The basic ladders used for house painting are extension ladders and stepladders. They are made of aluminum, fiberglass or wood. The fiberglass ladders usually have metal rungs.

Wooden extension ladders are less common
than they use to be, while fiberglass is becoming more popular.
Aluminum is still popular. Aluminum is still
popular choice because it is lightweight and resists corrosion.

Fiberglass is popular because it also
resists corrosion and it is less conductive, which is important if you
may be working near electricity. Aluminum, on the other hand is a high
conductor of electricity. *(See “ Ladder
Safety”) *

**Ladders are rated by there weight capacity** The
higher weight capacity of the ladder, the heavier the ladder it self is.
A thirty-two or a forty-foot, heavy-duty ladder can be difficult to set
up and to move from place to place. Many painters prefer a lightweight
ladder when they will be moving the ladder frequently during the day,
but a stronger ladder
may be required for staging support.

Ladder Type | Type 3 | Type 2 | Type 1 | Type 1A | Type 1AA | Other |

Rating | 200 lbs | 225 lbs | 250 lbs | 300 lbs | 375 lbs | 350 lbs |

*Some manufacturers are using color coding to help identify the
rating but there is no complete set standards within different brands on
these colors*.

**Ladder sizes ** Extension ladders are sized by the
adding the length of two ladder sections together. Thus a 16 ft
extension ladder is made up of two 8 ft "ladder sections".

**Working length **Since
extension ladders uses an overlap design to hold the two section
together. There will be a minimum overlap at the time when the ladder is
fully extended. This fully extended length of the
ladder is generally referred to as the
"working length" The working length is actually several ft
shorter than the given "size" of the ladder length. Example A 20'
extension ladder is made up of two 10' sections, if the minimum overlap
is 1.5 ft. per section, a total of 3 ft...then the actual length of the
ladder fully extended is 17 '

*Also as the ladder is set up against the house it will lean at
about 75 degrees... a 1 to 4 ratio, bringing the top of a ladder that is
extended to 17 ft. to about 16.5 ft above the ground. At his highest
point, a worker would be standing 3 or 4 rungs below the top of the
ladder and will probably be able to reach about 3 ft above the high
point of the ladder and have a 3 or 4 ft lateral span. So in this this
case you would be able to reach a maximum height of about 19 or 20 ft.
with a 20 ft. ladder. *

* ***Common Sizes** of extension ladders
start at 16 ft and go up to 40 ft with many sizes in between. We have
seen extension ladder available up to 60 ft.

**When buying a ladder** we stress the importance of
shorter ladders. If you need a 32 ft ladder to reach the highest part
of your house you will also need a 20 or a 16 ft. to get the lower
parts. When a professional painter shows up to paint a house, he will
usually bring several different size ladders, this way he can start work
at the top using the taller ladder and then transition to the shorter
ladders as he work his way down. Trying to paint lower sections with a
tall ladder is difficult and impractical.

Also it is important that the salesperson demonstrate the workings of the actual extension ladder you will be bringing home. Be sure the extension slides smoothly without jamming, and that the hooks and shoes are functioning right. Feel the weight of the ladder. Is it heavier than expected?

Its always handy to have a stepladder around the house, Its a necessity to have at least one stepladder for any interior or exterior paint job.

There are two basic types of stepladders "Standard" and "Double
Sided" the difference being is the standard stepladder has one set of
steps double sided has two sets *(steps on both sides)* Painters
will generally buy a standard type stepladder that includes a paint
shelf As with extension ladders stepladders are available in:

**Wood ** (still very common, lowest cost}

**Fiberglass ** (least conductive around electricity)

**Aluminum ** ( lightweight)

As with extension ladders; stepladders are also available in
different weight ratings.

Size ranges from 2 ft. up as high as 20 ft.

For interior painting rooms with an 8 ft ceiling, we recommend a 5 or 6
ft. standard stepladder with a paint shelf. For lower ceilings you may
be able to get by with a 4 ft.

For exterior Have 5 or 6 ft stepladder to use when transitioning down
from a16 ft extension ladder.

There are several methods of using your ladders as a staging support.
In certain situations you can set a plank directly onto a ladder rung.
**Ladder-jacks **are common type equipment that mount onto
ladders as to create a support for staging planks. There are two basic
types of ladder jacks; Aluminum & Steel The Aluminum jacks are designed
differently than the steel jacks. With the aluminum ladder jacks two
rungs of each end ladder used support all of the weight of the staging.

With the **steel ladder jacks**; the design is so that some
of the force of the weight of the staging bears directly onto the side
rails, and the rest of the force is transferred onto two rungs of the
ladder first. This steel ladder jack makes for an overall stronger
staging, but the** aluminum ladder jacks** are easier to
use, and that makes the setup process safer.

The ladder jacks may require a certain capacity ladder. If your going to
be using your ladders for a staging look, into the requirements the
requirements of the equipment you will be using before buying a ladder.

*Click "Ladder Jacks" Button, top of page.*

**Planks**

There are a number of different types of staging planks available today.

**The standard wooden staging plank**: Available in various
widths and lengths certified for staging, lowest priced. It can be
shortened, and nails or screws can easily be used on it if necessary.

**Wooden extension planks**: Length is adjustable,
available in different sizes

**Aluminum with plywood top**: Lightweight easy to handle
Lightweight makes it safer to climb with.

**Aluminum extension plank:** Length is adjustable,
available indifferent sizes.

A roof hook is used to convert a section of ladder into a **"roof ladder"
**A roof ladder is used to access a moderate to stoop pitch roof. *See*
Roof Ladders

A corner stabilizer is a tool used to convert a standard ladder into
a **"corner ladder"** A corner ladder is ladder that can be place directly
to the vertex of an outside corner of two walls. See
Corner Ladders