Loft Ladders: Two Popular Types

To get the most from your loft space, it’s essential to use a sturdy, up-to-date loft ladder to access it. Whether you use the loft exclusively for storage, or have converted it into living space, such as an extra bedroom, study, or library, upgrading your loft ladder is likely to add value to your home. However, loft ladders come in many styles and models, so making a decision might be difficult. One of the best ways to choose a loft ladder is to read reviews on the Internet written by people like you who have purchased and fitted a loft ladder. But what type of ladder should you select? Slider or concertina models are popular with homeowners. Read on for some guidance on these two types.

Loft Ladders: Slider Models

This type of ladder is a popular choice by savvy homeowners. The best models offer an ideal combination of value, strength, and affordability. We also like the twin latching catches that are supplied with the ladder, because they ensure the ladder is stable when it’s correctly deployed. There’s one catch on each side of the ladder. The catches also help to prevent the twisting action that’s common on competitors’ inferior products. In extreme cases, ladders without dual locking catches can fail in use. In addition, the ladder features two sturdy handrails (one on each stile), which are supplied free of charge. The handrails are painted in a highly visible red colour. Handrails are an important safety feature on loft ladders, and never should be overlooked.

Loft Ladders: More Features of Slider Models

This ladder is very robust, being able to support a maximum safe load of 150kg (23.5 stone) for the 3-section model. Also, it fully conforms to the latest EN14975 specification for a loft ladder of this type. Wide, non-slip treads ensure comfortable and safe use when climbing or descending. Another safety feature is the non-slip rubber feet that also serve to protect floors or carpeting. An integral pivot arm allows the ladder to operate easily and smoothly. The ladder comes with a full fixing kit, including the hardware to convert a lift up type hatch to the swing down type the ladder requires. The ladder itself has a design that lends extra strength, because the rungs pass through the stiles and are securely crimped on the outside to stay in place.

Loft Ladders: Further Information About Slider Models

Loft Ladders like this come with an operating pole to facilitate deployment. The pole has a hook that engages an eye on the underside of the ladder’s hatch. A simple, easy pulling motion lowers the ladder ready to unfold. To stow the ladder simply fold, lift up, and push, using the operating pole. This ladder is ideal for floor to loft heights between 2.13m (7′) and 3m (9’10”). For DIYers, it comes with full, easy to follow instructions that are written in plain, understandable English. The ladder can be delivered the next day, free of charge, and has an RRP of £129.99, but it can be found on the Internet for as little as £69.99 including VAT.

Loft Ladders: A Few Specifications:

This ladder can be fitted in areas where the floor to loft floor height is  2.13m to 2.69m (7′ to 8’10”). The minimum hatch length is 51.1cm (1’8”), and the width requirement is 38.1cm (1’3”). The minimum length required behind the hatch is 1.27m (4’2”), and the minimum stowing height needed in the loft is 0.71n (2’4”)

Loft Ladders: The Innovative Concertina Model

If a slider model isn’t quite right for your situation, perhaps a concertina model would be a better fit. A concertina loft ladder is the ideal solution for problematic applications in which the loft opening or the floor space is limited. It’s also a good choice for fitting in situations where space in the loft is limited. It folds compactly into a cube, and requires no clearance beyond the loft’s opening perimeter. All these features and specifications converge to make this ladder fit just about anywhere. Finally, it’s very easy to fit.

Loft Ladders: Features of the Concertina Model

This ladder is fitted with non-slip treads for sure footing when climbing or descending. This is an important safety feature that isn’t found on competitors’ models. It’s supplied fully assembled, and includes hardware to convert a push up hatch to the pull down type that’s needed for proper fitting. The ladder is very strong, and has a maximum safe load rating of 150kg (23.5 stone). The extra deep treads measure 80mm (3”) deep, and they offer plenty of security, even when carrying heavy or bulky items. The treads are a generous 340mm (1’1”) wide. In addition, the ladder is constructed with a durable stainless steel carriage and bolts. Unlike competing models that use softer aluminium bolts, this one has a solid and substantial feel. The ladder is easy to operate, thanks to dual springs that support its weight whilst being raised or lowered.

