Wooden Ladders Vs Aluminium Ladders

In this post we will delve into the differences between Wooden ladders and Aluminium ladders. Have you ever struggled with a heavy timber ladder? If so, then you know that setting up a large one, such as a two or three sections can be difficult for one person to handle. Many people have discovered that switching to lightweight and durable aluminium ladders is a good solution. However, there are a few points to be aware of when considering an aluminium ladder. This post will cover the main benefits of ladders made from Aluminium.

Aluminium Ladders: Key Features

If you’re shopping for an aluminium ladder, then the best way to find one that is well suited to your needs is to be familiar with the properties of the metal from which they’re made. Whether it’s a step ladder, loft ladder, an extension ladder or one of those handy multi-purpose ladders, choosing one made from aluminium is right for a number of reasons. First, make sure that the ladder you buy is resistant to rust and corrosion, like an aluminium ladder. Unfortunately, timber ladders require a certain amount of maintenance and should be stored indoors.  An aluminium ladder, on the other hand, can be stored outdoors with no ill effects. This is an important feature, especially for people with limited space. A ladder made from aluminium also is very easy for a single person to handle. Here are just a few of the characteristics of aluminium that make it a highly suitable material for ladders.

Aluminium Ladders: More about This Metal’s Essential Characteristics

Aluminium is much lighter in weight than timber or glass fibre, the two other materials from which ladders are typically made. Glass fibre for example, is very dense. This density makes it quite heavy as well. Timber ladders are heavier than aluminium models and, as previously mentioned, shouldn’t be stored outdoors. Both timber and glass fibre are prone to splitting. Another positive characteristic of aluminium is that it doesn’t burn. Fire fighters often opt for aluminium ladders specifically for this reason. In addition, such ladders are highly durable. Glass fibre ladders may crack if subjected to a heavy load or substantial stress. Aluminium, although it’s a metal, will never rust. Wise tradesmen, industrial users and DIYers choose ladders made from aluminium because it’s completely maintenance free and highly affordable. In fact, an aluminium ladder usually is less expensive than either a timber or glass fibre one. The process of manufacturing one isn’t as complex as either timber or glass fibre models, so the price tends to be lower.

Aluminium Ladders: Further Highlights of the Metal from Which They’re Made

Without getting too technical, we can say that aluminium possesses a unique range of properties that make it an incredibly versatile material for construction and engineering properties. Even when alloyed with other metals, aluminium lends strength that’s comparable to structural steel. Aluminium alloys are highly durable and extremely resistant to oxidation, meaning that any reaction is completely non-toxic and non-staining. In addition, aluminium will not react with metals with which it may come in contact. So, it’s perfectly acceptable to store these ladders outdoors. Aluminium is over 50% less dense than iron and about 75% less dense than copper.  Some aluminium alloys have tensile strengths as high as 30,000 psi, so there’s no concern about the ability of such materials to bear significant weights. It’s possible to double aluminium’s tensile strength by working it, such as in a cold rolling process. One shortcoming of an aluminium ladder would be that it will conduct an electric current. Therefore, for working around electrical sources, it’s better to use a timber or glass fibre ladder. Aluminium is an excellent thermal conductor as well, so a ladder made from it might feel warm or hot to the touch if exposed to direct sunlight or other heat sources.

Aluminium Ladders: More Important Properties

The process by which a ladder is manufactured generally requires different types of joining. An aluminium ladder benefits from several types of joining process, including soldering, brazing, welding and riveting. In addition, aluminium fasteners facilitate the assembly of a wide range of products. It’s also possible to use an adhesive bonding process to join aluminium to itself or to other materials. Aluminium lends itself to the extrusion process by which ladder stiles and rungs are made. Aluminium is non-toxic and for this reason is widely employed in cooking utensils and vessels. These characteristics make aluminium foil an ideal material for storing perishable food items. Aluminium will not spark when struck against itself or against other non-ferrous metals. It’s also non-magnetic, so it’s well suited for use in enclosures for magnetic equipment. When polished, aluminium will reflect about 80% of light. Aluminium is a supremely workable material. It can be extruded, cast, rolled, drawn, stamped or spun. It also lends itself well to forging and hammering and thin aluminium wire can be wound into cable. Aluminium alloys are easy to machine, which results in high-quality parts and products with an affordable price. Aluminium can also be milled, turned or bored. Other joining techniques include bolting, bonding, welding, screwing and riveting.

Aluminium Ladders: Final Thoughts

Perhaps the leading characteristic of aluminium ladders is that they have a superior strength-to-weight ratio. This makes an aluminium model easy to transport and store as well as much less expensive to produce than ladders made from other materials. Aluminium products, such as ladders, can weigh as much as 50% less. When used in place of copper in electrical wire and cable, it’s important to note that aluminium is much less dense than copper, which means it has about half the current carrying capacity. Finally, aluminium is highly recyclable, and recycling it needs just 5% of the energy needed to extract aluminium from its ore, bauxite.

Aluminium ladders are designed to exploit the many positive properties of this important metal.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

How safe is your loft ladder?

