Mega Guide to Ladder Sizes
Choosing the right ladder is paramount not only for practicality but most importantly for the safety of you and those around you. Working at height can be a dangerous prospect when handled irresponsibly so it’s absolutely vital to ensure you are confident the ladder you have chosen is the up for the job.
There are a variety of different ladders available on the market. Some are perfect for odd-jobs around the home whilst others are designed for heavier-duty projects such as re-tiling a roof or fixing broken guttering. In this guide, we’ll take you through a range of different ladder sizes and give you an insight into how exactly you can decipher the best ladder for you.
Working at Height
In order to pick the right ladder for the job, it’s important to consider both the height you’ll be working at and the height you can safely reach. It is always best to use a ladder that is slightly higher than needed to enhance support and avoid the need for overreaching.
Types of Ladder
Step ladders are ideal for a variety of smaller-scale jobs around and outside of the home such as decorating, painting, window cleaning, picture hanging and more. As they don’t require the use of a supporting wall, step ladders offer more freedom in positioning yet still maintain a high level of sturdiness and safety.
There are a range of step ladder heights and types available to suit a variety of projects. When picking out a model, bear in mind that the step ladder should get you roughly within around 4ft of the area you are working on. Anything higher than this, you should consider moving up to a combination or extension ladder.
Swingback Step Ladders
A swing back step ladder doesn’t incorporate a work platform for the user to stand on but instead has treads all the way to the top. As a general rule, you should not stand on any of the top three treads which makes the maximum standing height for a swingback 3 steps down from the top.
The Werner Aluminium Swingback Stepladder is available in models featuring 4 up to 12 treads with heights ranging from 1.97m (6”5) to 3.65m (11”11) based on an average user height of 1.75m (5”9). This model is perfect for professional and DIY use, allowing easy access to higher points of walls and windows for repairs, decorating and construction.
The excellent Youngman Megastep Fibreglass Stepladder can be purchased in 2 to 8-tread sizes and even incorporates handrails for extra stability. The smallest 2-tread model features an approximate overall ladder height of 1.28m which makes for a safe working height of 2.17m. The highest 4-tread Megastep is 2.55m in overall height so presents a safe working height of 2.45m.
Platform Step Ladders
With a stable platform surface as the highest step, platform step ladders provide a strong and sturdy base that allows users to reach height more comfortably. They are ideal for jobs that entail working at height for longer periods of time such as wallpapering or painting.
Platform step ladders range in size with the smallest Youngman Atlas Aluminium Stepladder allowing users a safe working height of 2.33m and the tallest a higher working height of 3.45m. This is the perfect choice for regular decorators or window cleaners.
A great multi-purpose option for a range of different tasks, combination ladders offer the functionality of a step ladder, extension ladder and stairwell ladder as a practical all-in-one solution. There are a huge range of types, models and heights available to choose from, ideal for DIY homeowners and trade professionals alike.
When working with a multi-function ladder such as this, the recommended maximum standing height is 4 treads down from the top when used in the stairwell or freestanding extension ladder mode.
Practical for use in and out of the home, the Werner 4 Way Aluminium Combination Ladder is a great choice for those in search of safety, stability and convenience. Easily convertible into 4 different types of ladder, the Werner 4 Way can be used as a:
Type of Ladder
Maximum Standing Height
Safe Working Height
Freestanding Extension Ladder
(Height measurements based on the height of the top tread with the reach of a 1.75m (5’9”) person)
The Youngman ProDeck 5 Combination Ladder & Work Platform has the potential of 5 different functional styles and comes complete with a non-slip wooden platform which can be stood and worked upon safely. The ProDeck 5 features a total height of 2.55m when open, an open height of 1.62m when used as an extension ladder and a maximum open height of 2.05m when functioning as a stairwell ladder. When used as a work platform, it is advised that a maximum height of 2.60m is not exceeded.
Multifunctional and ultra-durable, the Werner 4 in 1 Telescopic Combination Ladder features a smart telescopic design that allows easy conversion into a multitude of ladder models to accommodate the height needed for your project. Possible heights range from 2.88m (open) all the way up to 7.01m (open) for the harder-to-reach spots of your home.
