What Size Ladder For 2 Story House?

Finding the Best Extension Ladder

The first thing that you should be asking yourself is the size of the ladder that you’ll be needing.  This is a prerequisite before you go shopping for a good ladder.  Choosing a ladder for 1-story houses is not that difficult because they commonly have a standard height. 

But looking for the right size ladder for a 2-story house is a different story.  Why?  It’s because 2-story houses come in various styles, and an extension ladder might not always work.  This is where you’ll need a meticulous examination.   

Before working with any ladder, read the manufacturer’s instructions. And check the latest requirements before using any ladders. There are very specific guidelines set out, it is highly suggested you take a moment and go through them. United States Department of Labor is available here.

Our Top Picks For Best 2 Story House Ladders

Best Extension Ladders for 2 Story House

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Tips in Using an Extension Ladder

You already know how to determine the height of your 2-story house as well as the size of the ladder that is right for you.  The best extension ladders have already been presented to you.  Now what?

Well, there are still some things that you need to know in terms of the usage of extension ladders.  

  • When you are climbing a ladder, always keep in mind the belt-buckle rule.  Make sure that your buckle always stays in between the side rails.  It’s rather tempting to reach farther more to make your job quicker.  But by doing this, you might only lose your balance.  
  • Know where you’re allowed to step.  Many people still insist on stepping on the topmost rung of a ladder, which is totally wrong.  Remember that it is not a step.  Always leave a couple of steps or rungs from the top to ensure your safety.  Not adhering to this can put you to danger.
  • Be fully aware of the capacity of the ladder.  Although most heavy-duty extension ladders can bear up too 300 lbs., you still need to be aware of the maximum capacity of the ladder.  Know how heavy you are as well as the load that you’ll be carrying while climbing the ladder.   
  • If you plan on uploading heavy materials (plus yourself of course), better choose a ladder than can hold at least 4 times the upper limit of the expected load.  You might want to get a ladder that has exceeded the criteria of the American National Standards, which you can find some of them above.  
  • Consider the instructions as well as the labels attached on the ladder important. Maybe some of you might think that it’s just a ladder, and using it would only need some common sense.  Hmmmm? Maybe not. 
  • Make it a habit to fully inspect the extension ladder before taking your first step.  Who knows, there is one bolt missing, or a rung is just about to fall off.  Unable to do this important step, there will surely be an accident waiting to happen.  
  • Always keep the upper and bottom part of the ladder free from obstructions, such as constructions tools or equipment.  
  • You also need to set the extension ladder or stepladder at a right angle.  Ensure that the bottom is snuggled safely on the ground or any other surface.  Know the specific gap between the ladder and the wall.  

If you want to carry reading about ladders in our guide to the telescopic ladder here, or if you need access to the loft then this guide on loft access ladders may be what you’re looking for.

We have more information, articles, and guides for ladders. You can read up on how to find the best ladder for a 2-story building, and even who invented the ladder! Like to build? Then check out the building a loft ladder step by step guide.

How to Get the Size of a Ladder: Few Things to Remember

First, keep in mind that the length or the height of the ladder must be taller than the actual height of the part where you’ll be working at.  

It is also important to know that you’ll be working at a certain angle.  Include this in your computation.  Remember that leaning the ladder at an angle reduces its height.

Extension Ladders?

An extension ladder is also called a portable ladder.  It consists of 2  parts that are supported by guides or brackets for adjustment purposes.  

Before setting up the ladder, makes sure that it will be placed above a stable surface and that it can bear heavy loads or weights.  

There are certain factors that can help you compute the ladder’s length and allow you to reach the height that you intend to climb:

  1. Height from the ground to the point where you’ll be working.
  2. Height up to the point of top support.  This should be more than a couple of feet higher to prevent you from stepping on the uppermost part of the ladder.  

Quick Reference Extension Ladder Chart

Extension Ladder Chart Showing Actual Ladder Height when In Use
Extension Ladder Chart

IMPORTANT: 

  • When measuring, imagine the ladder to be standing on an inclined position.  Why is it?  Simply because it’s impossible to climb a movable ladder that’s standing at a 90-degree angle!
  • You also need to consider the highest standing level in your measurement, which is usually 4 rungs from the top.  

Stepladder

The highest standing level also applies to the stepladder, which is somewhat 2 ft. from the peak of the ladder.  To get the highest standing level, the height, as well as the reach of the user, must be ascertained.  

Again, for your safety, it is still not a good idea to step on the highest rung of the stepladder.  The safest standing level is 2 rungs from the highest point.   

A 2-Story House and Its Right Size Ladder

The right ladder size for a 1-story house is determined by getting the measurement of the structure, from the ground all the way to the roofline.  

On the other hand, determining the ladder size for a 2-story building is quite complicated as it will need your technical abilities.  Before even deciding what ladder to buy, you first have to establish the height of your 2-story home.  

Your house design, the floor-to-ceiling height, and your roof’s style and pitch are the factors that can greatly affect the height of your 2-story house.  If you are planning on doing roof work then a specialized roof ladder or roof hook is worth investing in.

If you have a standard 2-story house, its height is probably between 22 ft. to 26 ft.  But if your house has a different layout, design, or style, then it can either be a bit lower or much higher.  

If your house goes beyond 25 ft, it’s best to use an extension ladder.  Otherwise, a stepladder will already do.  

Steps in Determining the Ladder Size for Your 2-Story House

Step 1: 

Take the measurement of your 2-story house from the ground up to your roofline. (For instance, 26 ft.)

Also, take into account the measurement of the overhang.  This will have a direct effect when establishing the pitch.  (For instance 3 ft.)

Get the measurement of the pitch, which refers to the angle in between the ladder and the wall (ground level).  (For instance, 6”)

Then, add them all up.  26 ft. + 3 ft. + 6 ft. = 35 ft.   

Step 2: 

Now that you have the exact measurement, you already have an idea of what the right ladder size is for your house.  Choose a ladder that has a length of 35 ft. or longer.  Take note that the ladder has to be fully extended while measuring and that the extension ladders must be longer or higher than the working point by 6 ft. to 10 ft. 

After this step, you’re now ready to look for the right ladder size for your 2-story house.  

Conclusion

Finding the right size ladder for your 2-story house is not as easy as it seems.  Because just like finding the height of your 2-story house, several factors need to be considered. 

The calculations have to be accurate.  Be technical, be precise.  If you feel the need to measure more than once, do it.  Take note: do not purchase a ladder if you do not have the numbers.  

The bottom line:  measure and calculate!  There’s really nothing more to it.  

Author

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