Extension Ladders for DIY - Which Should I Get?

21 Dec 2011
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United Kingdom

I'm after some extension ladders for some bits of DIY I want to do that are external to our property. We live in a mid terrace, the ceiling height of each floor is approx. 8ft making 16ft in total. I need to add some height onto the ladders for the space in between the two floors and above the second floor I suppose. At the rear there is also an extra bit of a drop due to us having a cellar.

I need to be able to reach the gutters and the windows for cleaning etc. I've used my neighbours extension ladders to reach the gutter at the front of the house and those ladders were 4.20m (13' 10") closed and 7.71m (25' 4") fully open.

I'm looking for ladders that are comfortable to use, high quality, strong whilst being hopefully not too heavy for weedy 'ol me! There are doubles.. triples.. different manufacturers, DIY or trade.. many choices.

I'm a bit unsure as to which I should get, I've found some 'Lyte ELT330' for £114.99 delivered, are these any good? http://www.amazon.co.uk/LYTE-ELT330-Trade-Triple-Extension-Ladder/dp/B008KKWX5M they are 2.92m (9' 7") closed and 6.85m (22' 6") fully open.

Also, could buying a support for the bottom of the ladder and/or a stand off be useful? I have read these can sometimes be confusing to fit?

Anyway this is where you guys come in, your advice would be invaluable and most appreciated!

Many thanks in advance.
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If anyone on the heavy side is expected to use it consider a heavy duty ladder, we had several destroyed by allowing an 18 stone engineer use them in our office.

Thanks for both of the replies!

Hmm, Andy, how do you know the first section of the ladder comes off? Do you have one of these?

I think, foxhole, I'm more on the heavier side so perhaps that particular ladder isn't the right one for me.. the Lyte ELT330 that I linked to above has a maximum capacity of 150KG / 23 stone..

Does anyone else have any suggestions? What about supports and stand offs?

Thanks a lot.
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I am also after some double extension ladders (or triple that I can use with one section removed) for general and mixed use.

What are peoples thoughts on a suitable ladder for DIY use?

There appears to be three specs:
BS 2037 Class 1 - Trade, rated to 130kg
EN 131 (Class 2) - Light Trade, 115kg
BS 2037 Class 3 - DIY, rated to 95kg

I am light bloke, currently sub 80kg, and not planning to use them that frequently. But also not a fan of the feeling of being on a ladder, so if a Class1 or EN131 would be stiffer, less bouncy and likely to sway side to side in the middle, I would be happy to pay a bit more, although don't want to spend £250 for something that will be used 3 times a year if a £100 will feel just the same to be on.

Other info:
- Current house is fully hipped, gutter height is about 4.5 meter.
- But I expect I will move in the next few years so dont mind some future proofing.
- The third section could also (I presume) be converted into cat-ladder for roof work.

Looking at 3m 10ft/10rung two section ladders, which will extend up to around 5.25 mm I seem to be able to get a Class3 or EN131 in Aluminum, Timber, of Fiberglass for around the £100, but can also spend £250 on something that appears largely the same.

About the only place I can find the stocks locally is BnQ but I am open to mail order.

Hi Daniel,

I ended up getting the Lyte ELT330 from Tool-Line here: http://www.toollineuk.com/product.php?section=&sn=LYTELT330 the price looks to be the same as what I paid - £109.99 which was the most competitive price around.

They arrived much quicker than the stated delivery time so if you do order bear this in mind as you'll probably want to be in/someone else to be in to receive them!

The packaging wasn't great i.e. there was no packaging and a couple of the rungs were a bit dented but nothing serious, the sections were tied together for delivery. They come direct from the manufacturer so this was not the fault of Tool Line - packaging may have improved now since I brought this to their attention?

The ladders being aluminium were quite greasy from the manufacturing process so I'd recommend giving them a good wipe with a rag when they arrive - this is normal however.

I used them recently, I cleaned out a lower gutter and was able to position the base ladder and middle ladder each as standalone ladders which meant less moving of ladders as I worked my way along the length of the gutter.

I also used the lower and middle section together for a gutter which was a hidden valley located a bit higher up and they felt really sturdy with no bounce etc.

I weigh about 90KG so a bit fatter than you.

The only issue I had was with the length of each section getting them back into the cellar! If you have a garage this won't be an issue for you however.

Not so sure on the cat-ladder question, I'm guessing you could fit something to convert them for this use? I'm probably not going to be on the apex of my roof so this wasn't an issue for me in particular. Due to the height of my house I'd probably need another ladder for this anyway?

Hope this helps,
Nice to see an update, CJ - so many people post a question and then the thread just peters out.
Good review, too :D
Yes indeed, thanks for the comprehensive review.

Sounds like you had not issue with bounce, which is good. Can you pass any comment on the stiffness of the ladder in terms of it flexing sideways in the middle?

I have heard fibreglass ladders are better for this, but they are also a lot heavier and while lifting them would be no issue obviously when putting them against the house ever little helps giving your already using muscles you don't normally use!

Yes, cat ladder would need extra bits bolting on to convert it, I am not much of a fan of heights (significant fear of falling) so dont know what I think about this as yet, but equally I would like to be able to get up there.

Have a garage and hope to never live in a place without one....

Never buy a DIY ladder go light trade at least.

Last time I bought one I was lucky the yard had several to try, the DIY was like climbing a pendulum almost felt like you could get catapulted off, the light trade was a good solution solid but not a double handed job.
Dosen't everybody run up a ladder holding a bucket in each hand and and a tin of paint on their head! :D :D
Wooden ladders are nice to work off warm to the touch on cold days and feel quite reassuring no clicks and creaks like alli, but too much trouble to store and maintain
If they get wet they can rot and if they are kept perfectly dry the joints can shrink and wedges in the rungs start to get loose, they can also warp.

Also they can be quite heavy and like heavy trade ladders can be more of a double handed job to put up.

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