What Size Ladder For 3 Story House

What Size Ladder For 3 Story House

So, what size ladder for 3 story house do you need?

Well, the ideal size ladder for 3 story building is a 35 to 40 feet ladder.

Best Ladders For A 3 Story House

ImageNameHeightWeightCheck Price
Werner D1540-2 Ladder40 feet89.5 pounds
Louisville Ladder AE224040 feet84 pounds
Louisville Ladder FE323636 feet79 pounds

In this article, we are going to find what ladder size is perfect for working for a 3 story building, how you can calculate the height of the ladder you need, and also, three best ladders for a 3 story house.

Doing any kind of work on the three-story building is a risky job.

This could be anything, from painting the walls to cleaning the windows and from making a repair to cleaning the gutters.

No matter how careful you are, the height itself poses a risk.

That is why a person should be extra careful when working on the third story of a house or building.

One of the ways to ensure this is to use the right ladder for the job.

What Size Ladder For 3 Story House

The exact height of the ladder you will be needing depends on a number of factors.

That is why it is important to be exactly sure of your requirements before making a purchase.

A ladder for a 3-story house is a substantial investment.

So, anyone planning to buy one needs to know how to get it right the first time.

Before you make your calculations, ensure you have considered all the factors below:

Height of the Building

This is obviously the main thing to consider when choosing a ladder.

Different types of buildings have different heights for three stories because of differences in regulations for residential, retail, and corporate buildings.

Residential buildings are mostly built with 9-foot tall rooms these days, although some buildings may have 8-foot rooms.

Taking into account floor thickness, which is usually 1 foot, the height of 3 story buildings is around 31 to 32 feet tall.

And the ladder should be at least 3 feet taller than the height of the building.


Type of Ladder

The height requirements also change when you use a different type of ladder.

The one thing that must be cleared right in the beginning is that there is no scope of using a single ladder, articulating ladder, step ladder, or platform ladder.

This is because the maximum height allowed by ANSI for the first two types is 30 feet and the last two types are 20 feet. Thus, they do not fulfill our height requirements.

You can use extension ladders. The easiest way to calculate the height of the ladder you need here is by the formula:
Height of ladder = Maximum reach + 1 + Reach/6 (rounded to the nearest whole number)

Here, maximum reach refers to the maximum height you need to work at, the 3 is added to account for the height of the ladder at the top that must be kept above the support point for safety reasons, while the last part of the equation pertains to the 4:1 rule, using 75° as the angle of slope.

Also, keep in mind that you will have to take the mandated overlap for extension ladders into account when you calculate the final height.

Table 6: Overlap Control for Extension Ladders
Ladder Size (feet) Overlap (feet)
Types I and IA Types II and III
Up to and including 32 3 3
Over 32, up to and including 36 4 4
Over 36, up to and including 48 5 5
Over 48, up to and including 72 6
The tolerance on the overlap is ≠2 inches for two-section ladders and ≠3 inches for extension ladders other than two-section.

Thus, the size of the ladder you need for working on a 3-story building:

Table 1: Height of Ladder Required by Type
Ladder Type Height (feet) Maximum Reach (feet)
Extension 45/40/36 40/35/31
Extension Trestle 18/20 34/38
(considering the person’s height to be 5’9”)

Type of Work

The type of work you need the ladder for can also influence the height of the ladder you use.

Work that required you to reach to the top of the floor, like painting, cleaning gutters, or repairing the roof will require a ladder that goes up to the full height of the floor.

But tasks like window-cleaning will not require the ladder to go up the full height of the floor as long as you find reliable support at that height.

This can take up to 3 feet off the height requirements.


Best Ladders for Working on a 3-Story House


Werner D1540-2 Ladder

This Werner ladder is built for heavy-duty, intensive usage.

Werner D1540-2 Ladder
Werner D1540-2 Ladder

The robust aluminum body can take up to 300 pounds in weight and heavy, daily usage without any damage.

I-beam side rails are extra heavy-duty and strong enough to support extensive action without any strain.

Alflo rung joints prevent any twisting when a person steps on a rung, to provide secure stepping.

The traction-tread, D-rungs are slip-resistant and protect against accidents due to losing your footing.

Mar-resistant end caps prevent any damage to the support surface or any denting or chipping at the ends of the side rails.

Rubbed spring-loaded locks ensure smooth operation and keep the sections securely in place on the extension.

Groovings under the ladder shoes keep it firmly in place without slipping.

The pulley is designed to work seamlessly and the rope comes with a quick clip to hold the sections in place.



The best feature of this ladder is that its base and fly sections can be separated from each other.

This allows the sections of the ladder to be used independently, especially if you want to work at lower heights too, without having to deal with the extra ladder section, either extended or retracted at the back.