Loft Ladders: More Features of Concertina Models

One essential feature of this rugged, durable ladder is that it has an adjustable base position that’s ideal for situations where the space in the room below is confined. This gives the fitter maximum flexibility when installing. The ladder needs a minimum loft opening of just 430mm (1’5”) wide (on the side on which the ladder will be attached). It’s minimum hatch length is 570mm (1’10”), so it’s suitable for just about any application. The instructions are written in plain English, so they’re very easy to follow. Concertina ladders will fit ceiling heights up to 3.66m (12′). They usually are made from aluminium, which lends plenty of strength to this type of ladder. The light weight of aluminium ladders make them exceptionally easy to lower and raise. Expect to pay between £139.99 and £194.99 for a good quality ladder of this type.

Upgrading your loft ladder can add significant value and functionality to any home.

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 Review: The Slider Three Section Sliding Model

These days, finding space to store all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years isn’t a simple matter. A brief glance into any closet is sure to reveal that there’s little or no room to spare. For many homeowners, there is a solution, though. If you have a loft, we’re willing to bet that you’re not fully exploiting its potential as a storage area. Why? Well, you’re likely to say that the ladder is old, rickety, and for those reasons, unsafe. Substandard loft ladders prevent you from transporting heavy or bulky items up to the loft for storage. The solution? An upgraded loft ladder, which might be much less expensive than you think. Read on to learn more about these loft ladders and the standards that govern them. We’re also pleased to offer a review of one loft ladder we’re quite keen on: the affordable Slider three section loft ladder.

Loft Ladders: More Space Efficient than Loft Stairs

If you have limited space, then a loft ladder is a much better choice than loft stairs. It takes up a much smaller area, and is generally significantly less expensive to fit, because it requires fewer components. This shortens the build time, and keeps the labour cost down, particularly if you plan to install the ladder yourself. There is an excellent variety of models and types available at many different price points, but we’ve found the Slider to be exceptionally affordable without compromising either the quality or the design. Although folding, telescopic, and electronic loft ladders are available, we like the simplicity, quality and high functionality of a sliding model, especially one with safety features such as handrails and non-slip feet. A word of caution, though: before buying a loft ladder, be sure to check for any special rules or requirements that might apply in your particular area.

Loft Ladders: About the Slider Three Section Model

This affordable ladder is suitable for installation in areas with floor to loft heights between 2.13m and 3m. It sells for only £69.99 including VAT and most sellers offer free delivery to sites on the UK mainland. We like this ladder for more than just its reasonable price. It offers the ideal combination of strength and quality. The ladder has the added benefit of being supplied with two locking catches, instead of the usual single one. This feature helps to prevent the twisting that often occurs on the decidedly lower quality ladders available from our competitors. The ladder also features sturdy, easy to see red handrails at no additional charge. These ensure that the ladder is safe to use, and less prone to breakage or damage. You should always look for a loft ladder that conforms to the EN14975 standard.

Loft Ladders: About the Important EN14975 Standard

A loft ladder that carries this designation has successfully passed an exhaustive set of tests designed to evaluate its overall performance, durability and maximum safe load. Such tests include the static load test already mentioned, along with a fatigue test. Also evaluated is the torsion of the treads or rungs. The rungs or treads are tested for their bending strength and the overall construction and design of the ladder are evaluated.  A certified ladder should have a safe climbing angle and also a safe tread or rung pitch.  Anti-slip surfaces on loft ladders rungs are also necessary. The free width between stiles is measured for conformity, along with the depth of the bearing surface. In addition, the distance between the floor and the top of the first tread or rung and the distance between the last tread or rung and the loft floor are evaluated for correctness.  A loft ladder’s operability is also tested under the EN14975 standards. Aspects of testing include surface finish and sharp edges etc. The feet are tested. Even the user instructions and markings on the ladder are evaluated for clarity and correctness. The ladder’s dimensions are validated, along with its geometry (angles). In addition to static loading, cyclic loading is measured. Finally, deflection tests are performed.

Loft Ladders: Key Features of the Slider Three Section Model

The ladder will support a maximum load of 150kg and because it fully conforms to the EN14975 standard, you can be assured of superior performance and durability. The treads on this ladder are designed to deliver sure footing, thanks to a non-slip design that makes ascending and descending both safe and comfortable. The ladder’s precision pivot arm makes sure that the ladder is easy to operate. The ladder’s non-slip rubber feet are both a safety feature and a way to protect floors and floor coverings from damage. A fixing kit with all necessary components is included. A unique feature of this particular ladder is that it comes with all the hardware you’ll need to convert a lift up type loft hatch door to the swing down type that’s required by the ladder.