Have you ever struggled to carry a heavy or bulky item up to your loft? Chances are, then, that you may have noticed how rickety and inadequate your current loft ladder is. Loft ladders don’t always seem to be designed for heavy or frequent use. If this is the case with yours, or if you’re considering upgrading your loft from storage space to living space, there are a number of important issues to consider. It’s wise to have a plan because if you’ve ever tried to do a major home renovation without one, then you’re very well aware how difficult it can be. Many people in your position have successfully made better use of their loft space by upgrading their loft ladder. This post will explain why such an upgrade is the first thing you should do, and how to take the correct measurements so that it’s done right.

Loft Ladders: Key Features to Consider

If you’re shopping for loft ladders, take a few minutes to think about how you’re using the space now, and how it might be used in the future. The ideal way to ensure you acquire the right ladder for your particular needs is to do some research on what sort of loft ladder will be adequate for your specific needs. Be sure that your new loft ladder will allow you to make the best possible use of the space. If it doesn’t, then it’s not likely that you’ll fully exploit your loft’s potential. A strong and sturdy loft ladder is essential, because safety is the primary concern. You should also think about the maximum load the ladder will bear. This is the total of your weight plus the weight of the heaviest object you plan to move to or from the loft. While not strictly necessary, you might want to look for a ladder with bonus features like rubberised feet that prevent slipping and damaging your floors and carpet and handrails for extra security.

Loft Ladders: The Correct Measurements are Essential

Too often, it happens that a homeowner orders a loft ladder, only to find that it’s not quite the right size. Here’s a brief run-down on the key measurements you’ll need. In general, a good place to start is with the floor to ceiling height.  This is the vertical distance from the floor where the base of the ladder will sit to the ceiling of the room. This dimension is particularly important if you’re planning on installing a folding-style wooden loft ladder with integral hatch or concertina loft ladder.  Another important dimension is the floor to floor height. This is the vertical distance between the floor where the bottom of the ladder will rest and the floor of the loft. If you’re planning on fitting a sliding type ladder, this dimension is especially important. Compare your measurements with the minimum and maximum values cited for the loft ladder you’re considering.  Do be aware that although the ladder can be slightly adjusted, it’s best to choose one that closely conforms to your measurements.

Loft Ladders: More Important Dimensions

Whether you have an existing hatch or need to fit one, pay special attention to the ladder’s loft opening specification. For a ladder designed to go into an existing loft hatch (typically sliding and concertina designs) you will need to consider the minimum length and width of the hatch to find out if it will suit you.  If you are looking at a ladder which comes with its own hatch you will need to consider the outer frame dimensions. If it’s bigger than your existing hatch, then it’s a simple matter to enlarge the opening.  If it’s smaller, you’re likely to need a bit of framing done to ensure a good fit. Here’s a typical example: Let’s say you’ve measured your loft opening, and the size is 1100mm x 600mm. When shopping for a ladder, you find one that needs an opening of 1100mm x 700mm. This ladder will fit quite nicely with a little bit of work to the length of the hatch. You also need to consider both vertical and horizontal clearance.

Loft Ladder: Clearances are Critically Important

Vertical and horizontal clearance describes the distance in the loft between the hinged edge of the hatch vertically and horizontally to any nearby obstruction that you aren’t able to alter or relocate. This measurement takes into account the distance (arc) that the ladder must pass through to be fully deployed and resting on the floor. The bottom section of a two-section folding loft ladder, for example, describes an arc when it’s folded down toward the floor.  Also, measure the swing clearance, which is the distance from the loft hinge end to the end of the loft hatch to the nearest obstruction, which usually proves to be a wall. Finally, the ladder’s landing space should be considered. This is the distance from the hatch’s hinge to the place on the floor where the ladder’s feet rest, once it’s fully extended. Measure this distance horizontally along the floor.

Loft Ladders: Timber or Aluminium?

If the loft ladder is to be used in an area where it will be seen, then its appearance is important. For such applications, a timber ladder is the best choice. Such a ladder can be painted or stained to match the surrounding decor. If cost is a concern, then it’s wise to consider a loft ladder made from light and durable aluminium. Whilst an aluminium ladder isn’t as attractive as a timber one, the price is likely to be lower. It should be possible to find an aluminium loft ladder for about £70 for a sectional folding model. If you opt for the retractable concertina style ladder, expect to pay about £160.  A concertina ladder is a good choice for applications where either loft or floor access space is limited.

With all the types of loft ladders available, you’re sure to find the right one for your unique needs.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Loft Ladders, Loft Stairs and Loft Conversions: Understanding the Many Building Regulations

Loft LaddersJust do a quick internet search on building regulations in the UK and you will see a confusing myriad of UK local authority laws that govern the use and erection of loft ladders, loft stairs and loft conversions. For example, why must loft stairs conform to building regulations, while there is no such requirement for loft ladders? This is because local authorities see the installation of a stairway as the beginning of a process to use a loft as a living space, rather than storage space. In this case, the regulations are more stringent. Loft areas that are used for storage generally aren’t accessed often. This is different from accessing a loft that’s been converted into living space that people will need to access frequently, such as a sleeping or study area. With more frequent use comes a greater chance of an accident. So, the enhanced building regulations exist to prevent injuries and to ensure the conversion proceeds according to all relevant rules and standards.