Shu-Lok feature of the ladder allows the shoes of the ladder to be set either flat against the ground or in the spur position to hold on to the ground.

Thus, no matter what kind of ground you have to place the ladder to work on, it will sit stably and not wobble or topple.

Easy Operation

The ladder is equipped with a thick guide bracket.

It fully encapsulates the girth of the side rail of the fly section and engages it firmly.

Therefore, you will have no problem extending the ladder as you need without the fear of loosening, giving way, or over-extending.


Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 19.5 x 244 inches
Product Weight: 89.5 pounds
Product Height: 40 feet
Product Material: Aluminum
Rail Width: 3 inches
Flange: 1 ⅛ inch
Base width (outside rails): 18 ⅛ inches
Duty Rating: 300 pounds

Check it on Amazon.


Louisville Ladder AE2240

Louisville Ladder AE2236 is created keeping in mind the safety of the user.

It is fitted with heavy-duty, plated steel shoes that are connected to the ladder rail via swivel attachment.

This means that no matter what angle you put the ladder in, it will stay stable.

Louisville Ladder AE2240
Louisville Ladder AE2240

The heavily grooved sole keeps the ladder in one place. You can use the ladder with the tread down or spike position as per your convenience.

Modified I-beam rails have 3-inch extrusions that provide greater strength and support to the ladder when in use while keeping it light.

Interlocking rails keep them in position and last years without going loose so that you can keep climbing them without the fear of twisting.

Whereas the slip-resistant rails prevent falls and slips.

The heavy-duty metal slide guides prevent over-extension or undue bending for a fully safe experience.


Easy to Use

The ladder uses the QuickLatch system with a rung lock that keeps the base and fly sections in place.

This system allows the user to secure the base and fly sections in the extended position with just one finger in a single operation.

Highly Safe

The ladder has been constructed to meet or exceed all the standards and safety specifications of the ANSI, CSI, and OSHA.

This makes it fully safe to use without the fear of breakage or accidents blamable on the bad quality of the ladder.


The ladder has a Type IA duty rating.

This means that it is extra heavy-duty and can easily and safely carry a weight of 300 pounds including the user and any objects he might be carrying.


Product Dimensions: 248 x 19 x 6 inches
Product Weight: 42 pounds
Product Height: 40 feet
Product Material: Aluminum
Duty Rating: 300 pounds
Warranty: Limited

Click here to check it on Amazon.

Louisville Ladder FE3236

This Louisville ladder is a sturdy, durable, and reliable partner in any kind of work that you want to do.

Louisville Ladder FE3236
Louisville Ladder FE3236

It is built to deliver while providing full comfort. Besides the D-rungs the shape of which is optimized for comfortable standing, the serrated surface of the rungs provides sufficient traction to prevent slippage.

The steel-plated swivel shoes allow the ladder to be set up easily and safely.

Grooved treads in the shoes keep the ladder firmly planted on the ground.

The extra heavy-duty metal slide guides on the base section prevent over-extension aided by the stop on the fly section.

Direct rung-to-rail connection with hydraulic crimping on both sides is meant to keep the rungs tightly and permanently attached without twisting or loosening.

This ladder is one of the safest for use, with its safety standards meeting or exceeding the ANSI 14.4 and CSA grade1 recommendations.



The ladder is fitted with mar-resistant caps at the top end of the rails to ensure that the wall or other support it is rested against does not get damaged from the exertion.

It also protects the end of the rails too, as constant bumping can chip or damage the ends.

Comfortable Footing

The D-shaped rungs of the ladder are created to provide comfortable footing while using the ladder.

They provide a firm stepping and do not cause fatigue in your feet, so you can use them for long hours.

Reliable Locking System

The ladder contains MaxLock with QuickLatch, which is the industry standard best.

It keeps the ladder at the same extended position without undue movements so that the person can keep working safely.

It is safe and easy to use and does not cause any accidents due to pinching or sudden movement.


Product Height: 36 feet
Length of Each Section: 18 feet
Maximum Extended Length: 32 feet
Product Weight: 84 pounds
Product Material: Steel
Duty Rating: 300 pounds
Warranty: Limited

Click here to learn more about this ladder(link to Amazon)

How to Choose the Right Ladder for 3-Story House

Choosing the right ladder can make all the difference between working safely, trouble-free, and without extra effort.

If you don’t, either you will not be able to work properly or you will end up endangering your life.

Always keep the following points in mind when shortlisting a ladder for working on a 3-story house.


We have already discussed how there are only two types of ladders that can be used when working on a 3-story building.

The extension ladder is best used for larger heights and localized work.

In contrast, the trestle-scaffold system is more useful when you have to work on large areas and require more mobility.


The height of the ladder must be calculated carefully to ensure that it safely and comfortably allows the maximum reach you need.

