Different Styles of Useful Ladders
Extension / Roof Ladders
Suitable for all types of trade and diy projects.
Can be bought in a small size, for general work around the house or very long ladders for roofing.
Usually get more narrow as they get taller.
Better to use this type of ladder with extra supports, like a bracket to secure the ladder or a non slip mat. (Especially if you need a tall ladder.)
They are quite large, heavy and bulky and can sometimes be a two man job to move and set up.
This type of ladder is best for the jobs where you are working at great height, i.e, for climbing onto a roof or for replacing the bulb in a garden flood light.
These ladders fold down inside themselves, with a Russian doll effect.
Telescopic ladders have advanced massively in the last few years and are now one of the most popular types of ladder.
The telescopic effect of these ladders means that the fold up very small and are easy to store.
You can’t get to great heights on a telescopic ladder, it simple wouldn’t be safe. But they are a great addition to the family home for general use and light DIY and certainly are easier to manoeuvre around the house than standard extending ladders.
If you are buying a telescopic ladder, buy from a reputable company or manufacturer. Things have been known to go wrong with them in the past. This will give you extra piece of mind.
This type of ladder is best for working where the ladder can be placed flat against a wall. (Leaning the top section against the rim of a loft hatch for example, is probably not advisable. just to the hollow legs and lightweight frame.
The perfect ladders for reaching out of high cupboards or for home or trade decorating.
I think every home should have a set of these, they are inexpensive, last pretty much forever and are useful in so many ways and instances.
They come is a variety of heights. Starting at small two step types and going up to about 6 or 7 steps maximum.
Step ladders are usually lightweight and fairly slim when folded away for storage.
This type of ladder is perfect for outdoor use, for cutting trees or trimming hedges.
Tripod ladders are usually far more expensive than many other styles of ladder. They have to be exceptionally well made in order to be strong and stable enough to use on uneven ground.
Some of the better models offer adjustable feet which are fantastically useful when using your tripod ladder in the garden on never terrain like gravel. It helps you achieve maximum stability.
The ladder is very wide at the bottom, and tapers to a slimmer width at the top of the ladder for stability. The downside is that they are very difficult to store and to move around.
Traditionally used in the outdoor world for fruit picking, hedge or tree cutting or other
The unique third leg improves stability and makes it easier to position the ladder close enough the tree or hedge you are trying to reach
The conventional four feet ladders can prove awkward when trying to manoeuvre and set up in a garden. The tripod ladder is specially designed for maximum support and sturdiness with a wide width bottom that gets gradually narrower as you reach the top of the ladder.
These ladder suit a variety of needs, can be used on stairs, or for outdoor purposes. Some can create a ladder platform for standing or kneeling at height.
A combination ladder s usually very heavy and awkward to set up. (Mind your fingers!) But once set up, it offers a safe and stable platform to work from at height.
Combination ladders can be erected as one straight long ladder too, so they can be leant flat up a wall and used like a regular extension ladder. The downside is that the feet are very wide for stability when the ladder is being used as a platform. This can make it difficult to use a combination ladder in a confined space with a limited width. (Like on a stairway.)
These ladders sit in your loft for easy storage and can be pulled down via a handle or stick.
It’t amazing that not all homes have loft ladder yet!
They are relatively inexpensive, can be fitted by yourself (you don’t need a professional) and they will save you a hundred awkward trips up and down the stairs carrying your extendable ladder. (Whilst trying not to mark the walls of the staircase or ceilings as you navigate through the house.)
There are different types available, but we think the best ones are the type that the ladder folds quite small into a neat bundle. This ladder bundle sits basically on top of the loft hatch in the loft so takes up an absolute minimal amount of room in your loft. (Which, if it is anything like our loft, if full to the rafters with treasured possessions and junk!
If your needs are small diy jobs, the occasional decorating, accessing a loft hatch or clearing out the gutters, then buy a telescopic ladder.
They fold super small and usually lightweight to carry and handle. Each level of ladder rungs sits inside the outer one, with the vertical poles at the bottom being wider than at the top. The whole ladder folds down into itself like a Russian doll would. This means it is really easy to carry, store and to transport to take to a friends house.
Telescopic ladders come in a variety of lengths, starting at around 3.2 metres and going up to around 6metres.
These ladders are usually made of a lightweight but strong and durable aluminium. They usually support a maximum working weight of around 95 kg but some can hold 150kg.
You can get accessories for telescopic ladders like travel bags, to keep the ladder protected and in good condition when storing or travelling. Some telescopic ladders also come with extra grip gloves, for maximum safety.
Telescopic ladders are either one straight vertical ladder, they have to be propped up fairly upright, as opposed to some other ladder styles. Or, they are made up of two halves, that can form an ‘A’ shaped ladder as well as one long straight ladder. This is extremely useful if there are no walls for the feet to lean against.
They often come with flat feet, instead of a cross support bar so the feet have to be very securely placed on the ground to avoid any potential movement.
Ladders for the work place and businesses
Ladders have a safety rating certificate of whether or not they are suitable for trade and professional use. If you are going to be using the ladder for a job or for your own business, ensure that the ladder you choose has the appropriate certification of safety. It will be obvious when researching the different ladders if it doesn’t have the correct safety certificates. Not having the correct certificates could affect insurance coverage in the event of an incident.
- A ladder for industrial uses needs to be a Class 1 ladder (or Class A).
- These ladders have a maximum static vertical load of 175kg (27.5 stone).
- A ladder for professional uses is called a Class EN131 Ladder
- These ladders have maximum static vertical load 150 kg (23.5 stone)
- A ladder for Home – Domestic use is can be any ladder, often they are called Class 3 ladders.
Ladders for general home and DIY use
Naturally a ladder for the home is going to post less to buy that one that is heavy duty and suitable for the workplace.
However, some ladders that are Class A are not much more expensive, and if you spend a lot of time using ladders at home, you may consider buying one with a higher safety rating for extra piece of mind.
A ladder for cutting trees or hedges
If you are looking to buy a ladder to help you to cut trees of hedges in your garden, you need one that is very secure and gives you a lot of height.
Trees and hedges are not always suitable for leaning a ladder against. In this case you would need to look at some sort of scaffold or platform ladder.
Choose a ladder with a wide support base or bases at either end, this is going to give you maximum stability when using the ladder in a situation where there could be strong winds or nothing to hold on to for support and balance.
The best type of ladder for cutting hedges and trees is a tripod ladder. This type of ladder has three feet, two on the main side of the ladder which you climb and the third foot is a pole at the back of the ladder which provides the support and stability of a tripod.
This is the safest way, much better than trying to lean a regular ladder against a moving hedge or tree trunk.
The bottom rung and the feet of the stepped side is very wide, the larger the triangle shape created by the feet, the safer your hand will be.
The step side starts wide and the bottom and swoops up and in on both sides, to be the width of regular ladder nearer the top.
The tripod ladder allows you to get much closer to the hedge or tree at height.