sidewalk below!

How to Get on A Roof without A Ladder

Ladders are an essential part of a home repair or maintenance toolkit. But what do you do when there’s no ladder insight? 

In many cases, getting up onto your roof can be done without even thinking about ladders. Here are some tricks that will help you get up onto your roof when all you have is yourself.

Go up A Chair

One way to get onto your roof without using a ladder is to use a sturdy chair. 

Ideally, select one that has legs roughly 12 inches high so you can use it as a stepstool; avoid chairs with spindly legs that won’t provide enough support for your weight.

To get onto your roof, prop one of your chair’s legs against your chimney or another stable spot, then climb up and walk across. 

Once you reach your roof, replace your chair so that no one else can use it as a stepstool. By propping it in different places, you can adjust its height for easier access as needed.

String Your Rope

Before attaching your rope, it’s important to make sure you can reach your roof. 

To do so, string it out from an upper floor and measure how long it is with a tape measure. If you can’t reach without a ladder, you’ll need either another person or an extension for your rope. 

The latter option is more time-consuming, but won’t require having someone there at all times.

Once you’ve measured your rope, tie it off at one end. Then secure another length of rope at its opposite end and use it as an anchor. 

For example, if you want to get onto your roof from a ground-floor window, secure one end of your string to that window with some strong tape or a large nail. 

Don’t forget that you’ll need enough length in between those two points for you to safely work up your ladder.

Walk Down the Rope

One easy way to get onto your roof without using a ladder is by rappelling down the side of your house. 

Before you do, though, make sure that there are no trees or overhanging objects nearby that could snag your rope and cause injury. 

You also need to make sure that you’re in an area where it’s safe to have a rope hanging from your home – through these days, nearly everywhere is safe for recreational rappelling.

Related: How to Sneak out Of a 2 Story House without A Ladder


If you’re working in an emergency and don’t have access to any roofing supplies, you may be able to get onto your roof using certain household items. 

If not, call a professional who can get you back into your home as quickly as possible. 

A common misconception is that you can use an extension ladder to climb onto your roof; however, extension ladders are not meant for climbing and can only be used on concrete or asphalt. Use one of these methods instead.