Ladder height Chart and Calculator

Ladder Height Chart And Calculator

Confused about what ladder height you need? This article about the ladder height chart and calculator will help you find the perfect ladder!

People in their homes use step ladders to either change their bulbs or reach higher shelves.

Not only the right kind of ladder, but it is also crucial to choose the right ladder height to carry out your work effectively.

Hence, it becomes utterly important to choose the right kind of ladder based on your requirements.

Ladder Height Chart

One of the most common mistakes that people do when buying a ladder is assumed that a ladder will reach heights more than its capability.

Which at some time, becomes dangerous.

Hence, while purchasing a ladder, you need to understand the height you want to reach which will, in turn, determine the height of the ladder you may require.

You can better follow the height safety chart provided below:

Step Ladder Height Chart

When it comes to determining the height of a step ladder required, the ladder height, along with maximum reach, is taken into account along with the highest standing level.

So, if you want a ladder that needs to reach a maximum height of 10 feet, then if you are an average person of around 5.9 feet, you may require a ladder height of 6 feet.

Take a look at the step ladder height chart below:

Ladder Height

Maximum Reach

4 feet

8 feet

6 feet

10 feet

7 feet

11 feet

8 feet

11 feet

10 feet

14 feet

12 feet

16 feet

14 feet

18 feet

16 feet

20 feet

18 feet

21 feet

20 feet

23 feet

* The highest standing level on a step ladder is at least 3-4 steps from the top.

Extension Ladder Height Chart:

Ladder Height

Maximum Reach

16 feet

15 feet

20 feet

19 feet

25 feet

23 feet

28 feet

27 feet

32 feet

31 feet

36 feet

34 feet

40 feet

37 feet

44 feet

41 feet

48 feet

45 feet

60 feet

49 feet

* Height to the gutter is the highest standing level where the person can stand on the ladder comfortably

How To Calculate Required Height Of Ladder For Any Work

Whet it comes to calculating the required height of a ladder, you need to consider various factors including:

Extension ladders do have some overlap and it needs to be taken for consideration.

For example, 16 feet ladder can only reach a maximum height of 14-15 feet, since there is an overlap between the base and the fly section.

The next thing to consider is the angle at which the ladder rests on the wall.

You cannot rest the ladder upright as it needs to be used at an angle.

The next thing is the highest level and the safest option is to stand a few rungs from the top of the ladder.

Take, for example, if you want to reach 13 feet, then you may require a 16′ ladder that is set up at a 4:1 / 75-degree pitch

For example, if you need a maximum reach of around 25 feet and let’s say you have an extension ladder at your disposal, then how would you calculate the ladder height needed:

Maximum Reach Required – 25 feet

Ladder to be used – Extension ladder

Now, let us look at the same extension ladder height chart above:

Ladder Height

Maximum Reach

Height to Gutter

16 feet

15 feet

9 feet

20 feet

19 feet

9 – 13 feet

24 feet

23 feet

13 – 27 feet

28 feet

27 feet

17 – 21 feet

For a maximum reach of 23-27 feet, you can see the ladder height required is 28 feet.

Hence for reaching a height of 25 feet, you need a ladder height of 28 feet.

Types Of Ladders And Their Uses

Even though the primary purpose of a ladder is to reach places that you cannot usually reach on your own, all ladders are not the same.

Below, we’ll cover the various types of ladders, their uses, and how to choose the right ladder/height for your requirements.

Step Ladders

Step ladders are mostly used in households that allow people to reach for a place that is usually couldn’t be reached by themselves.

3 Steps Little Giant Stepladder 

These ladders generally come in an A-frame model equipped with spreaders that assist in locking both the sides of the ladder in a proper position.

And the steps are found only on one side, but there are also ladders available in the market with steps on both sides of the ladder.

Step ladders are an excellent choice for homemakers as they provide better support than traditional ladders.

These kinds of ladders are mainly used indoors for repair and cleaning works or small household works. Unlike conventional ladders that are very unstable unless placed in the right position.

Step ladders are fixed in length and come with a non-adjustable design and are generally portable. Even some ladders come with wheels for easy portability.

Step ladders are mainly preferred because they can be used on all kinds of surfaces and they are self-supported.

Advantages of Step Ladders:

  • Two persons can use the double-sided or the twin step variants simultaneously
  • Can be used on all kind of surfaces
  • Can be used for all type of tasks
  • Self-supported and portable

Since they are stable and self-supported, you are free to use both hands in your work.

Check out all the step ladders on Amazon.


Extension Ladders

Another widely used type of ladders is the extension ladder. Unlike the step ladders that are self-supported, these ladders need some support for stability.

These ladders are mainly used in warehouses and industries where there is work involved in greater heights.

Louisville FE3216 Fiberglass Extension Ladder
Louisville FE3216 Fiberglass Extension Ladder 

Extension ladders generally have two sections and allow you to increase the length according to your requirements.

The part of the ladder is the base and the other section is the fly part. The base should be placed in the ground all the time whereas the fly section can be moved up and down.

