Last night I halfway put up the outside Christmas lights. Only halfway because my ladder, wonderful though it is, won't quite get me high enough for the rest of the way.
The idea is to simply have them lining the edge of the porch roof, all the way up to the peak and back down. Nice and simple, and I think it'll look great. Trouble is, the peak is too high. I'm not sure precisely how high, but it's either 14' or 16' from the deck, and that's another 3' or so from the ground.
My Little Giant ladder can get pretty nearly up there, but I can't quite do the peak or the two hooks near it because to get it to stand secure it has to be nearly straight up (otherwise, the slope of the roof makes me feel like it's going to slide down) and I'd have to be near the top of it to reach the roof. I'm not confident enough in the stability of the platform to do the drilling and setting of the hook.
My friend Al is supposed to get me a taller ladder, probably a 20' one, this weekend. (Of course I won't be here this weekend, but that's another story.) But I'm not sure if that will be any better because the same problem will come up: the ladder will need to be nearly straight up and I'll need to be at the very top of it.
What would be better would be a stepladder, like my Little Giant ladder in its A configuration, but tall enough to reach, because then I could position it anywhere, not limited by the roof's slope. Failing that, a straight ladder of sufficient height to reach from the ground instead of the deck would let me get to work from straight ahead, not above me. But that would still require the ladder to reach with a few feet to spare, and I think even a 20' won't be enough.
For now, the lights go up about a third of the way and then hang in midair across the gap to a third of the way up the other side, then back down. It looks all right, if a bit tenuous. Maybe that's as far as it'll get if I don't find a way to use the longer ladder comfortably.