Nowadays we seem to have more possessions than we could ever use. Even items that aren’t particularly useful have monetary or sentimental value that often prevents us from discarding or donating them to a charity shop. If you need to store such items in your loft for infrequent access, a loft ladder will be the lowest cost and lowest hassle solution.

A Few Details on Applicable Building Regulations

Escape or ‘egress’ during a fire is one concern many local authorities have regarding loft ladders and loft conversions. If the space is used as a bedroom, this becomes a prime consideration because a person can escape more quickly by way of stairs than a ladder. For this reason, any loft stairs you install come under the purview of your local authority. Some homeowners claim that installing stairs simply gives easier access to a loft that’s being used for storage, but once the stairs are there, most local authorities recognise the loft’s potential as a living space. Though this often is not directly stated, the fact is that a loft almost always transforms into a habitable area when stairs are installed, and the rules are there to prevent injury and misuse.

Undertaking a Conversion Project

Whilst it’s not strictly necessary, we do recommend that you obtain a copy of the rules that apply to your project and read them thoroughly. What you’ll discover is that the regulations are highly detailed. The regulations we’re discussing are those that apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, they’re different. So, what exactly are building regulations? Well, they set out the minimum standards that are allowed for construction and design. For loft conversions, there are five main categories. Structural stability, fire safety, ventilation, access method and insulation.

About Structural Stability

If you plan to use the loft for living space or to store particularly heavy items, it’s likely you’ll have to reinforce existing ceiling joists or install entirely new ones. You’ll also need to ensure that load-bearing walls are adequately strong to support any increased weight. The same is true of loft ladders. They must be substantial enough and conform to all regulations. Many homeowners opt to install steel beams designed to support the enhanced joists. Also, evaluate the roof to ensure whether or not it should be reinforced or altered to conform with the loft conversion’s design.

About Fire Safety

Fire regulations are the strict and rightly so. It’s imperative that any loft conversion fully conforms to all applicable fire and safety regulations, including those related to fire doors. The converted loft’s walls and floor must have the ability to resist fire for thirty minutes. If you’re using glass in the conversion, it must be fire-resistant as well. Be sure to provide a method of egress by way of a protected stairway. In the past, escape windows were considered adequate, but the regulations no longer allow them, except in very narrowly defined applications. You’ll also be required to install fire alarms that are operated by mains power.

About Ventilation

Be sure you understand the terms “rapid ventilation” and “background ventilation” when undertaking a loft conversion. To provide rapid ventilation, you’ll have to install a window with a size that equates to 1/20th of the loft’s floor area. If the converted space will become a bathroom, mechanical ventilation that extracts 15 litres per second is required. The roof must be ventilated to prevent moisture condensation, along with both the eaves and ridge. Finally, an airspace of 50mm minimum must be allowed between the roof and any insulation you might install.

About the Access Method

Many homeowners underestimate the cost of a loft conversion. So, when it comes to choosing an access method, they choose affordable loft ladders over staircases. Be aware that building regulations tend to be quite strict and detailed regarding loft access, but choosing a loft ladder over a staircase can save substantial sumsif you are just creating a storage area.

About Insulation

For a loft to provide truly useful space, it should be thoroughly insulated. In fact, the building regulations and relevant amendments require that the loft, along with any new internal walls, must be insulated.

Just a Few Examples of Building Regulations

The building regulations are highly detailed, so be sure you have a good understanding before beginning the conversion. Here are just a few examples of how you’ll have to conform.  Since 2005, domestic electrical work is controlled under Part P of the regulations.  Beams must not bear into chimneys or the party wall between chimneys. A party wall is a structure that is placed on the border between two properties. It’s important to be careful in these cases, since disputes with neighbours can arise due to the wall being a party feature. The only non-fireproof interior door that’s allowed in a loft conversion is the one that accesses a toilet or bathroom.

As you can see, choosing loft ladders is perhaps the easiest decision you’ll need to make to access your loft space safely and effectively.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

How to use your ladder Safely

Many people worry about using a ladder. This can be for a number of reasons, for example, height can be a barrier or just the worry that not having two feet firmly on the ground will cause them to less balanced. The truth is using a quality ladder which is being used safely and for the right purpose, is the perfect tool for working at height.

In fact, accidents on ladders often occur because risks were taken in the first place – over reaching or placing the ladder in an inappropriate position are the most common causes of accident.

Take care when assembling your ladder

Never rush setting your ladders up. Make sure the locking mechanisms are engaged. Rushing to assemble your ladder could mean that the ladder collapses whilst in use. Rushing from a leafy area into a dry space could mean the ladder slips due to leaves still attached to the ladder feet. A simple check over before ascending your ladder could avoid this terrifying scenario.

When to carry out checks on your ladder

A good quality ladder will last you for many years to come, however it is still vitally important that you, as the user of the ladder carry out a pre-use check on your ladder:

  • at the start of every working day.
  • if something changes such as moving the ladder from a dirty area to a clean area, or if the ladder is dropped etc.

Never take someone elses word that the ladder is safe, always be certain yourself that your ladder is safe before using it.

Never assume that the ladder is safe. Damage can occur during storage or transit that you may be unaware of.

Never consider using a ladder when you feel it may be unsafe. If the ladder is your own, then the outlet from which you replaced it should be able to assist with the replacement of parts which have failed. Here at BPS Access Solutions, we offer a free lifetime guarantee on all of our ladders.

