I need to buy a ladder, as I'm fed up of borrowing peoples - can
anyone give me a steer on what kind of spec I should be looking for.
It will be for occasional use, with some work near the ridge of my
roof - standard sized 3 bed house.
Also the perenniel question - where has the best prices?!
There are two main standards, BSEN 131 and BS 2037. You'll also see Class 1,
2 and 3 mentioned. In summary:
Class 1 (industrial) - max static vertical load of 175kg (27.5 stone)
Class 2 (now referred to as BSEN 131) - light trade use. Max static vertical
load 10kg (23.5 stone)
Class 3 (DIY/domestic) - max load 125kg (19 stone)
This max load is the combined load of the person and the tools/equipment
he's taking up the ladders - I won't be impolite and ask what you weigh, but
think what you're likely to be carrying up the ladders before you decide
which Class to go for.
Some people talk about the duty rating of ladders which is a load rating
given which takes into account how often they're used, general conditions
etc, but this is misleading. A 23 stone guy will probably bend Class 3
ladders no matter how often they're used.
BS 2037 applies to Class 1 and 3. Nowadays BS EN131 is usually used instead
of Class 2.
I can't give you price comparisons but B&Q and the other sheds seem cheap
for ladders but that's because they're only likely to be Class 3. If you
want Class 1 or 2 you need to go to a trade outlet like Mills
Hope this helps.
Having tried ascending my mums "typical shed DIY class 3 ladder" I can
attest to that! The ladder felt like it was very close to the point of
permanent reshapement (of the ladder and perhaps me as well) and I am
"only" 20 ish stone!
I bought a trade class triple extension ladder from Screwfix (model
ELT330) which I have been very pleased with - very stable and
comfortable to use. It extends to 7.4m, and they currently do it for 130
Get an aluminium extending ladder - which will fit in your garage when
closed, but which extends to a great enough length to reach above gutter
level. It should, of course, have rubber feet on the bottom. If possible,
get one with D-shaped rungs - which have flat tops and are more comfortable
than round ones. You may also find a clip-on stand-off bracket useful. This
ensures that the top of the ladder is supported by the wall rather than the
gutter - and is far more secure and less liable to slip.
If you want to climb onto the roof, you'll need an additional ladder with a
ridge hook (if that's what it's called?) and wheels at one end. You carry
this up the first ladder, push it up the roof on its wheels, and turn it
over so that it hooks onto the ridge.
I've no idea about prices - my extending ladder which I bought 35 years ago
is still going strong!
Couldn't agree more. There are a number of devices on the market to
stabilise ladders or adapt for uneven ground if you can't get someone to
foot for you. Some aren't cheap - they could be two thirds the cost of the
ladder itself, but compared to a broken neck it's got to be worth it.
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