Loft Ladders: More About the Slider Three Section Model

Another important feature of this ladder is a design in which the ladder’s rungs pass through its stiles and are securely crimped on the outside. The result is a stronger and neater ladder. An extra-long operating pole made from durable, corrosion-resistant aluminium makes the ladder exceptionally easy to deploy or stow. This model is suitable for floor to loft floor heights between 2.13m and 3m. It includes full instructions written in plain English. This ladder needs a minimum hatch length of 42.1cm and a minimum hatch width of 38.1cm. Also required is a 1.20m minimum length required behind the hatch, along with a minimum stowing height of 0.71m. Finally, there’s a free lifetime guarantee on all parts, something that’s typically not offered by competitors.

Loft ladders like the Slider three section model will add value and versatility to your home.

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 Review: The Classic Larch Wood Model

Although many people choose aluminium or glass fibre for their loft ladders, wood still remains a top choice. This is so for a number of reasons, including the fact that wood lends a solid feel to a ladder, whilst a metal or glass fibre one can sometimes seem a bit rickety. Although there are many wooden ladders available, most are made from soft pine or spruce. A wooden ladder made from larch, however, will be more durable and less likely to show signs of wear. A wooden loft ladder is quieter in operation. In addition, a larch ladder is better able to keep its shape, whilst softer woods like pine and spruce are more prone to twisting, especially if not fully seasoned. Also, larch is less likely to splinter and usually has fewer knots. Read on to learn more about this versatile wood, along with some information about a quality loft ladder made from it.

Loft Ladders: About Larch and Why to Choose This Versatile Wood

Larch is a wood that’s considered to be highly durable and exceptionally tough and for this reason is widely used in construction. In the building trade, larch is a popular choice for interior panelling and also for the outside cladding of buildings. Larch doesn’t rot when in contact with the ground, so it’s ideal for use in fences. This tree is widely grown as it’s resistant to disease and grows rapidly. Sometimes used in herbal medicine, larch is a preferred building material for houses. Larch wood is even used in the culture of bonsai trees because its colour, foliage, small needles and knobby bark are regarded as highly decorative. With all these qualities to recommend it, it’s no surprise that some of the best loft ladders are made from this versatile wood. Here’s more information about larch wood models.

Loft Ladders: About the Classic Larch Wood Model

When choosing a loft ladder, it’s wise to opt for a wooden one that fully conforms to the important BS EN 14975 standard for ladders of this type. This ensures that the ladder has passed a series of rigorous standardised tests, such as verifying this model’s maximum safe load rating of 150kg. The treads on any loft ladder are particularly important. They need to be both comfortable and wide. The 80mm non-slip treads on this ladder are an ideal width that make it very safe to use. It’s also important to note that the ladder comes fully assembled and includes a well-insulated hatch, architrave, operating pole and frame. So, it’s completely ready to install on delivery.

Loft Ladders: Features of the Classic Larch Wood Model

We especially like the fact that this attractive and affordable wood ladder features a tough surface that’s both durable and easy to keep clean. Even the hatch door is painted, so there’s no additional decorating required. The 545mm wide framed loft ladders are designed to fit between the joists in modern trussed roofs, but do be sure to double-check all your measurements before buying. Unlike many competitors’ models, this ladder comes with two, not one, handrails for ease of use and plenty of safety. This ladder is very easy to operate, and will fit into virtually any loft because minimal clearance is required.

Loft Ladders: Further Information About Classic Larch Wood Model

The quality of this ladder is evident in its mortise and tenon joinery that ensures the safety and integrity of the treads. It comes with a fully insulated 35mm thick hatch supplied as standard. Also included are rubber seals for the hatch opening that help to minimise heat loss. The trap door features a concealed locking mechanism that gives an elegant appearance because the hook is not visible, as it is on competing models. To protect floors and floor coverings, the ladder is fitted with a set of non-slip rubber feet. It’s supplied with full operating and installation instructions that are written in plain, easy to understand English.  Fitting a quality loft ladder like this one can really add value to your home.

