Lightest ladder -- regular and roof?

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Hi,
I'm a petite female homeowner. I often need a ladder around the house (for example, to change lightbulbs or paint ceilings), and I need one outside to get on the roof. I have an aluminum ladder for outside, but it is very difficult for me to move it and set it up. Does anyone know of reasonably quality light ladders, one for inside, one for out? Has anyone used the Little Giant ladders?
Thanks!
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wrote:

They are heavy. I'd think you'd want a light duty aluminum for your indoor needs.
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Little Giant ladders are great and easy to carry around, my suggestion is to go to a store that sells them and pick one up just to see how heavy it is (I don't think they are heavy since I am a manly man). These babies are super sturdy, industrial grade, miltitary approved and it is the best ladder I ever used. (I've been using ladders every day since 1972) Home Cheapo has a lighter version of the LG (made by Werner) for about $120, so you may want to check it out, and the best thing is, if you don't like it, you can return it. Where are you located? Here in NJ the Little Giants are all over the place in different stores, and the older ones (without wheels) can be had at a great price. Happy Climbing!!
Melissa wrote:

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I know of nothing lighter than aluminum.
For exterior use, if you cannot handle an aluminum ladder (assuming its the right size), you should probably just hire a handyman for work on the roof, or get a neighbor to help you set up your ladder.
For interior use, an aluminum stepladder is easy to maneuver and store, and suited for almost all tasks. An exception would be working around staircases. The articulating ladders, such as the little giant, are good if you have to work around stairways, but they are far from light, and are overkill for most uses. Once in a while I paint my boat while it is out of the water. I find two stepladders and a plank far more convenient than my articulating ladder.
Melissa wrote:

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I would prefer fiberglass for the stepladder in particular, since she mentions changing light bulbs- electrical safety
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If you get zapped changing a light bulb you're too stupid to change a light bulb. Even if yo are that stupid, consider turning the switch off. Oh wow! Brilliant!! Come'on people!
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Al Bundy wrote:

Ok, how may stepladders does it take to change a light bulb? I was thinking she might occasionally be doing something more involved, like changing a fixture- of course, should turn power off then, too. Probably- I just like the darn things, and am looking for an excuse...
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Now that's honesty I respect....and an excuse I share:-(
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Al Bundy wrote:

Your limited electrical field experience is showing. There are thousands of Carter System three way switching circuits still in use in the United States and Canada. Such circuits can and do leave both the screw shell and the center contact of Edison based lamp holders hot at 120 volts to ground when the light is off. When such circuits are wired using metal conduit or armored cable, as many were, the person attempting to change the bulb can face a truly dangerous condition. Add to those the number of reversed polarity and open neutral faults I find each year in my electrical work and the use of non conductive ladders in changing light bulbs is not such a wild idea.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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Yo! Sparky! We're talking about changing a light bulb here and doing nothing more. No one kills the breaker to change a damn light bulb. That's reality.

So a hard wired wall lamp that doesn't need a ladder to change...reality again, who runs to the breaker box...if they know what & where it is?
More reality. An electrician finishing up some installs. Time to put bulbs in or replace one not working. They run from the 2nd floor to the basement, kill the breaker, go back and change bad bulb, run back two floors to turn breaker on, run back to 2nd floor to make sure it works? If this one is working for an electrical company, it won't be for long. Reality.

Absolutely! I've seen that plus the other you left out - the ground wire just dangling or snipped off and/or not tied to metal boxes. I'm not an electrician but I'm not a retarded hacker either. Any work I do on electrical besides changing a light bulb and the breaker goes off.