Unlike step ladders, extension ladders can be used by only a single person at a given time.

The fly section is easily moveable as all you need to do is slide it up and down. Once you reach the desired height, there are locks available that prevent the fly section from sliding further upwards or downwards.

In some large extension ladder designs, there is also a rope and a pulley system attached that allows in pulling the ladder easily.

The base of the ladder comes with a pivoted-feet which provides the needed stability for the ladder and can be adjusted to different angles.

When it comes to extension ladders, it requires a stable surface for better support. When compared to step ladders, extension ladders are generally larger in sizes, which makes them an excellent choice for outdoor works like painting or cleaning tall buildings.

Advantages of Extension Ladders:

  • With extension ladders, it is easy to reach even high places like roofs and ceilings
  • They are also portable and can be carried effortlessly around the work area and anywhere needed

Click here to check-out extension ladders on Amazon.


Telescopic Ladders

Another ladder variant is the telescopic ladder, and as the name implies, these ladders can be folded when not in use.

Xtend & Climb Pro Telescoping Ladder
Xtend & Climb Pro Telescoping Ladder 

Hence, these ladders won’t need a lot of storage space and can be easily carried along wherever you want. These ladders have large steps unlike other types of ladders.

This ladder comes very handily inside smaller workplaces where you can’t find a wall in the middle of the room, but you need to change the light bulb.

Most of these folding ladders can primarily hold a maximum capacity of 250-300 pounds. Unlike other traditional ladders, the base of the folding ladder is quite broad and hence provide greater stability and support.

Advantages of Folding Ladders:

  • Easy to carry around in the workplace
  • Easily store under the bed or inside the closet
  • Larger steps
  • Broader base

Find more telescopic ladders here. (Link to Amazon)


Platform Ladders

Next on our list of ladder types is the platform ladder. These ladders are fixed and cannot be adjusted, but they are self-supported.

These ladders also come with a platform on top. There are also handrails present for added support. It comes with a hinged design and can be used by a single person.

CharaVector Lightweight Platform Ladder
CharaVector Lightweight Platform Ladder

These ladders are available in different heights and hence you can choose a ladder height that suits your requirements.

When compared with other ladders, the platform ladders provide more support and stability to the user.

Usually standing on a ladder gives a bit of discomfort for anyone climbing on the ladder for the first time, but with a platform ladder, it is not the case.

There is a top rail that stands almost 2-feet higher than the top platform providing the added security and comfort to the person standing on the ladder.

Advantages of Platform Ladders:

  • Self-supported design
  • Highly Stable
  • Contains a platform on top along with handrails for support
  • Perfect for long hours of work

Multipurpose Ladders

As the name suggests, these ladders are versatile and can be utilized for various tasks. These ladders are not fixed and hence can be adjusted in multiple positions according to your requirements.

Little Giant Alta-One Multipurpose Ladder
Little Giant Alta-One Multipurpose Ladder 

These ladders can be used as an extension ladder, step ladder or a platform ladder.

Advantages of Multipurpose Ladders:

  • A single ladder can be used for various jobs
  • Saves a lot of money from buying different ladders for different jobs
  • Reduces storage space to a large extent as a single ladder replaces the space of multiple ladders

Learn more about multi-purpose ladders here.


Safety Tips When Working On Height

When it comes to ladder safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) has provided safety guidelines for using ladders. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • The first thing you need to do before using a ladder is to inspect to check if itis in a working condition.
  • Better avoid metal ladders when working near power lines
  • Be careful about the maximum load capacity of the ladder and never try to outrun it
  • Always the climb the ladder facing towards the ladder
  • It is recommended to maintain a 3-point contact at all times except when you are using a platform ladder
  • Better avoid carrying the tools in your hands and use a tool belt instead
  • Avoid over-reaching.
  • Avoid using ladders in extreme weather conditions
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes.

Related Posts

How To Secure A Ladder – 4 Things You Should Know


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the 4:1 when choosing a ladder height?

The 4:1 ratio is that for every 4 feet you need to reach, you need to leave at least 1-feet from the wall. So, if you need a maximum reach of 12 feet, then the ladder needs to be placed at least 3 feet from the wall.

What is the topmost safety rule that needs to be followed when climbing a ladder?

The topmost safety rule to be followed when climbing a ladder is to maintain a 3-point contact (two feet and one hand) all the time. It may not be necessary when you are using a platform ladder.

What are the different load capacity ratings of ladders?

The load capacity is nothing but the maximum weight the ladder can handle. Ladders have various load capacity rating which includes:

Type IAA ladders – 375 pounds.

Type IA ladders – 300 pounds.

Type I ladders – 250 pounds.

Type II ladders – 225 pounds.

Type III ladders – 200 pounds.

What is the most common reason for ladder accidents?

One of the most common reasons for ladder accidents is people trying to outrun the maximum reach of the ladder.

Final Thoughts

We hope that the above article about the ladder height chart and calculator has provided you with all the information you needed to choose the right kind of ladder height that suits your requirements.

Please post your comments and suggestions in the feedback section below.

Safe climbing!


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