Ladder, what type and what height?


Old 08-20-13, 11:26 AM
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Ladder, what type and what height?

I couldn't find a section for this and noticed in other posts in this section others have received tons of help so:

I have a 6 foot step ladder that has become pretty useless for most projects. I am very novice, so I don't want to keep buying ladders.

This is what I need the ladder for:

1) To access the top of my 10 foot high wooden flat roofed car port.

2) To access my 9 foot high roof.

The ground surface is crush and run if that matters and/or Virginia Clay which is usually pretty hard.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by jj94auto; 08-20-13 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 08-20-13, 12:56 PM
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You might want to consider getting what's called a "3 way combination ladder" that will act as a 7' step ladder and a 13' extension ladder. Very versatile. Comes in very handy in a variety of situations.

If you can afford a fiberglass, you won't regret it. If you can't, aluminum would usually be fine for most home owners.

Spend as much as you can afford to on a quality ladder. Again, you won't regret it. There's nothing worse than climbing around on a cheap ladder you don't trust.

I personally own 9 different ladders including step, extension, 3 ways, platform, etc. etc. etc., but for around the house a 3 way is a great way to go for the heights you're talking about.

Edit: Thought I would add... Keep the 6'! They're great! I just bought my first 6' fiberglass this year and I love the bloody thing.

My wife says I have a weird fixation on ladders though..
Old 08-20-13, 01:15 PM
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Thanks very much for your help!
Old 08-20-13, 01:20 PM
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If I needed to just work on those areas from the ladder, a 10 foot step ladder would probably do the trick as long as there is enough ground for 4 points of firm contact. Remember, you lose 2-3 feet of usable height because it is recommended not to work from the top couple rungs, so you need to take that into account when deciding what you need. A ladder's maximum reach and its maximum height will be different so you need to read the specs carefully.

If I needed to regularly get off the ladder and onto the roof, I would go with a 14-16 foot extension ladder. With extension ladders you have to account for height lost due to not being able to use the top couple rungs and having to bring the base out and angle it at about a 75 degree angle. It is also recommended to have about 3 feet of ladder extending above the level of a surface you're planning to climb onto.

Werner and a couple other manfucaturers have telescoping step ladder/extension ladder combos. Alot of people do not trust them for any really high work because the latch and extension mechanisms are not super heavy duty, and have to be checked and double checked so they don't fail while there is a load on the ladder. I have one that is a 16 foot step ladder or a 24 foot extension ladder. I use it for small jobs like first floor gutters. I love it because I can move and adjust it easily without help and work at about 15 feet without worrying about how to hook the top of an extension ladder to the house or gutters. But I will still eventually add a 30 footer to the garage. In total I will have 3, the 8 foot step, the Lil Giant, and the 30 foot extension ladder. Should cover everything I am capable of doing without hiring someone.

Last edited by eharri3; 08-20-13 at 02:02 PM.
Old 08-20-13, 03:11 PM
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I'd suggest getting a 16' extension ladder [14' would be iffy getting on the carport roof] If you think you might need a taller ladder later on - get a 20' IMO any step ladder over 8' has limited use and they take up too much room when you set them up.

The type [grade] of ladder is very important! A type III ladder is 'homeowner duty' - I won't own one, they tend to get wobbly as they age Type II is commercial duty which is the lightest duty ladder I'd own. Type I is industrial duty and type IA is even stouter. Type III - 200 lb limit, type II - 225 lb max limit, type I - 250 lb. While I'm partial to the Werner brand, all ladders are pretty much built to the same standards.

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