Home Repair

Ladder help!

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I just bought a new 16' extention ladder and a 6' step ladder at my local home center. What is the correct tilt for the extention ladder and how high can I go on my step ladder. Everyone tells me a different story.
Hey there Ladder Sue,

Here are a few ladder safety tips:

The old timer way to tell if the ladder is at the correct angle is to stand facing the positioned ladder with your toes just touching the bottom feet. The reach forward keeping your arms parallel to the ground (without stretching or leaning or anything), bend your wrists up so your palms are facing the ladder. They should just be touching the side rails if the ladder is tilted correct!

Another way is to use math... The ladder's base should rest at a distance one-quarter its total extended vertical height from the wall.
So a ladder extended to 16-ft should rest 4 feet from the wall; extended to 12-ft. should rest three feet from the wall; extended to 8-ft. should rest two feet from the wall. Also, you should get one of those tool-and-paint holders that fit on the ladder or look for a ladder that has it built right on it.

How high is safe? The top of the ladder is the second step down from the cap step. The top cap (which is usually plastic) is for appearance only and small things like screws, nuts and bolts. The fold down shelf is for larger items like tools and paint, but isn't for standing either. Anything above the second step down can cause you to lose balance and tip over.

Also keep your hips in-between the side rails at all times. If you need to reach over and need to lean, the ladder could tip. It is much safer to just move the ladder.
My 2 cents....
I have a Little Giant Ladder. It is the best ladder I have EVER used. It bends to whatever size angle you need and is the most sturdy ladder ever. I highly reccommend it to everyone. I hear they even sell it at Home Depot now... But you may find it on-line for even less!


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