How to Choose the Right Stepladder (And Use It Safely)

It’s good to have a small toolkit, but a ladder completes it. When you need something that’s out of reach in your apartment, you’ll need a ladder even if your tools are top-notch. A stepladder may be the best type of ladder to keep around, but there are a few things you should know about choosing the right one. With the below tips, you’ll know how to choose the right stepladder and use it safely.

How to choose the right stepladder

A stepladder is a common type of ladder that is fixed-length and A-shaped. Stepladders can be used for many types of tasks, making them convenient to have. Their stabilizing, foldable legs allow for easy use on any level floor. You can find stepladders made from materials such as wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. 

How to Choose the Right Stepladder (And Use It Safely)

To choose the best stepladder for your apartment, there are several features you should look for. Specific types of stepladders are best used for certain tasks. Telescoping stepladders, for example, have adjustable frames, so you can use them on stairs. A twin stepladder has steps on both sides of its A-frame, allowing for two-people tasks.

Stepladders that give a long reach

If you need a stepladder with a long reach, platform ladders and podium ladders may be best. Platform ladders are a type of stepladder that has a standing surface with a safety railing. This type of stepladder gives people a better reach than a regular stepladder. 

A podium ladder is a platform ladder with a larger standing surface and a longer safety railing. Podium ladders make it easy for you to safely face many directions while you work. If you’re spending a long time on a ladder for tasks such as hanging ceiling plants, using a platform or podium stepladder will help keep you safe.

If you are doing other tasks that require a ladder such as changing a light bulb or painting your apartment’s walls, you should choose an appropriate stepladder height. If you need a 10-feet reach, you should get a 6-foot stepladder. If you need a 12-foot reach, you need an 8-foot stepladder. If you need a 14-foot reach, a 10-foot ladder will be best.

How to safely use a stepladder 

Before doing any task with a stepladder, it’s best to consider your weight plus the weight of any tools you’ll bring with you while you’re on the stepladder. To safely use your stepladder, you should never exceed the ladder’s load weight. 

For safety reasons, visually inspect your stepladder for visible defects periodically and after a laborious task. Don’t use a stepladder when you see any structural damage or broken or missing steps, rungs, cleats, and damaged rails. Make sure your stepladder is clean: Grease or dirt can cause slips and falls. Additionally, your apartment’s ladder should always be on a stable, dry surface.

What kind of stepladder are you planning on buying? If you have one, what type is yours and what tasks do you use it for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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