Loft ladders: More Important Features and Functions

When buying a loft ladder, do be sure to enquire about delivery, which should be free, in most cases. In addition, it’s wise to find out whether there’s any type of guarantee on the ladder’s parts and components. This ladder does carry a lifetime guarantee. Another important feature of a loft ladder is the handrail. Better models, such as this larch wood one, are fitted with dual handrails for an extra measure of safety. Competing models are often supplied as an expensive upgrade.  Also, the treads on competing loft ladders are screwed into place, rather than using stronger mortise and tenon joints. Competing models usually are rated to support a maximum safe load of only 120kg, which is 30kg less than the larch wood model.

Loft Ladders: Final Thoughts on the Classic Larch Wood Model

This is a loft ladder that’s fitted with two strong springs, which make it exceptionally easy to open and close. Competitors’ models often use weaker springs, and many don’t have springs at all. So, such ladders can be virtually impossible for a single person to operate. The ladder’s treads are ridged and extra deep for safety.  The trap door and architrave are painted in a neutral tone.  This model is available in 4 frame sizes: 1100mm x 545mm, 1100mm x 700mm, 1300mm x 545mm and 1300mm x 700mm.  It’s suitable for floor to ceiling heights up to 2.8m on the 1100mm frame sizes and up to 3.2m on the 1300mm frame sizes.  It’s maximum RRP is about £319.99, but you should be able to find them on special offer from about £130, including VAT. Be sure to enquire about delivery, which should be free to the UK mainland.

Loft ladders like the classic larch wood model make a great addition to any home.

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 Review: The Always-Popular Concertina Model

One DIY project that many homeowners undertake is fitting or upgrading their existing loft ladders. A robust loft ladder allows more efficient use of the space because larger, heavier or bulkier items can be carried up or down the ladder with safety and ease. There are several types of loft ladder, each of which is appropriate for a variety of settings. However, if you have limited space, it’s likely that you’ll need a concertina-style ladder, because these are ideal for small areas where space is at a premium. Read on to learn more about this type of loft ladder, along with a brief review of one model we’re happy to recommend.  At the end of this article, you’ll also find a few tips and hints for fitting a concertina loft ladder. So, let’s get started.

Loft Ladders: What Exactly is a Concertina Model?

A concertina loft ladder has a unique and innovative design that allows it to be retracted in an accordion style. Generally made of metal, usually aluminium, these ladders feature a structure that compacts easily into a small space. It’s a simple matter to deploy the ladder when it’s needed, yet it stows neatly away when not in use. This type of ladder is built into the loft hatch, which means that when you lower the hatch door with the operating pole, the ladder is always ready to be pulled down.  Concertina ladders have many benefits, including a compact size and retractability. In contrast, other types of loft ladders tend to be bulky and cumbersome, taking up much space in the loft.

Loft Ladders: The Concertina 3.05m Model

This ladder is recommended for spaces with vertical floor to ceiling heights up to 3.05 metres, but is also available in various other heights up to 3.66m.  It’s well-suited to applications in which space in the loft is limited or where the loft opening is small. We like this model, and are happy to report that it’s ideal in homes where space inside the loft is limited. This is so because of the way the ladder folds compactly into a cube shape. In addition, it needs no clearance outside the opening perimeter of the loft. These design features make the ladder exceptionally easy to fit in practically any size loft opening, making it ideal for DIYers.

Loft Ladders: More About the Concertina 3.05m Model

Concertina ladders have a unique design which allows for worry-free fitting in just about any loft. This one has rubberised non-slip treads, an important safety feature, especially when carrying a heavy or bulky item.This is a feature not found on competitors’ models. DIYers will be happy to learn that the ladder is supplied fully assembled. It even comes with a kit for converting a lift-up type hatch door into the drop-down type required by the ladder. We’ve found this ladder to be quite strong. It will support a maximum load of 150kg. Remember, though, that the maximum load rating includes the weight of both the user and anything that’s being carried up or down the ladder.