If you do not have a guarantee on your ladder, then the safest option is to replace it.

Never use a ladder which you feel is unsafe.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Rising up the ladder of love

ladder_multi_purpose_storedValentines is fast approaching and if you have cupids arrow set on someone special (maybe even yourself!) then you need to make sure that you are suitably able to impress that certain someone. Whether your pad needs a lick of paint before the big day or you want to rival the apartment of Christian Grey then a ladder is simply the most essential tool that you will need.

A grand ladder for a special room….

You would be amazed how many people plan DIY projects in their home without stopping to think that a ladder is needed. This is one the reasons why we offer FREE next day delivery, as we have many customers ringing us in a panic needing a ladder.

A ladder is far more than a means of reaching. It can be a place to safely place tools, or a pot of paint and it can even be a feature in your home. Our grand loft ladder for example is a perfect solution to a loft that is regularly in use, and where only the best ladder will do. Do you have a special ‘room of pain’ in your home? (well ok that could be your gym, or just a room to escape from the family!) then you must be able to access it in impressive style. The ladder can also be effortlessly folded up if you want to go all mysterious…..

Effortlessly spruce up your home with a multi purpose ladder

The endless versatility of ladders is a wonderful thing but yet confusing at the time. Make sure your ladder suits your changing needs by purchasing our best selling multi purpose ladder. It is perfect for the home which seems to have an endless list of jobs that need doing. If your home is as mysterious as a certain Mr Grey, then prepare yourself with a ladder that will have all the smart answers and keep you on top of those ‘uncertain’ demands.

Suitable for use both inside and outside the multi purpose ladder presents as impressive away of features that will raise the eyebrows of even the most discerning of people! In just one day you can make your home look like a million dollars ready for valentines night!

  •  Clean your upstairs windows

Dusty windows are not a great start! Get that glass sparkling by using your multi purpose ladder as an extension ladder!

  • Trim the bush

Make your garden look tidy by trimming the unruly bushes or hedges. No need to take dangerous risks on an unsuitable ladder though. Simply turn your multi purpose ladder into a double sided step ladder where it will stand freely but sturdily exactly where you need it.

  • Address those hard to reach areas

Sort those embarrassing crevices in your home where dust and junk seems to collect easily but clearing it out presents a huge challenge. Your multi purpose ladder can be used as a stand off ladder where the end of the ladder can form a platform allowing you to reach more difficult areas. No need to place the end of the ladder against a building, and you can ensure the right angle every time.

  • Get the stairwell painted

The stairwell can be tricky to paint but there is no excuse with the right tools to hand! Simply use the stair platform feature on your multi purpose ladder to turn it into a safe working platform that sits sturdily and safely on the stairs. Forget dangerous platforms and expensive purpose built contraptions that you may you might never use again and get the job done smoothly and easily. Our multi purpose ladder far more than just a one hit wonder! 🙂

  • Avoid muscle overuse

Avoid cringeworthy muscle aches on the big night by making your life as easy possible. Get those endless ‘to do’ list jobs done easily with your multi purpose ladder which can now be your work platform. For all those jobs that can appear ‘just out of reach’ but don’t require a ladder. Tasks such as cleaning the greenhouse, replacing the porch felt, changing blown light bulbs, repairing a fence panel, trimming the tops of hedges and painting the ceiling can all be done without struggling to reach and having to purchase yet more ‘one off’ pieces of equipment.

  • Sometimes simple is best

Why bother with all the smoke and mirrors when sometimes you do just want a simple ladder in order to carry out DIY jobs around the home such as installing outside lighting, erecting a sign, or basket ball net or simply carrying out repairs on the outside of your home.

  • Pot the plants in style

Just when you think you couldn’t possibly do any more with your ladder then you’ll be amazed to know it also serves as an excellent pop up work bench to use however you wish to….the possibilities are endless…

This ladder won’t tell you what to do

Luckily this ladder simply does what it’s told and you can even fold it away neatly after use and no one will even know you own it. Pretty handy really all things considered!

So if you’re looking to impress this weekend – or indeed if you’re looking to simply achieve some brownie points then this is the ladder of your dreams!…..oh and it is ‘Grey’ too!

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

A ladder is not just for Christmas!

75917384_c83c175648_qIf you have purchased a ladder for use over the festive season or as a gift for a special relative, then you have made a brilliant choice and a sound investment.

Ladders make a synonymous appearance in most householders over the festive season – from decorating the Christmas tree, both inside and outside to that all important loft ladder that ensures you are able to get the Christmas decorations down from the loft….and back up again after the festivities are over!

What is the best ladder for all these different jobs?

It goes without saying that is is important to use the right ladder for the right job. Propping an oversized ladder against a Christmas tree is always going to be a dangerous and precarious task and sometimes, an alternative to a ladder might be a safer option.

Many people add to their decorations throughout December and the more traditional amongst us may even leave it until Christmas Eve to decorate their humble abode…Remember, it is not too late to order your Christmas essentials from us. They’ll be with you in time for Christmas!

Which ladder to use – our suggestions!

Our customer service department gets inundated at this time of year with telephone calls asking for advice on the best ladder for a multitude of Christmas related jobs.

