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Which ladder do I need for my job?

Ladders come in many types and choosing something to suit the job in hand is not always obvious. We have summarised the most common types of ladders and the advantages as well as some common uses.

Extension ladders can reach to heights of up to 12m so are perfect for clearing gutters, decorating walls of a house. These are available in 2 or 3 sections, with 3 section ladders occupying less storage space to achieve the same working height.

Step ladders are free standing, and are available with or without a platform at the top, known as swingback steps or builders steps (without platform). Designed for working for longer periods at height.

Combination ladders can be used as an extension ladder or steps. These are free-standing so you can work doing jobs such as hedge cutting or tree pruning without requiring a wall to lean against

Telescopic ladders are available in various sizes up to 3.8m and can be extended rung-by-rung. They will fit into the boot or a car, so you effectively have an extension ladder that can be stored in the fraction of the space

Multi-Purpose ladders can be configured into a range of positions. So can be used as an extension, platform or step ladder, the often will feature an additional platform, these are really versatile and are an excellent choice if you only have space for one ladder, but need to carry out a wide selection of jobs.

Roof ladders feature a hook to allow the ladder to sit on the roof and are a much better safer option than simply working on the roof. It is fitted with bearer bars to spread the weight when you are on the roof to protect tiles and most importantly to give you something safe to work on.

Hop ups or work platforms as they are often known are designed for use for long periods when you need to work just a little higher than you can comfortably reach. Typically the height will be 50 - 60cm, ideal if you are painting or decorating. These are also available in fibreglass making them suitable for use by electricians or anyone who needs to ensure electrical insulation.

Warehouse steps are designed for use in warehouses; they are larger and more permanent step ladders, typically fitted with wheels to allow you to move them into place. They are available in a large range of sizes, from 2 tread up to 15 tread, making them perfect for stock picking. Typically the platform is also very large and surrounded by a guardrail for safety

Can I rest a ladder against a window?

Window cleaners ladders with special rubber pads at the top of the ladder are the only ladders you should put up against a window. If you don’t have a window cleaners ladder, buy some Ladder Pads. However, you need to take care as your window may not take the combined weight of your ladder and you. Always, where possible, rest your ladder against something solid like a brick wall or, maybe, consider using a scaffold tower to give you greater freedom, without having to stretch or lean more than is safe to do so.

Do the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) apply to DIY users?

No, the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) only apply to industrial and trade users. However, the regulations do provide good practice that DIYers can follow including using ladder stand-offs. Check out our range of ladder stays from leading British manufacturers, Lyte and TB Davies.

How far can I extend my double or triple extension ladder?

There should always be a minimum 3-rung overlap between sections for safety reasons. Click here to view our full range of extension ladders and find out more. 

What happened to the old British Standards Class 2 trade ladders?

Class 2 was replaced by the European standard for trade ladders EN131. To find out more, click here.

Can an EN131 extension ladder be separated into single ladders?

No. The new professional standard EN131-2 does not allow for an extension ladder to be separated into single sections. This is for health and safety reasons to stop a ladder section being used without a stabiliser. 

Is it safe to rest ladders against guttering?

Guttering is not strong enough to support the weight of a ladder and the person using it. This applies to both plastic and metal guttering. We offer 'V' shaped ladder stand-offs which can be fixed to the top of the ladder, you can then rest the ladder against the house and clear of the gutter. Then, when you climb the ladder, there will no danger of breaking the guttering. 

How far above the roof of a house should the ladder clear to gain safe access?

If you are planning on going onto your house roof, then fit a ladder stand-off to the top of your ladder and make sure that your ladder is at least 1m clear of the roof. This part of the ladder acts as a handrail that is essential for getting on and off the ladder. If you don’t have 1m clear at the top, you’ll have to crouch down to get back on the ladder which can be dangerous.

How do I stop a ladder from slipping?

The safest way still is to get someone to “foot” the ladder. However, if this is not practical, there is a huge range of safety mats such as the LadderMat or Ladder Stopper available. These mats give excellent grip on a range of surfaces, both level and uneven.