Loft Ladders: Additional Features of the Concertina 3.05m Model

We noticed that this ladder has extra-deep 80mm treads that have a generous width of 340mm, which makes the ladder both safe and easy to ascend and descend, even if you’re carrying something. Another premium feature we discovered is that the ladder is fitted with a carriage made from stainless steel, along with stainless steel bolts. Lesser models use aluminium bolts that are more likely to fail than steel ones. The steel bolts give the ladder a remarkably solid feel. Operating the ladder is quite easy, thanks to the two springs that support its weight whilst it’s being lowered or raised. In addition, the base position is adjustable, which lends a high degree of flexibility, especially in cases where the space in the room below the ladder is limited.

Loft Ladders: A Few Important Dimensions

Thanks to its highly functional design, the ladder needs a minimal loft aperture of only 430mm wide on the side on which the ladder is attached. In addition, the length required is just 570mm, which makes the ladder suitable for a wide range of applications. The ladder comes with full fitting instructions written in plain, clear English. We also like the ladder’s superior anodised aluminium finish that’s both durable and attractive. Anodisation is an electrolytic process that makes aluminium as strong as steel, whilst maintaining its light weight. This ladder sells for about £250.00, but do be sure to look for it on special offer from about £140.00, including VAT.

Loft Ladders: Concertina Model Fitting Notes

Most competent DIYers should be able to manage installation with just a few simple tools. It is wise, however, to have an assistant help you lift the ladder into place. If your loft hatch is a loose, lift-up type board, the first step is to convert it to a swing-down door that’s operated by way of a pole with a hook on one end. It’s also wise to re-fit the board in a lower configuration that’s flush with the architrave. This not only looks more attractive, but also allows maximum room for the ladder to be fitted. If your board isn’t made from wood, you’ll need to fit a wooden one. The ladder comes complete with all fittings for the door, including hinges, screws and catch. The catch also includes the bolts needed to connect the eye to the bottom of the door. To operate the door, simply insert the hook at the end of the operating pole into the eye and pull down gently. Reverse the process, i.e., push, to raise the door. For the operating pole, you’ll need to buy a length of 18mm dowel that’s determined by your ceiling height. Then just attach the hook with the two supplied screws. Finally, screw or bolt with carriage bolts the ladder backboard to the hatch surround, ensuring that the ladder is securely and safely attached.

For the ultimate in loft ladders, the concertina model is worth a serious look.

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.

Aluminium Ladders: The Many Benefits of This Remarkable Metal

Have you ever struggled with a heavy timber ladder? If so, then you know that deploying a large one, such as a two or three section extension model can be very difficult for one person to handle. This difficulty can make even a simple DIY task hard to accomplish efficiently. So, what’s a person to do? Well, 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 this versatile and strong metal.

Aluminium Ladders: Key Features

If you’re shopping for an aluminium ladder, then the best way to find one that’s 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, 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.

All About Extension Ladders: Key Points to Remember

When you’re shopping for or using extension ladders, there’s a lot to consider. Of course, it’s important to heed all relevant safety rules, but it’s equally necessary to choose the right ladder for the job. If you’ve ever tried to do this, then you know that it’s difficult because there is a myriad of models and types available today. So what do you do? Many people have found help by using the internet to research the sort of ladder they’re looking for. In addition, there are a few things you should know before you buy and begin using an extension ladder to ensure you make the right choice. This post will tell you what you need to know to make sure you choose an extension ladder that will let you use it successfully and safely.

Key Features of Extension Ladders

If you’re looking for an extension ladder, the best way to ensure you acquire one that’s right for your unique needs is to look for these important features. First, make sure that your extension ladder conforms to all relevant safety standards. In the UK, the ladder should bear a label stating its maximum safe load. So, take a minute to think about the weight that the ladder needs to support. Consider both the weight of the user, along with any tools or materials. In addition, choose a ladder of the right height. If it isn’t tall enough, then you’ll have trouble using it. Your extension ladder should have non-slip rungs for safe climbing and descending. A quality ladder should let you have this feature, which is important because the rungs should offer a secure and stable foothold. Great bonus features of quality extension ladders are box-type stiles, with horizontal stabiliser bars at the base complete with large rubberised feet.

