Asked on Dec 10, 2019

How do I change the lighting on a 20 ft. ceiling foyer?

Aimee Fine
by Aimee Fine

Needing to change out chandelier in a 20 ft foyer, most rental scaffolding is 5 ft and wont fit in the 44 inch area beside the stairs? Any ideas of something we could build or use to change out the light safely?

  14 answers
  • Find a different rental service. My local tool rental has scaffolding that will easily do a 3 story home, if not higher. Be sure to take this photo and your space measurements with you.

    Or just purchase your new light fixture and hire a licensed electrician to install for you. Where I live, the rates are high, $100+ per hour, but in many places it is much less. My girlfriend in NC replaced 3 lights in her stairwell and 2 story high hallway. Her electrician charged $75 for all 3. I live in a dump in the desert in CA and she lives in a beautifully appointed very large home.

    • See 1 previous
    • Yes, I get saving money. This time it might be best to call in the pros. By the time you add up rental fees, travel time, prep time, it just might be easier pay the $150 and economize on another project. Whatever you decide, I am sure it will look spectacular. 🌞

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 10, 2019

    I would hire a professional to hang a new light that way you have a warranty if something goes wrong...

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Dec 10, 2019

    You can rent a narrow lift. I used to work at a company and we had some that would go through a 36" door. It is manual but would work. You will need to put down protection on your floor.

  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 10, 2019

    I would pay the pro.... better than a broken back. some of those rental scaffolding are really dangerous. Used to work for a Fortune 50 and got lawsuits weekly for scaffolding failures and bad injuries.

  • William William on Dec 11, 2019

    I agree with hiring an electrician. Wouldn't even take a chance with a handyman. Worth every penny than getting hurt.

  • Rymea Rymea on Dec 11, 2019

    Hire someone and make sure they are insured.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Dec 11, 2019

    Re Cheryl's comment: If there is any warranty on the light fixture, it will cover parts only, not labour or installation.

  • Dee Dee on Dec 11, 2019

    If you have an extension ladder you can position it up against the wall. But I agree with everyone who says hire someone. No sense getting hurt. Maybe you can find a handyman that can do this for you.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 11, 2019

    Hire a pro this one time and be done with it.

  • Flawless C Designed Flawless C Designed on Dec 17, 2019

    I recently rented scaffolding to paint my entire house and changed out all the high fixtures. Over my staircase, I ran into the same problem and we ended up investing in a Gorilla mulit position/extension ladder that can be positioned at differnt heights on both sides - perfect for over the stairs. This ladder is $300 at HD or Lowe's. We use ours all the time and considering how much it costs to have your home painted by pros it was for sure worth it for us....I guess you need to consider your future projects and if that ladder can be justified.

  • Mindshift Mindshift on Dec 19, 2019

    Why is everyone talking about scaffolding? You should be able to rent a 20-foot tall step ladder. Yes, they take up more room at the base (10 ft or so), but they are only about 42 inches wide. Be sure you actually have a 20-foot ceiling; you may be better off with an 18-foot ladder.

  • KateRos KateRos on Sep 19, 2023

    Good info, thanks.

  • Alice Norton Alice Norton on Sep 19, 2023

    We moved to a new house and currently doing home renovation. Speaking about lighting, I was lucky to find the patriot lighting store by link and made the purchase there. But I faced issues like those you described in your post. So, thanks for sharing, I'll definitely try it.