Extension ladder reach


I have two fairly short stories in a split level house. The highest gutters are approximately 15' above ground level. I know the 4:1 rule for putting up an extension ladder but I'm not sure how much of a 20' extension ladder is lost to the overlap. Is a 20' ladder enough to reach eaves or do I need a 22'?
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A 20' will extend to 17'
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Christopher Nelson wrote:

You can figure 3 feet of overlap between sections for the lengths you're considering, so a 24' ladder will be 21'. If you want to get on the roof, you'll want a ladder that reaches a couple of feet higher than the roof line.
Your choices may be limited to 20' or 24' -- I don't recall seeing any 22' extension ladders in stores.
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Mike Paulsen wrote:

And be aware- a 24' will make you feel puny carrying it and placing it by yourself. I have a 24' 1a fiberglas, and it is heavy. And for a heavy-duty ladder, it is still pretty bouncy at close to full extension. Don't even think about aluminum that long, unless you are under 150 pounds, with tools. A buddy at work, skinny guy, bought an aluminum 20-foot, a name brand, and returned it after one use because he found it too bouncy to work from.
I wish a had a 20', since this 24' is really more than I need for this one story house. But at the time, the 24' was 60-some bucks cheaper at Sam's, than the 20' was at Lowes or Menards...
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

Nonsense. Aluminum is fine. What you don't want is a cheap aluminum ladder. The heavier ones (Type 1A?) are plenty strong and stiff. My 32' Aluminum ladder is getting kind of heavy for me to put up by myself these days, but it's plenty secure when extended.
I have a light weight 20' ladder (Type III?) which is great for quick jobs when not fully extended, but way floppy when near its limit.
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On Fri, 25 Sep 2009 08:08:24 -0700, Bob F wrote:

I find my 24' one bounces a lot - but at the same time it feels strong; I don't feel like it's about to snap in two or anything (and of course when fully extended it's only significantly flexible in the middle - so it's only an issue when going up or down, not when working at the top).
The pain in the butt isn't the weight, or carrying it, but getting it from a horizontal to vertical position; I never have quite figured out what the 'trick' is there (it likes to lift off the ground as I'm hauling it upright, and the last thing I want is a ladder on top of my head :-)
cheers
Jules
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Jules wrote:

Keep the feet of the ladder right up against the wall until it's vertical, then move the feet out.
You could also lay a tube of sand or other weight over the lowest rung.
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Do like the fire department. Put the foot of the ladder touching the building. Walk under the ladder, going "hand over hand" towards the building, with hands above your head. Pull the bottom out from the wall after the ladder is vertical.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Fri, 25 Sep 2009 17:35:40 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

D'oh! Yes, that makes perfect sense - thanks :-)
J.
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Y'welcome. Really, I deserve very little credit. I just repeated how I was taught. Be careful to avoid power wires, as others have cautioned.
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One reason you might not want an aluminum ladder is if there is any possibility that wires will be involved. This includes portable power tools or whacking the ladder into the power companied feeder lines.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Roger Shoaf wrote:

The power lines to my house are well insulated, then wrapped around the supporting ground wire.
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If the paint fumes didn't get the guy then the inevasible oops will.
Do not try this at home folks!
This is why they make scaffolds.
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Should work. Worst case scenario, the ladder goes to the house, and you have to lean back a bit.
The old fire department trick is to stand at the base of the ladder. Extend your arms straight out front. Your hands should barely go to the ladder. That's about the right angle.
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Put stabilizers on it- and you can go to about the 10' height and your body will make up the difference.
I bought one of these a few years ago because I needed the standoff for a project. Now I love it - http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=ladder+stabilizer&cid 805121240023729649&sa=title#p
And while you're at it- if your ground is uneven, these make ladder setup a breeze- http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=werner+pk80&cid 711676261932417415&sa=title#p
Jim
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What you need is a Little Giant. I have one and it is fantastic. Although it is somewhat heavy, it has wheels to move it around which make it easier. Most people turn pale at the price, but if you are doing a lot of DIY home repair is is a very good investment. Being lazy and a bit clumsy, I also have 3' x 6' rolling scaffolding and a 24' aluminum ladder, plus 6' and 8' Type III fiberglass. Bottom line, the more good ladders and scaffolding you have the easier the job.
Joe
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I tore off the siding on my house. The back was/is ~ 16' up to the eves. I already had the little giant knockoff at Lowes for $160 on sale. Folded in half, shaped like letter A, the top rung is at 9 feet. I then bought 6 pcs of 2x4x12ft. Stood the 2x4x12's on end about 2' apart (all 4 pieces form a square) then cut-up the 5th and 6th piece into braces and screwed them all together. Now I have a "tower" with a support at 9' high. Now I took my extension ladder, laid down horizontally between the tower and little giant knockoff and I have a scaffold that I don't rent. I used my 8' A frame ladder to climb up and onto the scaffold. I used hand truck to move scaffold all around yard. I don't feel comfortable with pump jacks so this is an excellent and reliable/safe system. HTH, Tom

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Tom wrote:

I think I'll take a couple ladders and ladder jacks and a plank for that job.
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