More About Extension Ladders

Let’s take a minute to think about the materials from which an extension ladder can be made, because this is likely to affect your purchase decision. The three materials from which such a ladder can be made are timber, aluminium, and glass fibre. Each type has its own set of positive and negative features. Timber, for example, is a good choice because it tends to be less expensive. However, timber is subject to rotting and splitting, especially if you plan to store the ladder outdoors. A large timber ladder can be quite heavy as well. Aluminium is a wise choice for these types of ladder because it’s exceptionally light in weight, and will never rust, rot, or corrode. Even a large aluminium ladder is easy for a single person to handle. Do be aware, though, that aluminium will conduct an electric current, so aluminium ladders never should be used around power lines or other electrical sources. Glass fibre is another popular material for ladders, because it’s highly resistant to corrosion and will not conduct electrical current. Timber and glass fibre ladders are safe to use around electrical sources.

Further Highlights of Extension Ladders

A quality extension ladder will have rungs that are designed to prevent slipping. The rungs can be round or square-shaped. The rungs should be corrugated as well. The vertical members of a ladder are called stiles. On aluminium ladders, the stiles should have a box type construction.  An extension ladder also features extension locks that ensure that when the second or third section is deployed, it remains locked in place. The ladder should have non-slip feet that prevent the ladder from slipping when used at the correct angle.

Safety Considerations for Extension Ladders

Even the best-designed ladder can’t prevent accidents or injuries unless it’s used correctly. Most ladder accidents and injuries are caused by user error or carelessness, so it’s crucial to adhere to a set of basic safety rules. For example, if you’re not feeling well, or feel dizzy or tired, it might be best to postpone using an extension ladder until you’re better. If you’re the sort of person who has trouble maintaining their balance, then perching precariously on the narrow rungs of a ladder, even if they’re non slip might not be a wise choice for you. The same is true if you’re using legal or illegal drugs that may influence your physical ability and coordination. Ladders should never be used in stormy weather or in high wind conditions, and timber ladders should be stored indoors if possible. Ladder users should always wear clean shoes with soles that have been specifically designed to be slip-resistant. In particular, don’t wear shoes with leather soles, because they aren’t regarded as slip-resistant. It’s best to wear shoes with heels, because they provide a better foothold. It’s essential to maintain a secure handhold on an extension ladder. Although gloves might give a better grip, it’s important for them to be clean and free of grease, oil, or other substances that might cause slipping.

Final Thoughts on Extension Ladders

Although generally maintenance free, an extension ladder does need some basic maintenance. The rubber feet and ladder itself must be kept free from slippery substances, such as grease and oil. In extreme weather conditions where rain, wind, or ice might be a problem, it’s best not to use the ladder. Common sense dictates that only one person at a time should climb the ladder, unless it’s been designed for multiple users. Users never should slide down a ladder without using the rungs. In addition, it’s important not to climb a ladder more than one rung at a time. Never use a ladder for a purpose for which it’s not intended, such as a bridge between structures. Finally, don’t use a ladder as a support or structural member.

In conclusion, extension ladders are valuable items for DIYers, tradesmen, and industrial users, but only if employed correctly and safely.

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.

Ladders Review: The Four Metre Quick Erect Folding Aluminium Scaffold Tower

Have you ever found yourself confused when shopping for ladders? If you have, then you know that it can be difficult because there are so many types, sizes and models available today. So, what do you do? Many people have solved the problem by closely analysing their needs. In many cases, they learn that instead of a ladder, their requirements suggest that they should be using a scaffold tower. Therefore, it’s wise to do such analysis before you implement a work at height solution. This post will offer you some relevant information about scaffold towers that will help you select the one that’s precisely right for you. The correct choice will allow you to use it successfully for a wide range of trade, industrial and DIY tasks. In addition, we’ll offer a brief review of a high-quality scaffold tower you should consider: the four metre quick erect folding aluminium model.

Ladders: Key Features of a Scaffold Tower

The main benefit of a scaffold tower is that it offers much more secure footing than a ladder’s rungs. Even if the rungs have a flat surface, there still isn’t much surface area that comes into contact with the sole of the user’s feet.  This shortcoming often leads users to lean too far to the left or right in an attempt to extend their reach. Unfortunately, serious accidents usually result.  On the other hand, scaffold towers provide large, wide platforms that are exceptionally safe and very stable. If you’ve decided on a scaffold tower, one of the best ways to ensure you choose the right one is to do a bit of research before buying. This will help you select the ideal tower for your particular needs. For example, you should choose a scaffold tower that’s simple to erect and dismantle by way of colour coded components. Also, your tower should be fitted with locking casters that make it easy to move. One scaffold tower we like is the four metre quick erect folding aluminium model. Read on to learn why.

