How to Pick the Right Ladder for the Job

Ladders can be used for a number of purposes, which means there are plenty of different types to choose from. In addition to different styles, certain materials and features have advantages over others. How do you pick the right ladder for a particular job in Seattle, WA? Read on to learn more about ladder types and the jobs for which they are best suited.

Types of ladders

  • Step ladder: Step ladders are one of the most common types of ladders found around the home, since they’re great for a variety of purposes. They’re self-supporting and have one or two sides of steps, plus spreaders to stabilize the maximum width.
  • Multipurpose: Multipurpose ladders are a combination of step and extension ladders, best used by handymen or contractors. They offer more flexibility than regular step ladders.
    Extension: Extension ladders offer extra height, which is great for jobs on multi-story buildings, in tall trees and other difficult-to-reach areas. They are not self-supporting.
  • Step stool: Step stools have one or two steps and usually fold up for easy storage. They’re good for indoor use, like grabbing something on the top shelf of your cabinets or getting cobwebs off the ceiling.
  • Attic ladder: Attic ladders attach to attic or loft doors. They extend to reach the floor at an angle, and are permanently installed to the door.
  • Articulated: This type of ladder has locking hinges so you can position it in a variety of heights and configurations. They’re limited in height, but versatile in function.
  • Platform: These are similar to step ladders, with a guardrail and platform at the top. They’re smaller than step ladders, but great for jobs around the house.
  • Wood: Wood is a sturdy material for a ladder, and it won’t conduct electricity. However, wooden ladders tend to be heavy and inconvenient to carry around.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is an excellent choice, since it’s sturdy, lightweight and affordable. Since it’s metal, it will conduct electricity.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a non-conductive, sturdy material that’s lighter than wood and will last for decades, even with heavy use. It does tend to be more expensive than aluminum.
  • Steel: Steel is an industrial choice. Steel ladders are incredibly durable, but heavy and prone to rust.

Other considerations

  • Length: Choose a length that doesn’t require you to stand on the top step to accomplish your task (unless it’s a low-to-the-ground step stool or platform ladder).
  • Weight: How often do you expect to be lugging this ladder around, and how strong are you? Weight can make the difference between a ladder you love and one you dread.
  • Storage: Finally, think about how and where you’ll store the ladder. Some types, like extension ladders, are not suitable for small homes.

After reviewing these considerations, you should have a good idea of the kind of ladder you want to use. Do you need help deciding which ladder is right for your job in Seattle, WA? Call or stop by and talk to the team at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. today.

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