What type of ladder should I buy

Ok I mainly do residential work and the ladder I know have is a take off of the Little Giant Ladder. It isn’t quite tall enough and is a pain to use indoors. I’m looking to buy a good ladder. I have heard good things about both Werner Ladders and some people have talked about stackables. I don’t know much about the stackable ladders but they seem like a good idea.
What I am looking for is some feed back on the best ladder is buy for residential work, and 1 or 2 story commercial work.

Sectional ladders (stackables) are very versatile in that you can navigate tight spots with them. It is much easier to bring three 5 foot sectional pieces into someones house than a 15 foot step ladder. Plus you can set them up in a tighter space ex lobbies, foyer areas, staircases, or places with a bunch of stuff in the way. However, sectionals are more expensive per foot of ladder. Sectionals are commonly sold for $130-$150 per section. So a 3 section ladder will cost you around $450. The other disadvantage to sectionals is that it is only considered safe to use them up to 20 feet. In the old days (or so I hear) guys used to stack them up to 30 feet. Me personally, I would be crapping my pants on a 30 foot sectional because they flex quite a bit. I would only use 3 sections myself (I used them with Dangerous Dave in Seattle) and I was kind of hesitant about the whole flexing thing. You probably get used to it though.

I think sectionals are very cool and useful, however I would start out with an extension ladder at first. A 24 footer should cover most residential situations. Every once in awhile I will use a 32 footer for very high windows. But I definitely would not want a 32 footer as my primary ladder since it is too tall and too heavy.

You will definitely want a good stand off (werner makes a couple different ones) and adjustable legs. My Werner has these adjustable legs with pins that work good, but they are a pain to adjust and time consuming. If I were to do it over again, I would get a regular ladder and attach some extenda-leg levelers. You don’t need to bend down and adjust them by hand as with the levelock ones. You can adjust them with your feet. Plus they adjust infinitely instead in increments.


My favorite ladder by far is my 20’ extension ladder I bought from home depot for $100 it is. Grade II so it will last way longer then the cheeper residental grade, but not as heavy as a fiberglass or industrial grade. I find that its size is perfect. Extended you can reach all 2nd story windows and lowered down all the way you can have it rest just above the 1st floor windows. Its not to big either to bring in a house and do the high inside windows. Not sure what the fuss is about the little giant ladders I find them heavy and take way too much time to raise and lower. Only + I see is you can get them in an elevator and in your Civic. (But a sweet way to pimp out your civic is to strap a ladder to a roof rack)

I have always been happy w/ my Little Giant knockoff. However I plan on hiring employees in the next year or so. I think we will be setting up every work vehicle we will have w/ the following.
Extensions - 24ft and 32ft
LG or similar
Sectionals - 4 1/2 piece set
Step stools - 2 three step models
And of course at least one Pivit tool in each vehicle

Nice way to set up, 24 and 32 is perfect

Whatever ladder you use, just remember you can get your a@# broke off!!!

I have been on (7) 6 foot sections of sectional ladder. The flexing was ridiculous, and it was not my idea to do this, but I’m still alive. I feel comfortable to work on 5 1/2 sections all day every day. This is over 30 feet.

We carry on the van:
24’er extension
32’er extnesion
16’er extension
Multi ladder
3’ step ladder

We use the 16’ ext ladder a lot for residential.

Thanks for all the feed back I think I will price some out in the next week or so.

I’m a sectional ladder guy, its all I need or use. However I see most of my competitors roll with a fifteen and twenty four extensions. Light weight models not the heavy duty ones. A really big competitor uses red tip (residential) fifteen footers. They must be a breeze to carry.

We have the following ladders on all service vehicles:

Green tip aluminum Werner light but commercial grade (make sure your weight is within the limits of this ladder)

20’ extention- Accesses most second level windows, ranch home gutters. We use this ladder the most.
28’ extention- Accesses most 2nd story roofs for gutter cleaning, accesses 100% of second story windows,Accesses skylights in interior great rooms, and comes in handy for switching out ceiling mounted lights in great room.
32’-Accesses gutters and windows on most 3 story homes and those with walkout basements.

All ladders are equipped with a ladder stabilizer and Werner PK80- self adjusting levelers.

Smaller Ladders
4’ Fiber glass for cleaning lower level windows inside and out- ladder has a small span when folded out (helps alot when you are cleaning around furniture and tables. Small and compact compared to a 6’ step. less liability in banging into something inside. It fits easier in the vans an takes up less room.

Gorrilla Ladder (little giant knockoff)- Yes, this ladder is a beast. Heavy and a little difficult to carry around. We use it for accessing interior skylights in tight kitchen areas, accessing transoms that are behind 10’ kitchen cabinets, ceilng fans in alot of bedrooms, cleaning skylights above masterbath skylights, and of course, cleaning windows on stairs.

12’ Fiberglass step- Foyer chandeliers and Great room ceiling fans. High foyer windows. I could use other ladders for cleaning foyers but I weigh the liability of leaning ladders against walls versus using a step. If it can be done by step, I always go that route.

IMO, I dont have a use for a 24’ extention ladder. It will be too much ladder in some cases to access 2nd story windows. It will be too short in some cases to access second story gutters with a walkout basement. If you are on a limited budget, I guess thats better than opting to buy a 20’ and a 28’.


That brings me back to the days i started cleaning windows in 1978 in a dodge dart with surf racks on top one or two days a week i would strap an extension ladder on and clean windows to pay rent and have some money left over for beer and food then i graduated to a honda civic

32ft both aluminum

2ft steps

Werner of course.

Hey Mr. Wonderful,

Dana Point , Eh…

I lived and worked out of San Clemente from 90 to 96, I own and sold Lang Window Cleaning ! Did we ever met there in the south coast area?

So your 49 in 78 that would of made you 15, you were able to drive at 15 ? Meaning, like it was an everyday thing and not in in the learning process ?

You had your own apartment at 15 ? You were able to buy beer at 15 ?

Beach kid eh, surfer dude, I was also living in San Clemente in 76 cool town so is Dana Point… How’s work going for you down there, do you know Danny the guy I sold Lang window Cleaning to !

Dangerous Dave


Use sectionals 4 / 6’ sections, a 32’er for real high stuff and a 28’er just in case you need something in between ! Oh and don’t forget to apply stabilizer bars and most importantly leg levelers…


There is a learning curve with sectionals, they are also more expensive, so starting out I’d go with extension ladders. If it’s just you alone I’d get a 24’ extension (with levelers and stabilizer). A 6’ ft little giant style and a 3’ or 4’ step. The 24 will get most second floor windows, the Lg style will work for first or seconds where the 24’ maybe too big, the 3’ or 4’ is good for first floors so you don’t need to lug the Lg style around.

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I have been on (7) 6 foot sections of sectional ladder. The flexing was ridiculous, and it was not my idea to do this, but I’m still alive. I feel comfortable to work on 5 1/2 sections all day every day. This is over 30 feet.

7 six foot sections! You definitely have some cajones!
BTW, I am not knocking sectionals - I definitely want to get some soon. I don’t think I want to go beyond 4 sections though. Thats just me, though.

Not cajones, just a lot dumber and trusting in my younger days. Please advise : DO NOT go up on seven sections :X u might not come down (in tact). By the time u get to the top, the flexing is so bad that you are straight up and down, and I had to use my left arm to wrap around the back of the ladder so I would not fall backwards.