Here we present the most common questions.

  • What is the best ladder to decorate my Christmas tree?

Much of this answer will depend on how tall your tree is. For the average household with a 6ft Christmas tree, our hop up is the perfect choice.

The hop up is not actually a ladder, but rather a low level platform. It is an ideal option for those who are afraid of ladders or who are more unsteady on their feet. Standing at 1’9” high, the platform is ideal to access those harder to reach areas. We all know over reaching is a bad idea, why put yourself and your loved ones at risk of injury when a low level platform will provide an easier to use, comfortable and safer option

Easy to use – the legs fold underneath the platform when not in use, they open out and lock into place to produce a sturdy platform that does not wobble. The hop up can be placed exactly where it is needed to provide a safe method of decorating taller Christmas trees.

  • What ladder should I use to safely assemble my outside decorations?

With so many decorating options nowadays from 3D effect lights that flash in time to music to the classic Santa and sleigh combination on the porch roof, it is important that a ladder accident does not ruin the Christmas cheer.

Our best selling multi purpose ladder is ideal for carrying out several Christmas related tasks outside. It is the ladder to use when working at height hanging outdoor arrangements on roofs, fascias, and outbuildings – basically anywhere where you can lean a ladder safely without taking dangerous risks.

You are in safe hands with our multi purpose ladder – it offers superior grip, stability and height thanks to the big red rubber feet – our ladders are famous for the red rubber grips which are affectionately known as the “big red feet”!.

The extra strong working platforms means you will never need to worry about a rickety ladder again. Our multi purpose ladder is our most popular ladder and is well known for it’s market leading safety features and versatility.

  • What about decorating outside trees

Of course, outside trees are much taller and serve to add as an outstanding feature in your garden. Leaning a ladder against trees is at best a bad idea at this time of year, so an alternative option must be used in these cases.

Our combi ‘all in one’ free standing ladder is the ladder of choice when it comes to decorating your outside Christmas trees. Featuring the essential free standing frame (you won’t need to lean your ladder against anything) our combination ladder is the only ladder you will need around your home. If you have a whole multitude of jobs to do round the home – not least decorating the outside Christmas trees, then this is the ladder you should be using.

The combi ladder serves many purposes from a step ladder, an extension ladder, a single ladder but most importantly it is the free standing frame that allows you to carry out all manner of jobs where leaning a ladder would be unsafe, or where there is risk of marking a wall.

  • Safely accessing your loft to get the decorations in and out

Accessing the loft catches many people out. It is only when faced with the situation of not being able to get into the loft, does the valuable nature of a loft ladder come into its own.

We receive a particularly high number of calls relating to loft ladders and which ones are best for certain homes. The good news is that practically every home is suitable for a loft ladder. There just needs to enough room in the loft for the loft ladder to sit when not in use without of course affecting anything that is already being stored in there.

There are three types of loft ladders that we sell. Our slider loft ladder folds up into your loft neatly in sections and is safely lowered section by section. Slider loft ladders are ideal for rooms with high ceilings and can be pole operated. Our concertina loft ladder is ideal for lofts where space is at a premium. If you want to minimise the space your loft ladder takes or the actual loft hatch space is restricted then a concertina loft ladder is the best option. It neatly folds away into a cube when not in use. Our timber loft ladders are designed to be left on view so become more of a permanent fixture in your home. Made from larch wood for superior performance, it also matches any interior decoration.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at BPS Access Solutions

Stay safe this Christmas and we look forward to providing you with more ladder safety advice and fun next year! 🙂

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Inspecting your ladder for use

Many people worry about ladder safety, however in actual fact, a quality ladder which is being used safely and for the right purpose, is the perfect tool for working at height. Accidents on ladders often occur because risks were taken in the first place – over reaching or placing the ladder in an inappropriate position are the most common causes of accident.


over reaching on a ladder








Take care when assembling your ladder

Never rush setting your ladders up. Make sure the locking mechanisms are engaged. Rushing to assemble your ladder could mean that the ladder collapses whilst in use. Rushing from a leafy area into a dry space could mean the ladder slips due to leaves still attached to the ladder feet. A simple check over before ascending your ladder could avoid this terrifying scenario.

collapsed ladder







When to carry out checks on your ladder

A good quality ladder will last you for many years to come, however it is still vitally important that you, as the user of the ladder carry out a pre-use check on your ladder:

  • at the start of every working day.
  • if something changes such as moving the ladder from a dirty area to a clean area, or if the ladder is dropped etc.

Never take someone elses word that the ladder is safe, always be certain yourself that your ladder is safe before using it.

Never assume that the ladder is safe. Damage can occur during storage or transit that you may be unaware of.

Carry out these simple daily checks

A ladder pre-use check can sound like a long and drawn out task, but it needn’t be and it could even save your life. Ladder pre-use checks will soon become a matter of habit rather than an inconvenience to the professional ladder user.

