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Ladder Buying Comprehensive Guide

Having the right type of ladder makes all manners of DIY jobs easier. From changing a lightbulb to cleaning your gutters and downpipes, you must use a ladder that is safe and large enough for your needs.

With so many types of ladders to choose from, finding the right one can be tricky. That is why we have done the hard work for you and made this Ladder Buying Comprehensive Guide.

Today, we will talk about what to look for in a ladder, the different types you can choose from, and what to think about before picking one.

Find your new ladder today to finish those DIY jobs for good!

Ladder Buying Comprehensive Guide – Different types

You can choose from many ladder types, each with unique benefits. These include:

  • Extension ladders
  • Fibreglass ladders
  • Combination ladders
  • Telescopic ladders
  • Stepladders (fibreglass, swingback & platform)
  • Roof ladders

Extension ladders

An extension ladder is a good choice for working at high spots, often reaching up to a maximum height of 10 metres. This type of ladder can be used in many ways on multiple surfaces, and offers stability for tasks including:

  • Gutter cleaning
  • Painting
  • Reaching high areas 

Extension ladders are also compact, allowing you to save storage space. They are typically designed with two or three sliding sections that are extended to a desired height.

Fibreglass ladders

A Fibreglass (Glass Reinforced Plastic) ladder is a lightweight solution yet very strong. As they do not conduct electricity and are non-flammable, they are popular for industrial jobs.

As the name suggests, Fibreglass ladders are made from fibreglass, ideal if you’re searching for a lightweight, yet study model. Due to their incombustible and non-conductive design, Fibreglass ladders are often used around fire and/or electrical hazards, such as power lines.  

Combination ladders

Combination ladders are excellent all-rounders, perfect for regular, standard use. If you intend to use your ladder frequently and for various types of tasks, a combination ladder is a good choice. Their versatility means these ladders can be adjusted for a range of heights across different levels of access, including above stairways.

Telescopic ladders

If you’re looking for a ladder that takes up little space, a telescopic ladder is one of the best choices. Also known as folding ladders, these are ideal for anyone who has limited storage space, but their design means they can be extended for different heights and jobs.

Like telescopes, hence the name, telescopic ladders can be folded into a small size for storage. Ideal for mobile tasks, you can keep these ladders in car boots, vans, cupboards, wardrobes, and other small storage areas. 


Stepladders are arguably the most popular type of ladder. They can be used just about anywhere for many tasks, such as painting, window cleaning, and decorating. Best of all, they do not need a wall for support, as most models are made with a part that locks them into an “A” shape during use. This provides stability and safety when in use.

There are a few types of stepladders, including:

  • Swingback Step Ladders & Platform Step Ladders
  • Small step stools
  • Fibreglass 

Swingback & platform stepladders

Regularly used for both trade and domestic work, swingback & platform stepladders are ideal for projects that require little equipment and are easy to transport. 

Swingback stepladders are made without a platform at the top of the ladder. These can be moved quickly from one place to another for small jobs requiring little tools. 

A platform stepladder comes with extra space for users to lay down tools and materials when working. For instance, if you’re working outdoors or off-grid, these stepladders offer convenience for organising tools and materials. Also, a platform stepladder is a good option if you need to work at height for a longer period of time. 

Small step stools

Small step stools are light, compact, and sturdy, perfect for getting items that may be just out of reach, such as light fittings. So, if you need to reach the back of a shelf, or change a lightbulb, a small step stool is the ladder for the job.

Fibreglass stepladders

If you are working with thermal or electrical hazards, a fibreglass stepladder is a good option. Non-flammable and non-conductive, many tradespeople use these ladders on a daily basis, protecting them against fire and electrocution risks. 

Roof ladders

If you need to work on your roof, a roof ladder is a must. Designed with wheels on one side of the ladder and hooks on the other, you can push it against a roof and turn it over to slide the hooks down onto the ridge tiles, securing it in place. 

A roof ladder is used in construction for jobs such as skylight and solar panel fittings, as well as gutter cleaning and upkeep. 

In Summary

Choosing the right type of ladder for your needs takes some careful consideration, but a little research will simplify the process. Ladder safety is very important. Always make sure your ladder meets the British or European standard, and ensure it can support your weight for safe working and using this Ladder Buying Comprehensive Guide can help you choose the correct ladder. 

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