In case you get fractional values, always round off to the higher value.

Make sure that once you know what height you need in your ladder, you get one with the proper duty rating only.

Height Adjustability

This is very important when working at the heights that 3-story houses provide.

Trying to exert yourself to reach a point that is not within your convenient and easy reach can be quite dangerous at such heights, especially if you stumble in the process.

An adjustable ladder allows you to bring the height to where you need so that there is neither any excess of the ladder obstructing the area of work nor is there a need to overreach.


As most people know, the three most common materials that ladders are made of are wood, aluminum, and fiberglass.

Steel ladders are also in use due to their sturdiness, although they have a greater chance of rusting and are usually bulky.

Wooden ladders are for low-height, personal work, mostly in your own home.

Aluminum is the most popular material nowadays, although fiberglass is fast taking over.

The three main factors that should influence your decision are durability, corrosion resistance, and electricity safety.

In terms of durability and hardiness, both aluminum and fiberglass are comparable, although aluminum is slightly better.

But aluminum does get corroded more easily than fiberglass, even with corrosion-protection measures taken. But the biggest factor where fiberglass scores are its electrical insulation, that aluminum does not give at all.

However, fiberglass is costlier, which is the reason it is yet to be favored by the majority.

Duty Rating

The duty rating of a ladder determines how much load it can take safely.

Higher the duty rating, the greater the combined weight of the person and tools and components that they can take on the ladder while working.

Note that when you are working at heights above 30 feet, which is what 3-storied buildings come to, it is not possible to come down and mount again every time you need another object.

A higher duty rating allows you to carry more objects up to at once so that you can work without interruption.

Skid and Fall Resistance

The feet and rungs of the ladder should be either be grooved or have rubber treads to ensure stability.

The legs of the ladder should be equipped with spurs or levelers to maintain the horizontal level of the ladder.

Also, the rungs should be parallel to the ground besides being treaded so that the user does not lose balance or slip down, which can be fatal from that height.

Holding Support

The ladder must have rails or bars that can be held for support when working.

This ensures that the person does not lose their balance when working on the 3-story house.

This is essential because holding the side rails or rungs can actually cause the ladder to tip over or slip.

Safety Guidelines

Before buying the ladder, make sure it has passed all the safety tests of ANSI and is safe to work with according to OSHA.

Especially check the overlap control, size restrictions, duty rating, and safety certifications before making the final purchase.

Safety Precautions When Working With Ladder On A 3-Story House

Safety is the priority no matter what kind of ladder you use and how.

When working at heights as great as 3-story houses, it is important to follow all safety rules for your own good.

It is better to be safe than sorry, and sorry is not something you want to be 30 to 40 feet up.

Check The Ground

Make sure that the ground you are placing the ladder in is hard, dry, and level.

The soft, wet ground can cause the ladder to dig into the soil, which can tip the balance. If the ground is not absolutely level, it can cause the ladder to wobble and make you lose your balance.

Check For Electric Cables

Before starting on the task, make sure that the area you are working in does not overlap with the area where overhead lines are present.

Make sure you are not going to come in contact with any electric lines in the 3-story house or premises.

Similarly, make sure there is no chance of coming into contact with water or wetness, as this can conduct electricity.

Try to go for a fiberglass ladder. If you must use an aluminum ladder, the shoes and rungs should have soles and treads of rubber or another non-conducting material.

Check The Angle Of Inclination

The pitch or angle of inclination of the ladder should be as specified by ANSI, ie, 75°, or, more precisely, 75.5°.

This can be done by following the quarter length rule or 4:1 rule, which says that for every 4 feet of height for the working length or reach you want, the foot of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the base of the support.

Check The Top Step Exclusion

When working on a 3-story building, you should never try to mount or set the scaffold, as the case may be, on the topmost steps of the ladder.

Always leave the required number of steps from the top. This is mandated by OSHA and is necessary for maintaining the balance of the ladder.

Top Support

This is for extension ladders only.

Make sure that the above 2-3 steps of the ladder are above the support point. This keeps the ladder from slipping off the support.

The best way to prevent this kind of slipping ta all is to tie the top part of the ladder to the support.

Some ladders also come with attachments to hook the ladder to the support.

3-Point Contact

This rule tells the user to always maintain at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times.

This provides the support you need to not lose your balance when mounted on the ladder and also keeps your center of gravity within the dimensions of the ladder.


It is true that you will not have a range of choices when buying a ladder for a 3-story house due to the type and height restrictions.

Even within those choices, you will be limited by the necessity for adherence to safety measures. It might become difficult to make a good choice as a result.

Hopefully, this exhaustive guide will make it easier to ensure that you have bought a ladder that will not fail you. You also have the choice of getting one of the ladders in our compiled list, which represents the best in the market right now.