What Size Ladder For 2 Story House

Do you have a couple of jobs coming up that are just your average size two-story home? Then, what size ladder is perfect for reaching safely on two- story work?

20, 24, 28 or 32ft. – how long of a ladder to be all-around to reach a two- story home?

Let’s discover what size ladder for 2 story house should be sufficient for that purpose.

How Tall Is A Two Story House- Find the Safe and Right Height

2 Story House Height

So, how tall is a two story house?

Based on ceiling height, the average height of a 2 story house varies widely. The standard 1 story house height is 10 ft. Here, the actual breakdown is 8 ft. ceiling heights plus 2 ft. allowance for the infrastructure of the roof.

Based on this calculation, the height of 2 story house would be about 20 ft. Unfortunately, there is no “one height” for 2-story homes. There are some factors to consider when calculating the height of 2 story house.

The height of each story = Ceiling height of the rooms + thickness of the floors between each pane.

In general, we consider, the standard height of two-story home is 25 ft. from the ground to roof crest. Most of the 2- story houses have height between 20 to 25 feet.

So, what length ladder is perfect for ensuring that you can reach this height safely?

Suppose, regardless of the height (h) there is a safe angle (a) for a ladder.

** The height of the top end of a ladder leaned at 75-degree angle will be 0.97 the length.

Not Clear?

Well,
A 16 ft. long ladder (when extended) sets up at ¼ rule / 75-degree pitch. If so, the ladder will touch the wall at about 12 ft. 7 inches (13 ft. * 0.97).

Figure: Safe practice for setting up an extension ladder

Step By Step Calculation

Step 1: Measure the height you intend to reach. Suppose it’s 25 ft.

Step 2: Add 3- ft. to the reach height.

Step 3: Add 1- ft. for each 4 ft. of height.

The summary of the formula:  Height of your house / 4 = Angle (a)

So, a= 25 / 4 = 6

The length of ladder you need = Height of your house + 3 + a

In this example: 25 + 3 + 6 = 34

Hence, to reach to the eave of the roof which is 25 ft high, 34 ft. ladder (fully extended length) will be fine for this job.

Pro- Tips
For painting or cleaning window of a 2 story house that don’t need to reach on the roof, a 24- ft. extension ladder is perfect for getting the job done.

More to learn about Ladder Height and Reach

No matter one-, two-, three- or multi-story home, there are some more essential things to learn about ladder height and reach.

While selecting the ladder height, consider the following things:

  • The highest & safest standing point on the ladder
  • The required sections that overlap
  • The angle of the ladder
  • The extended height above the roofline
  • Step ladder sizing

In fact, the safe length of a step ladder depends on its use and height to the top support point.

Ladder Height vs. Reach Height

(a) Step Ladder Sizing

The maximum safe reach height of a ladder for a person is about 4 ft. higher than the ladder height.
For example, you can safely reach a 12 ft. ceiling on an 8 ft. ladder.

The following table should help you to understand step ladder sizing

Step Ladder Sizing Tables

Step Ladder Reach Height
Ladder HeightReach Height
48
610
812
1014
1216
1418
1620

(b) Extension ladder sizing

Extension ladders feature even foot increments, for example: 16 ft., 20 ft., 24ft. etc.  A 20 ft. extension ladder have two 10-ft. sections overlapped each other. As the extension ladder requires overlapping, in extended position its maximum length is less than the length you thought you bought!

Highest Point the Ladder will touch- Extension ladder should be 7 to 10 ft. longer than the contact point or highest support (roofline or wall).

Highest standing level- The highest as well as safest standing level of a person for an extension ladder is the first four rungs down from the top.  If a person stands higher than this level may lose his/ her balance and will fall.

The following table should help you to understand extension ladder sizing.

Extension Ladder Sizing Tables

Extension Ladder Height Chart
Ladder height (ft.)Max. Reach Of ladder (ft.)Distance of Base Placement from Wall (ft.)Height to top touch point (ft.)
161549
201959 to 13
2423613 to 17
2827717 to 21
3231821 to 25
3634925 to 28
40371028 to 31
Top support points for an extension ladder reflect ladder angle, section overlap or 3-ft. extension above.

How To Put A Ladder Against A House

“1 in 4”- it’s a magic formula for setting up a ladder. So, what does it mean?

Well, for every 4 ft. of height you’re going up, you have to set the ladder base 1- ft. away from wall resting on.

