The last thing you want from your new ladder is an accident to happen due to instability or poor construction. Sure, most ladder accidents can be attributed to human error, but some can be blamed on the manufacturer. Out of the nearly 200,000 ladder-related accidents that happen annually, a good portion of these could have been avoided with a more durable choice of ladder.
The leading aluminum ladder company has provided some advice on how to choose a top-of-the-line ladder for all home improvement projects. Never walk into you local Home Depot or Lowe’s to purchase a new ladder for around-the-house tasks without following their helpful tips when investing in a new ladder for in-home use.
Safety Comes First
The first thing to always consider when purchasing a new ladder is safety. The majority of ladder-related injuries are due to misuse and failure to follow safe procedures, so don’t let this happen to you. Most accidents can easily be avoided by following these safety tips: Always follow ladder weight limitations and directions. Ensure that a home improvement project involving a ladder has two people involved. Use the right ladder for the job (we’ll cover that next).
Choose the Right Ladder for the Job
Not every ladder is created equal, and the same ladder certainly should not be used for all jobs around the house. In the most recent Consumer Reports ladder-buying guide, here’s what they have to say this: “Choose the right design and height for the work you do. And try before you buy. With stepladders, climb three steps and carefully shift your weight…”
Don’t be afraid to give the ladder a test run before buying it. It might seem odd at first to climb a ladder in the middle of the home improvement store. But this is the best way to see if the ladder is easy to adjust, locks securely, and is void of any tilting. You don’t need to climb all the way to the top to check its sturdiness, instead just step onto the first or second rung.
Understand the Different Types of Ladders
In order to choose the right ladder for the job, you need to understand the differences between the three main types of ladders for home improvement. The first is the stepladder, which is a lightweight ladder shaped like a “A”. A stepladder is ideal for tasks that remain relatively close to the ground, they just require a bit of a boost. Keep in mind step ladders aren’t suggested for use on stairs.
The extension ladder extends much further than a step ladder, making it ideal for harder-to-reach tasks high up from the ground. They are ideal for projects over 17 feet from the ground that need taking care of, but they require a good amount of space to maneuver properly. The multi use ladder is next, and it is exactly as it sounds. It can act as a step ladder, but are much more rigid. These extend up to 15 feet from the ground, but they are much heavier than the other ladder types.