What angle should I use my ladder at?

As a general rule of thumb you should move the ladder out 1m for every 4m up. This will give you the safest angle to work from.

Is it safe to drive with ladders strapped to a roof rack

Yes, but the most secure way is to use Ladder Rack Clamps. Ladder Rack Clamps are really easy to use and can be locked with a padlock for security against theft. We offer Ladder Rack Clamps from leading British brands Lyte & TB Davies
The best and safest way to transport ladders on top of a car or van is to use ladder rack clamps.  Firstly, you won’t have to worry about roping your ladders or remembering how to tie a knot and then having the worry of your ladders falling off. Secondly, ladder rack clamps are much more secure. Thieves tend to avoid ladders that are clamped and locked to a car roof rack. It would take too long to try and steal them, whereas rope can be cut easily and a thief can run off with your ladders easily.

What are the advantages of buying Combination Ladders

Combination ladders offer great value because they combine the functions of a step ladder and a ladder which means that you only need to buy one ladder. At Ladders.co.uk we have a wide selection of combination ladders including the German engineered Skymaster range. We also have UK manufactured professional and trade Combination Ladders from leading manufacturers, Lyte & TB Davies which are really strong and long lasting. Combination ladders work really well when you have to reach for a high point, but where this is no wall to rest the ladder against. For example if you have a high ceiling with a light fitting that needs changing, a combination ladder will get you there whereas an ordinary extension ladder won’t as there is nothing to rest against. Click here to browse our range of combination ladders. 

Loft Ladders

Which ladders include hatches?

All our timber loft ladders come complete with their own hatches.

Which ladders include poles to open the trapdoor?

All of our loft ladders come with either a pole or a hook to attach to the end of a pole.

What measurements do I need to take to make sure I get the right loft ladder?

You will need to measure the following: Floor to floor height; Size of your hatch opening (length x width); Vertical clearance height within the loft i.e. how much head room is there above the hatch? For more information on how to measure for a loft ladder, visit our Loft Ladder Measurements Explained page.

What is the best loft ladder if I am restricted for vertical clearance within the loft?

The most practical would be the Concertina loft ladder.

Which loft ladders meet Building Regulations?

As a general rule loft ladders do not need to comply with Building Regulations. However, you should always talk to your local Buildings Inspector for advice about any extensive work you are planning on doing on your home. Advice on Building Regulations seems to vary between local authorities throughout the UK.

Do you offer an installation service

The short answer is no. However, all our loft ladders come with easy to follow fitting instructions, some of which are available from our download feature, which means you are able to study them before buying. Also, we are always on the end of the phone if you need any extra help or or advice.

Step Ladders

On a step ladder, is the platform counted as a tread?

Yes, the platform is always counted as a tread. Click here to see our best selling step ladder from leading British manufacturer, Lyte Ladders.

Is it safe to stand on the platform of a step ladder?

The handrail above the platform determines whether you can stand on the platform. With BS2037 Class 1 platform steps the handrail is sufficiently high enough for you to stand on the platform safely. But remember that you need to keep 3 points of contact to keep as safe as possible.

Why should I buy Glass Fibre Steps?

Electricians should always use glass fibre ladders and steps because fibreglass is an insulator and can withstand up to 25-35,000 volts. Electricians cannot use aluminium ladders in case a live wire hits the ladder, it could cause serious injury or even kill the person using it, whereas you would be insulated from getting a shock if you are on a ladder or step made from fibreglass. Click here to browse our full range of glass fibre ladders.


Delivery Information

Check out our delivery information by clicking here


How do I stop my ladder from slipping?

We always recommend that when you buy a ladder you should consider buying a ladder stand-off and an anti-slip ladder mat. If you use both of these ladder accessories, you’ll find that your ladder is much more stable.

If you would like more details/information about the ladders, step ladders, loft ladders, or any other product we sell, send us an email at support@ladders.co.uk, or call our highly skilled sales staff on 0117 330 2277.