If you are changing a bulb and go sticking your finger/object around either contact, I reiterate, you're too stupid to change a light bulb.
Al Bundy Professional Wanna-Be...and a damn good one :-)
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For indoor use, why should an aluminum ladder increase the risk? The LADDER isn't grounded, and the chances are it's got rubber feet anyway. so either you're touching a voltage source and a path to ground at the same time, or you're not.
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The lightest ladders ever made were made from magnesium. Makes aluminum look like cast iron by comparison. They stopped making them in the late 1950's or early 1960's due to a few knuckleheads doing extreme things with them and getting hurt. I still have an 18 footer, and it weighs so little, I have to be careful not to leave it where the wind might blow it away. Maybe you can find one on ebay.
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Unless OP expects to be working in stairwells or has 12' ceilings, a plain old 6' wooden stepladder should be fine.
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I was addressing her desire for an outside ladder fo getting onto the roof. For household use indoors, any lightweight aluminum will be extremely lightweight and easy to handle. Her primary request was for something lighter than what she has now, and she indicated her outside ladder was too heavy, even though it was aluminum.
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Melissa wrote:

I was in Sears today and they had Little Giant ladders on display. I hefted one and found it to be heavy as ladders of that length go. If weight is the issue I would have difficulty recommending one.
--
--John
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Thanks for all the replies. I do sometimes do more advanced electrical work -- nothing too exciting, just installing a light fixture or rewiring one, or maybe rewiring a switch. So maybe fiberglass for inside is the way to go.
If nothing is lighter than the giant aluminum ladder I have outside for the roof, then I may reluctantly surrender to the handyman. Honestly. They should make them robotic.
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Melissa wrote:

Depending on your weight and height, how high you need be able to reach safely and how much "bounce" you are willing to tolerate, you might look at Type III "light duty household ladders".
For example if you just need to clean gutters on a one story ranch, Davidson makes a 16" extension ladder (extends to 13" with a 9'-3" standing level) that weighs only 17 lbs and might do the job:
http://www.davidsonladders.com/Escaleras.asp?IdP
Once you get into 24" and longer extension ladders, since they stopped manufacturing magnesium alloy models there has been nothing available which is truly "lightweight", and even at the relatively short 24" length the heaver non-conductive fiberglass ladders can be a challenge for this 5'-8" 170' male to handle a high wind or a confined space (such as a narrow gangway or lightwell with windows on all sides) when the ladder's position must be exactly controlled at all times.
In some of these situations one possibility are the "collapsing" ladders, such as the Xtend & Climb and the Telesteps:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)"8013
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I purchased the taller Xtend & Climb to access places like roof access hatches at the top of winding stairwells or hallway attic access hatches in high ceilings - often interior locations where you can't get a conventional ladder without great difficulty - or when I have to be very careful not to damage finished surfaces.
It's not a lightweight ladder by any means, but I find myself using it a lot in other situations as well because it's very easy to set-up in tight quarters as the direction of motion is straight up and down - until I used this type of ladder I had never appreciated the extent to which a conventional ladder places the user at a "mechanical disadvantage" in less than ideal locations.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom eight47-475-5668
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24'
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MDT, those extending ladders are TOO COOL! I didn't even know they made these. The ladder I have for outside is folded in sections, which must be extended out and locked in place. Then, when the whole thing is full height on the ground, I have to somehow get it leaning against the building. I look like a dog worrying a too-large bone.
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That's a pretty apt description; you might find it easier to use an conventional extension ladder, you can raise the upper section once the ladder is against the structure.
Still, it's not easy for *anyone* if it's a sufficiently awkward location, or a high enough wind.
Many people - especially if they work construction - can be pretty casual about ladders, but they are killers.
A Home Inspector working in the next town over was killed a few years back by a fall of around 8'. Probably, as he drove up to the single story house, he was thinking 'Piece of Cake'. When I was a child one of my neighbors was electrocuted when his ladder touched a power line. This spring, two workers well killed in a fall a half-mile from my house.
I was "lucky" enough to have gone off a 2nd story roof as a young man without serious injury (patch of loose granules on a seemingly not very challenging roof - I went down through tree branches, breaking the fall), since then I've taken ladders and heights *very* seriously.
So my advice to ANYONE if they don't feel comfortable raising or using a ladder in a given situation is DON'T DO IT.
Find someone to assist you, or as much as you would like to do the work yourself, hire it out - whatever you are trying to do, it will be harder to do if you are dead.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom eight47G5-5668
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