As implied in the name, extension ladders are used to scope increased heights whilst maintaining optimal stability. They are the ideal choice for any professional tradesperson working consistently at height or even a handy homeowner looking to carry our regular home maintenance.
Whilst reaching potential heights of up to 10.12m, extension ladders can also slide down into a smaller size as compact as 1.92m for easy transportation and storage. Whether cleaning out guttering, reaching a light fixing or tending to your roof, extension ladders are favoured by many professionals for their excellent versality and convenient functionality.
The Youngman Trade 200 3 Section Extension Ladder is available in a variety of different lengths ranging from 1.93m to 4.25m with a maximum safe working height of between 4.77m and 10.94m. It incorporates three sturdy sections which slide apart through simple push-up operation as well as slip-resistant feet and high-grip steps for comfort and safety.
For those in search of a two-section extension, the Werner Aluminium Double Extension Ladder extends to a height of 8.83m with a closing length of 4.94m. It utilises slip-resistant D shaped rungs and a heavy-duty stabiliser to ensure a stable and secure climb both up and downwards.
Designed to provide professional roofers with a superior degree of safety and convenience, the Youngman 2 Section Roof Ladder can be used on roof pitches between 15° and 55°. This extendable roof ladder incorporates two sections with locking catches, large wheels for easy manoeuvring and a heavy-duty roof hook with a rubberised end cap for enhanced stability and grip.
How to Position Your Extension Ladder Safely
It’s no surprise that the higher from the ground, the more dangerous a potential fall, slip or trip may be. In order to operate safely, extension ladders should be leant on a hard surface at an appropriate pitch when in use. When working on a roof platform or similar, it’s also important to ensure that the ladder height extends a few extra feet more to stabilise and support. So how do you work out this positioning?
Technically, the correct angle of a ladder pitched should be approximately 75 degrees. However, this can be pretty tricky to judge so here’s an easier way of working it out:
The basic rule is for every 4 feet you go up in height, the ladder should be brought out by 1 foot.
For example, say you are working on a two-storey property that is around 19.7ft (6 metres) in total height. To ensure safe usage, your ladder should be placed just over 4.9ft (or 1.5m!) away from the base of the wall. The top of the ladder should then extend over the edge of the roof by approximately 3ft (around 90cm).
Functioning similarly to an extension ladder, loft ladders provide safe access into your loft or attic space. They are designed with a range of specialist features such as integrated handrails and shoot bolt fastening systems to make climbing up and down from your loft far more easy and secure. Many loft ladders simply attach to your existing loft hatch and fold away when not in use to optimise space and make for convenient operation by any user.
We’ve got a wide range of loft ladders available, in varying heights and styles to accommodate any access space. For a complete guide on the sizes we have on offer, make sure to check out our Fakro Loft Ladder Size Guide for help in choosing the right loft ladder for your home.
Cleaning Your Guttering at Height
One of the most common household tasks tackled with the help of a ladder is gutter cleaning. Depending on how clogged and mucky your gutters are, this job can involve being at height for a considerable amount of time – so what kind of ladder do you need to reach your guttering safely?
Based on an average home in the UK, the typical height up to the eaves is around 4.7m. To reach this distance, you’ll need an extension ladder that extends to between 6.5m and 8m in length.
To make the job even easier and safer, make sure to check out our handy guide on gutter cleaning here for an effective method, tips and advice.
Which Ladder is Right for You?
Are you a keen DIYer looking for the right ladder to get your next project underway? Perhaps you’re a seasoned trade professional hunting for a high-quality upgrade that’s easy to carry from job to job.
Whether you’re climbing to the roof, wallpapering a bedroom or simply changing a lightbulb, our extensive range incorporates a variety of ladder models from some of the best brands on the market. Discover step ladders, combination ladders, extension ladders and even loft ladders ready to order right here at amazing prices!
If you’d like any extra advice in picking out the perfect ladder, simply get in touch with our friendly customer service team who are ready and waiting to help! Give them a call on 01295 565565, email [email protected], or leave us a message in our handy live chat below.