What length ladder and best place to buy them?

The guttering of our house is about 5.5m above the ground. I want a ladder which will reach that height safely. I've no plans on doing any serious work up there - I just want to check it because its dripping at the moment and want to see what the problem might be. I don't want to buy one which won't reach the highest point I'll need to do (as we don't have a gable end, the guttering will be the highest point I'll be going!). I also don't really want to by buying one deliberately longer than I need (ie. I don't need an additional 1m for stepping onto the roof - I'll leave that work to pros, plus, I don't have a roof ladder!)
What is the recommended angle for ladders? If I need to reach 5.5m vertical and the ladder is at the recommended angle - what length (extended) ladder do I require? I've been looking at 7m+ ones - though I'm wondering whether 6.5m will be sufficient.
The other thing is once I've got the required length I want to find a suitable supplier. Screwfix seem to do 3 section, non-domestic (ie. 150kg rather than 95kg limit) 7m ladders for about 130 with free 2 week delivery. B&Q (if you can find the required one in stock in your local store) is a similar price (124 I think according to their website, though delivery isn't free).
Does anyone have a better/cheaper place to get it from for a similar price? 130 is the max I'll go to, so please don't suggest scaffold towers etc! Its for very occasional use and I know the risks of doing things up ladders. :)
Incidentally, any good places to purchase a standoff unit for the ladder? Screwfix does one for 29.99 but I've seen one in B&Q for 22.99 made my Abru. I'm wondering though whether the Abru one will only suit Abru ladders... Any better/cheaper place to get one?
Thanks
David
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to hold onto etc. when working.
--
Chris French, Leeds

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chris French wrote:

So the 7m+ 3 section ladder is likely to be just right, with any excess being able to allow more overlap and less bounce.... I'm certainly not 'boney' and just on the limit for domestic ladders (without wearing shoes or carrying tools!) so I'll listen to your advice.
Thanks
David
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 00:59:04 +0000, chris French

This topic reminds me of a situation a few years ago.....
I worked on the 2nd floor of an office building, and the ceilings were quite high on each floor. I don't know how high off the ground this was, but it looked high enough to me to fully deploy a parachute on the way down.
One day a ladder appeared at the window - it was high enough to reach the bottom of the window, but not the top. A few seconds later a chap reaches the top of the ladder, and stands on the top couple of rungs without any support at all to clean the windows. Then back down again.
I watched him do other windows around the building and felt quite sick, I don't like heights. As he went up and down that ladder (at breakneck speed in my opinion - quite literally!) the thing was bouncing back and forth like the infamous Millennium bridge on steroids.
I don't know how people can do this sort of job!
PoP
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Our house has similar heights to reach and I have a 24ft double extending ladder. 24ft is just about adequate but I wish now that I had bought a longer 3-section ladder. This would have provided just that extra overlap, and the shorter single sections could be more useful for other jobs.

It was about 10 years ago, but I bought mine out of E&M, straight from the mfrs, someone in Cardiff AFAIR. Full spec professional, big wide treads, not that expensive. Price included delivery. The mfr also made matching safety accessories.
--
Tony Williams.

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push up to a decent height (unlike the hired ones). I use the Abru stand off for most jobs. Creates a better working position and, with a plank across, gives you a useful shelf. Fix a length of 2" x 2" to the stand off and you can work comfortably above window openings.
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Sir
Ladders are a pain, you have to find somewhwre to store them, where the local torags won't use them to break into your house. If you only want it for occasional use, why don'y you check out the local hire shop. a 9m ladder from my local shop is 13.30 a weekend.
In my experieence the hire shop won't let you hire unsuitable equipment, and they have the top quality idiot proff stuff.
Rick
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True - though we have a very long garage to store the ladders in. If they break into that then they'd have a lot of tools to be able to drill out the locks if they wanted - so I'm not too worried about storing ladders in it.
As for hiring - I've put off getting a ladder for a while and have a number of jobs I want to do and they always seem to come to mind either in the evenings or at weekends and usually would only take less than an hour to do. Hiring one each time something came up (or continuing to put them off until I had enough to justify hiring one) would be a pain for me.
Thanks though for the advice, I hadn't actually thought of hiring one and it may be something worth considering.
D
Rick Dipper wrote:

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David Hearn wrote:

Allour gutters regularly need cleaning out because of all the sodding trees we have around here. I don't formally charge them to do it but its known that I'm partial to wine or whiskey :-) They'd pay the window cleaner 20 quid to do it but his ladder won't reach..
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<snip>
Just to add to the sensible advice others have given...
Another consideration for whether to pick a 2 or 3 section ladder is the difficulty of extending a long two-section ladder; either you extend it to full length along the ground and then stand it up and lean it on the wall without it falling over; or you do what the pros do, lean it up unextended, push the upper ladder up as high as you can reach, then start climbing... you have to kind of pull the ladder off the wall and while balancing, push the upper ladder up another rung before it falls back against the wall, so you walk it up the wall rung by rung to full height. Not recommended! Alternatively you buy a meg-bucks ladder with built-in ropes and pulleys.
Another good way of securing an erected ladder is to position it over an upstairs window; hold a thick horizontal batten over the window inside the room and tie this to the nearest rung of the ladder with a rope. You'll need to climb the ladder to attach it, whereupon it will usually start bowing under your weight - so if make the rope taut at that point it will stop the ladder bouncing as you climb up and down, and make it very secure.
I'd recommend you look at Wickes - they have a large range, reasonably priced.
David
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Lobster wrote:

Ahh, Wickes - didn't think of that.
Thanks
David
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Lobster wrote:

towball. He used rope to hold onto while he walked up roof. Wife did not know and drove car off pulling hubby over roof to ground, killing him. ..... maybe wife did know really..
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Lobster) wrote in message

TB Davis in Cardiff supplies. In the back of the catalogue is a chart to work out what length of ladder for what height. I'm looking at a 3 peice with 10m height for a 8m wall.
www.ladders-online.com or www.ladder-pro.co.uk
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biscuit wrote:

Thanks for that link - a 7.x m 3 section ladder is only 111.63 there, compared to 129.99 at Screwfix. A standoff is 21 there compared to 29 at Screwfix (or 23 at B&Q). And that includes VAT and delivery. Both are BSEN131 so are comparing like for like.
D
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