The maximum ladder working height is less than its overall length. The reasons are:

1.    When you set the ladder up on an angle, it’ll reduce its height.

2.    You must avoid standing on the first three rungs of the top end of a single-, straight- or extension ladder.

Not only ladder sizes, there are also more factors that you should consider if you want to choose the perfect ladder for 2 story house.

What Ladder for 2 Story House- Few More Considerations

So Many Ladders! How Do You Select The Right Type?

Undoubtedly, a ladder is an essential item to have around the house. It’s a necessity around many home projects. But not all ladders are ideal for performing all types of work.

Different types of ladders are perfect for different task or project. No matter how small or large the task is, we have to use the right ladder to get it done efficiently and safely.

Remember!

“The right ladder is the safest ladder overall.”

Before go in-depth of what size ladder for 2 story house, we focus on what ladder (type, materials, weight capacity) for 2 story home.

Let’s help you to choose the right ladder For 2 Story House. Look at few more consideration in proper ladder selection for 2 story house:

1. Different types of ladders and their uses

What about the ladder types?

Single section ladders, stepstools, extension ladders, stepladders, convertible multi-function ladders, telescopic ladders.

  • Single section ladder– It’s very helpful for level-ground, simple application. The top end of the single section ladder is leaned directly against the wall or object.
  • Step tool- It’s perfect for those tasks that are just out of reach.
  • Step ladder– This type of ladder is the light and simple solution for tasks that are closer to the ground. It’s fixed-length, single-section ladder.
  • Extension ladder- This type of ladder is ideal for tasks higher off the ground. Extension ladders are typically lightweight and easy to set up. It features a series of single-section ladders that are deployed in a cascading manner.
  • Multi-position ladder- This is the most versatile type of ladder. You can use a multi-purpose ladder as stairway step ladder, leaning wall ladder, twin step ladder, extension ladder, or as two scaffold bases.
  • Work platform ladder– This offers a stable surface and safe standing level to work with a platform to finish your task with ease and safely. 
  • Attic ladder- To access your attic space easily, an attic ladder is a perfect choice.
  • Fire escape ladder- To make your home safer during an emergency, fire escape ladder is an excellent option. These are quick and easy to attach to windows and they work with 2- or 3-story homes depending on what you need.
  • Telescopic Ladder- The newest innovation of ladder series is the telescoping ladder. The rungs of this type of ladder collapse for a smaller storage footprint.

For a 2 story house, we recommend extension ladders as the best 2 story ladder instead of a platform ladder or step ladder. Xtend & Climb 785P telescoping ladder is also Ideal for high ceilings and roofs.

2. Ladder Weight Capacity

It’s also important to know the load capacity or duty rating of the ladder.

Type 3:  200 lbs

Llight-duty- Household use

Type 2:  225 lbs

Medium duty- Handyman & painter, simple projects

Type 1:  250 lbs

Heavy Duty:  Industrial, Designed to handle most jobs and projects

Type 1A: 300 lbs

Extra Heavy Duty- Industrial grade, designed to handle professional needs

Type 1AA: 375 lbs

Super heavy Duty- Offers maximum durability for tough home or professional use. The weight of the materials carried plus the user weight should be less than the ladder’s weight capacity.

Approximate Weights of Materials Commonly Carried Up A Ladder

Approximate weights of materials
MaterialsWeight (pounds)
Sheet of plywood80
3x 4 window80
5 gallon roof coating70
Bundle of shingles70
5 gallons of paint60
Basketball hoop60
Garage door opener40
Tool box with tools35
Ceiling fan30
Portable sprayer20

3. Ladder materials

  • Aluminum Ladders

These are durable, lightweight, and easy to transport.  These are also affordable. But aluminum ladders conduct electricity, so avoid using these ladders near electricity or voltage sources.

  • Fiberglass ladders

These ladders are rigid and durable. Fiberglass ladders are safe around powerline or electrical wires.

Basic Ladder Safety

Ladder safety is the priority when selecting the right ladder for you and your project.

1.    Never try to stand on the three top rung of a ladder.

2.    While climbing, you should maintain three points of contact.

Maintain 4 to 1 ladder angle rule: For every 4 ft. of climbing height, you should move the ladder base 1 ft. away from the wall.

Hope, you’ve found this article on” what size ladder for 2 story house” helpful.

Buy The Best Ladder – It’s A Great Investment. Don’t Get A Cheaply Made One.

Frederick McHale
 

Hi! I'm Frederick, a passionate blogger. I have work-experience in many fields. Professionally I'm an Engineer. I have over 15 years of experience working with different power tools.

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