How tall a ladder?

Painting my house. I can reach all facia boards and gutters of my single story house with a 6' stepladder.
Only the facia boards at the cathedral ceiling section are up to 12' above the level ground. I need to repair/paint these facia boards.
Will it be save to use an 8' stepladder or an 8' (16') extension ladder? I don't want to invest a fortune in a ladder that I use only rarely and only for a few feet. But, I am standing here, scratching my head.
--
Walter
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Walter R. wrote:

A 16 foot extension ladder would be best to reach the top of a gable. Although you could stand on the top step of an 8 foot step ladder, that's considered unsafe, and I would be remiss if I suggested that you do that. Here is an example of what you might want (watch out for line wrap):
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
$119 is a bit pricey for what sounds like it would be very limited use for you. Maybe see if you can borrow a neighbor's ladder? Or maybe go halvsies with a neighbor who might want to use it also? Or maybe you can rent a ladder for the infrequent use you would have for it?
Ken
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On 9/9/2005 4:45 PM US(ET), Ken took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

A similar ladder is $89. at Lowes. Werner 16' Aluminum Extension Ladder, Type II Item #: 212664 Model: D1216-2
225 lbs. load capacity Slip-resistant Traction-Tred D-rungs Mar-resistant end caps Stong modified I-beam rails Shoe rests flat or is held in spur position with Shu-Lok feature Exclusive Alflo rung joint means Twist-Proof performance
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Bill



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Walter R. wrote:

Get a good combination ladder. The Little Giant ladders are great, but kind of pricey. For a less expensive version: http://tinyurl.com/abv99
R
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Walter R. wrote:

rent a ladder or borrow from a neighbour

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Walter R. wrote:

Whatever happened to people making there own ladders? Figure out what height of non-adjustable ladder would work, or make two ladders, or paint high first and cut off for a lower elevation). Get two 2x4 of that length and a long enough 3/4" x 4" wide board to cut into 18" lengths to make steps every 12-14" and use four 2" screws in each step. So what does that lumber and screws cost? I made a similar ladder which has been in service for about 30 years (used nails not screws and only recently put in a few screws) BTW, the bottom of the first step should be not more than 4" from the end of the 2x4. Use Doug fir 2x4s, pine 1x4s and wallboard screws (no drilling) and take 20 minutes to make it. It will be as strong or stronger than any ladder you could buy. The only down side is that the part you stand on is only 3/4" wide so you can't use moccasins.
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Extension ladders do not fully extend. There must be some overlap. So you get numbers like this 16' extends to 13' 20' entends to 17'
Ladders are rated type I, II, III. Buy what you need for your body weight. The more heavy the duty the stronger and heavier a ladder is. A type II 20 aluminum is about all I can wreste into place by myself anymore.
Extension ladders feel quite different from a step ladder. I am never comfortable with my head more than a foot or so above the top of an extension ladder.
A 16' one is large enough for you to reach your project but you may wind up standing on a single step instead of having a double one underfoot because the doubled steps only reach so high. Depending on your comfort level this may justify buying one size bigger.
Other have posted some good links and if you shop you should be able to meet or beat those prices.
--
Colbyt
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