  • Stiles

Check that these are not bent or damaged. The ladder could buckle or collapse if used with bent styles. Never take a risk.

ladder style







  • Feet

Check the feet on the ladder. They should be of a good size and made of rubber for superior grip. Ensure that the feet are not missing, worn or damaged. Check your ladder feet regularly particularly when you move from one area to another. Loose soil, gravel or sand can stick to the feet. Make sure that this unwanted material is not in contact with the ground as this could cause the ladder to slip. Ensure it is the feet (rather than the material) which are in contact with the ground at all times.

ladder feet







  • Rungs

Check all the rungs are in place and firmly attached. Bent, loose, missing or worn rungs can cause the ladder to fail, or you could slip and fall.

broken rungs









  • check locking mechanisms

Engage all safety devices on your ladder including locking bars. If they are bent or fixings are worn or damaged, the ladder could collapse. Never use your ladder if the safety features are not engaging, you risk serious injury or even death.

locking mechansim







  • Check the platform if you are using a step ladder

Step ladders can be just as dangerous as any other type of ladder if it is being used in a dangerous condition. If the platform is split or buckled, it can cause the step ladder to become unsafe.

step ladder platform









  • Inspect the rungs for dirt

Even if the rungs are perfectly usable, a serious accident could occur from the dirt that is in contact with them. Always ensure your rungs are clear from excess debris. Similarly, ensure that your footwear is also. Leaves can easily become affixed to soles and will be like a skating rink when in contact with the ladder rungs. Take care!








If you have concerns about the safety of your ladder

First and foremost, never consider using a ladder which you feel is unsafe. If the ladder is your own, then the outlet from which you replaced it should be able to assist with the replacement of parts which have failed. Here at BPS Access Solutions, we offer a free lifetime guarantee on all of our ladders.

If you do not have a guarantee on your ladder, then the safest option is to replace it. Never use a ladder which you feel is unsafe.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Instructions on how to fit a sliding loft ladder

Congratulations! You have purchased a new sliding loft ladder, now your life will be made easier by being able to access your loft easily and safely!

However, there are a few things to bear in mind before you begin to install your new ladder. Avoid rookie errors such as ensuring there is enough space within your loft to fold the ladder when not in use, ensuring that you have an additional ladder to use whilst installing your loft ladder and ensuring that the ground area where the ladder is pulled down to is suitable.

Remember loft ladders are only designed for use at home and should not be considered to be a permanent staircase. It should be treated as any other ladder when in use and should not be used by pets or anyone under the age of 16.

Before you start

Make sure the sliding loft ladder you have purchased is suitable for use in your home. In particular ensure that the ladder will be able to open to it’s minimum height and not exceed it’s maximum height – these issues are particularly relevant if you live in a property with lower or higher than average ceiling heights.

You also need to ensure that there is space in your loft for your ladder to fold up in. So check the pitch height in your loft and the minimum internal loft height required for safe installation of your ladder. Remember your ladder will need to fold up and will be lifted into your loft when not in use. Look at the diagram below to give you an idea:


Finally, before you start, ensure that you will not exceed the maximum load which will be indicated clearly on the packaging.

Get the right tools

To avoid personal injury and to safely install your sliding loft ladder, you will need the correct tools for the job. You will also need another suitable ladder which will enable you to access the loft safely whilst you are installing your sliding loft ladder.

Installing a sliding loft ladder is a two person job so you will need a competent person to help you to install it – one person working in the loft and the other at ground level.

You will also need the following tools and equipment:


  • Tape measure


  • Pencil


  • Sharp point Bradawl


  • Drill and 2mm, 3mm and 13mm wood drill bits


  • Phillips screw driver


  • 2x 8mm spanner


  • 17 mm spanner


  • Wood glue (is optional)

Unpacking your ladder

Carefully unpack your ladder checking carefully for any damage that might have occurred in transit. A damaged loft ladder will require a replacement so unpack to check the contents as soon as possible.

Check that you have all the components necessary to assemble and install your sliding loft ladder:


Installing your loft ladder

Only proceed to install the sliding loft ladder if you feel confident in doing so. Remember to work tidily and keep tools and parts away from the loft hatch where they could drop or on the floor area where the could be a tripping hazard.

You may need to install wooden batons or noggins to be able to fit the pivot bar or retaining bar in the correct position, however, never be tempted to fit unauthorised parts to the sliding loft ladder itself as this will invalidate it’s warranty.

Take care when installing the loft ladder and do not attempt to use it in any way until it is fully installed. If any damage is caused, for safety reasons it will need to be discarded and replaced.

Preparing the trap door

If you do not have a loft ladder already, your loft hatch may be of the push up variety. You need to have a trapdoor that you pull down to open. The first 4 steps will show you how to prepare and fit a loft door complete with opening assembly ready to install your sliding loft ladder. If your loft door is already in place, you can go straight to step 5 – installing the ladder.

Step 1

Hanging the trapdoor:

Attach the hinges to the trapdoor by drilling 2mm pilot holes and screw the hinges, equally spaced, to one end of the trapdoor using 4x 18mm screws. Install the trapdoor by positioning the fitted hinges against the hatch frame and mark the fixing hole positions. Drill 2mm pilot holes and screw the hinges to the hatch surround using 4x 18mm screws.


  • Your new trapdoor should have a minimum thickness of 20mm with a 2mm gap all the way around when door is fitted in the hatch.
  • Trapdoor will attach to the same side of the hatch frame as the loft ladder.
  • Minimum gap of 50mm between the top of the trapdoor when closed and top edge of the frame.
  • Optional – fill the screw holes with wood glue before inserting the screws to increase strength.


Step 2

Preparing the trapdoor

Hold up trap door in the closed position.

A&B: At the opposite end to where you have fitted the hinges, measure and mark a line onto the trapdoor, 31mm from the edge of the frame. Measure and mark a centre line.

C: Open the trapdoor and drill a 13mm hole where the lines meet and sand off any rough edges


Step 3

Fitting the catch assembly

Push the twist catch collars (no. 3 & 4) into each side of the hole you just drilled with the large catch collar (no. 4) on the outside of the trapdoor.

Insert the pivot pin (no. 5) through the outside of the hatch through the hole and secure using the second nut (1). Ensure the pivot pin can twist freely.

Place the catch lever (no. 2) onto the pivot pin (as shown) and secure using the second nut (1). Again ensure the pivot pin twists freely.


Step 4

Catch bracket fitting

 A: Measure the thickness of your trapdoor and add 9mm. Draw a line this distance up from the bottom of the hatch opening, parallel with it. Close the trapdoor and mark a vertical line on the inside of the hatch frame where the centre of the twist catch meets the hatch frame.

B: Open the trapdoor and position the catch bracket on the hatch frame, lining up with the vertical and horizontal lines as show ring. Mark the fixing hole positions.

Drill 2mm pilot holes and fix the bracket using 2x 18mm screws.









Installing the ladder

Step 5

Remove the end caps and slide on the pivot bar stops

A: Remove both end caps from the stiles on the back of the loft ladder, closest to the end where the rubber feet are fitted.

B: Slide a pivot bar stop onto each stile (side) of the ladder, do not secure in place yet.


A pair of pivot bar stops have already been installed at the top of the loft ladder.








Step 6

Slide on the pivot bar assembly

Ensure the pivot bar is fully assembled, with the pivot bar sliders slotted into the pivot bar rod.

Slot the pivot bar assembly onto the stiles.


The pivot bar brackets MUST be the correct way round, as shown with the brackets in an upside down “L” position.









Step 7

Slide on remaining pivot bar stops and refit end caps

A: Slot on the remaining 2 pivot bar stops, do not secure in place yet.

B: Slot both stile end caps back on to the ends of the stiles.








Step 8

Attach 2x handrails

Attach the handrail to each side of the loft ladder.

Place washers (no. 2) onto the 65mm bolts (no. 4), insert through the handrail, mounting block (no. 3) and ladder. Fix using the nuts and washers (no. 1 & 2).

Tighten using an 8mm spanner.








Step 9

 Extend the loft ladder

Release the locking catch close to the bottom of the loft ladder and then the catch on the top of the front section.

Extend the ladder fully until the locking catches engage securely with the other catches.









Step 10

Attach the pivot bar


One person is needed in the loft for this part of the installation. Position the pivot bar brackets onto the top of the loft hatch frame, on the side the trapdoor is hung.

Position the loft ladder in the centre of the hatch and make sure it is square with both feet flat on the floor. The pivot bar brackets must be pushed up against the sides of the loft ladder.

Mark the screws holes onto the frame with pencil, drill 3mm pilot holes and then fix using 6 x 35mm screws.








Step 11

Set the pitch of the ladder and fix top pivot bar stops

A: position the ladder at the correct angle between 65 and 80 degrees. Alternatively, use the red and white sticker on the side and once you get the white line vertical the ladder is at the correct pitch.

B: Position the 1st pair of pivot bar stops against the pivot bar sliders and tighten. Make sure the ladder is level and square before tightening stops.








Step 12

Attach the 2x retaining bars

Fix the retaining bar (no.4) to the top of the loft ladder using the fittings pre assembled to the bar. Tighten using 2x 8mm spanners. Tighten the nut securing the angle bracket (no. 5) to the retaining bar (no. 4). Do not over tighten, the bracket must be able to move freely. Fix the angle bracket to the attic floor using 2x 18m screws. Do the same for the 2nd retaining bar on the other side.


Install additional wooden noggins to fix the retaining bar in the correct position if necessary.

The retaining bars must be in line with the ladder not at an angle.








Step 13

Stow the loft ladder away and further fix pivot bar stops

A: release the 2x catches found on the right hand side of ladder. Slide the 2 front sections up until the catches engage with the other catches.

B: Push the ladder up into the loft by hand as far as you can reach and then insert the stowing pole into the side of the bottom rung and push the loft ladder up until fully stowed away safely.

C: Slide the 2nd pair of pivot bar stops up to meet the pivot bar sliders and tighten securely with screwdriver.








Using your slider loft ladder

Installed correctly, your slider loft ladder will give many years of outstanding service, however to keep it working at it’s best, be sure to check through the instruction leaflet and carry out any recommended maintenance on the ladder.

Specifically, here at BPS Access Solutions, we recommend that you check that the 4 pivot bar stops are secured in the correct position and the screws are tight.

Make sure that the fixings and handrail are secure before each use, tighten screws and fittings as necessary.

Always use your slider loft ladder in accordance to the manufacturers instructions and additionally, follow the instructions given on the side of the slider loft ladder.

How to open and close your loft door

 To close the trapdoor

Insert the pole into the twist catch and push the trapdoor up into its closed position and turn the catch clockwise to lock.

To open the trapdoor:

Insert the pole into the twist catch and turn the catch anticlockwise to unlock. Carefully lower the trapdoor using the stowing pole.








How to pull your loft ladder out of the loft and put it back again

Insert the pole into the bottom rung of the ladder and carefully pull out and down simultaneously. Ensure you carefully control the descent of the ladder so as not to endanger any persons or animals.

When the ladder stops, release the 2 catches found on the right hand side and extend it until the catch engages with the other locking catches. DO NOT use the loft ladder unless the locking catch is fully engaged.





Before you use your slider loft ladder

When the ladder is deployed, make sure that:


  • The locking catch is fully engaged.


  • Both feet are flat on the floor.


  • The ladder is at the correct angle (65-80°).


Using your slider loft ladder safely

When in use, you should treat your slider loft ladder in the same way as you would treat any other ladder, however it should only ever be used as a loft ladder and not for any other purpose.

When the ladder is in use, only one person should be using the ladder at any one time. You should not carry loads in excess of 10kg whilst on the ladder.

Always wear sensible footwear with clean, non-slip soles and face the ladder at all times whilst keeping a grip on the ladder at all times when climbing up or down the ladder. Never over reach on a loft ladder, you could overbalance and injure yourself.

Do not use the loft ladder if you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Lastly, keep your loft ladder clean. A quick wipe down regularly will be sufficient, however keeping your slider loft ladder clean and dust free will ensure it continues to work properly. 

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

BPS – Internet shopping without the frustration


BPS showroom

We’ve all been there – spending hours googling a product we desperately need, the latest must have product or the product that is not available on the high street!

Only to find it is either out of stock too on the internet or the delivery times are too far ahead – and you need the product tomorrow!

It also astounds me how long it can actually take to source the right product – I spent a whole afternoon a couple of weeks ago sourcing an item I needed urgently only to find the delivery time scales were just too far ahead…..unless I was willing to pay an extortionate price – which I personally believe is a hugely unfair levy on a paying customer.

At BPS Access Solutions our overall aim is to please our customers, and as part of our aim we are very keen to make all our products easy to obtain, not only at the best prices with added extras not found anywhere else, but also to get them to you in the quickest possible time, not at an additional cost, but for FREE! Yes that’s right, we deliver to almost anywhere on the UK mainland for free. If you place your order on a working day by 3pm, you will receive it the next working day.

This is not all. We appreciate the differing demands of each and every customer and each order we receive is dealt with on a very personal basis. We appreciate that some of our customers know exactly what ladder or scaffold tower they require and simply need to order it as quickly as possible. At BPS Access solutions, we offer comprehensive on line ordering solutions via our own website, Ebay and Amazon.

Regular visitors to our website may have noticed our ‘New Look’. Our website now provides you with a superior shopping experience. Quickly browse our product range without wasting time on page load times. New signage clearly shows where to find the ladder, scaffold tower or accessory you are looking for, as well as easier than ever ordering.

Of course on line ordering directly from our website is available as before at www.laddersandscaffoldtowers.co.uk Our website also contains details of our latest special offers and Sales. All our usual promises apply such as free delivery the next working day and a full lifetime guarantee on all products.

Many of our customers like to seek advice on which ladder would be most suited to their individual needs and we pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service. We offer this advice freely over the telephone no matter where you are in the UK, and you can place your order over the phone with us at the same time. Our sales hotline numbers are open 7 days a week for your convenience weekdays until 9pm and weekends until 5pm.

We don’t forget old fashioned values

We also have customers who like to make a day out of their ladder and scaffold choice and to this end we have a High Street shop located in Biggin Hill in Kent. We offer the same unbeatable internet prices in our shop and we highly recommend a visit in order so you can appreciate the quality and durability of all our products whilst getting expert advice on the correct usage. Of course you can also collect your products from here too. For more details and directions, please visit http://www.laddersandscaffoldtowers.co.uk/acatalog/Contact_Us.html Our shop is open Saturdays only at the moment, but do check with us as the opening hours do vary from time to time.

I hope you are able to see how we can combat the frustration of internet shopping and speed up what can be a very mundane process.

We all look forward to doing business with you soon at BPS Access Solutions. Both DIY and tradespeople more than welcome.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Cats use one of their nine lives on a loft ladder

There is a reason why cats have nine lives as demonstrated by this amusing video!

For all animal lovers out there, no cats were harmed during the making of this video clip.

Cats, being the inquisitive creatures they are, had to try and defy gravity and show us there is no need for a loft ladder…..you simply leave the loft like this……:

OK, we don’t need to tell you not to try this yourself at home, but we will anyway……Don’t Try this at home, you’ve been warned!

The mistake the cat made was leaving the loft facing forward. The basic principle of walking down any ladder (not just a loft ladder) is to climb down it backwards so you are facing the ladder. That way you have the frame or handrails of the ladder to hold on to for support.

Never climb down a ladder facing forwards, unlike the cat, you might not be so lucky.

For more information on loft ladders and how to make make use of valuable space within your home please visit us at http://www.laddersandscaffoldtowers.co.uk/acatalog/loft_ladders.html#Loft Ladder Text

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.