Ladders: More about the Four Metre Quick Erect Folding Aluminium Scaffold Tower 

It’s wise to choose a tower that bears the EN1004 trade safety stamp.  This means that the tower has successfully passed a rigorous set of use and safety tests.  Ladders bearing the EN1004 designation have been approved by the UK Health and Safety Executive.  This tower deserves a serious look because it has an exceptionally high set of build specifications that are among the best in the industry.  This is a safe and strong tower that’s constructed around a folding base. The base makes this model one of the easiest and safest to erect and dismantle, without the use of tools, a real plus for most users.  In addition, the tower is also certified to meet the German (GS) standards, which are the equivalent of the UK’s kitemark requirements. Moreover, the tower is the ideal height for most DIY, trade and industrial uses. Finally, it’s a simple matter for a single person to erect or dismantle it.

Ladders: Further Highlights of the Four Metre Quick Erect Folding Aluminium Scaffold Tower 

When shopping for a scaffold tower, it’s sensible to look for one that includes a few extras. This tower, for example, comes with a leg adjustment kit that’s furnished free of charge. The kit allows 200mm of adjustment on each of the tower’s wheels, a feature that is particularly useful if you’re erecting the tower on uneven ground. Another feature to look for is ribbing on the tower’s components. Ribbing affords a non-slip grip that enhances both the tower’s strength and safety. Another feature we like is the tower’s colour coded components and braces that make setting it up extremely easy. Further, the tower comes from a fully certified ISO9001 manufacturer, so the build quality is exceptional. The tower has a maximum safe load rating of 230kg. Remember that the maximum safe load is the total weight of the user, along with any tools or materials being used on the tower.

Ladders: Final Thoughts on the Quick Erect Folding Scaffold Tower 

We’re especially pleased to report that this tower’s construction features a highly durable and exceptionally strong welded frame that’s similar to the ones found on heavy-duty industrial models. This is superior to the typical construction that uses horizontal bars that fit into holes in the vertical members which are secured by the dubious crimping method. When dismantled, the tower’s compact design resolves into a size that’s easy to store, and that will fit into most estate cars and vans. We also like the tower’s locking wheels because they provide an extra measure of safety by stopping the wheels from rotating and twisting. The platform height is adjustable in 0.3 metre increments, adding to the tower’s versatility, comfort and safety. This range of heights is more than adequate for most everyday DIY, trade and industrial uses. The platform is highly stable, and features a non slip-surface for extra safety.  Another safety feature is that the tower is climbable from the inside, using an internal trap door platform. This removes the need to climb unsafely on the tower’s exterior to reach the correct working height- something which you should never do. The tower is also extremely durable. Because it’s made from aluminium rather than steel, it’s exceptionally light and will never rust or corrode, even if stored outdoors. The tower’s two metre folding base delivers a working height of three metres and can be erected in minutes by a single person. It’s great value with an RRP of £539.99, but even a cursory internet search will turn up greatly discounted prices.   Our opinion is that this is a well-priced tower that offers a superior range of features and functions, whilst maintaining high standards of safety, quality and utility.

For the best in ladders like the four metre quick erect folding aluminium scaffold tower, be sure to buy from a reputable supplier.

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.

The Scaffold Tower: An Important Resource for Both Tradesmen and DIYers

Have you ever tried to wash windows or paint trim on a building’s second storey? If so, it’s certain that this experience has taught you that it isn’t an easy task, especially if you’re using a ladder. In fact, it’s not safe, and may lead to an accident or injury. So, what’s the alternative? A scaffold tower often can be the right choice. Many homeowners and tradesmen have used them successfully to perform all sorts of maintenance and DIY tasks. Interested? Well, there are several important points you should clearly understand before using or buying one of these useful items. In this post, we’ll explain what you need to know about employing scaffold towers in both a safe and successful way. Read on to learn more.

The Scaffold Tower: Key Features

If you’ve decided to shop for a scaffold tower, then there’s plenty to consider. It’s important to be well informed about them, because this will ensure that you acquire one that has all the features you need.  When considering scaffold towers, be sure that the one you choose allows you to work in complete safety. An unsafe or improperly deployed tower inevitably will lead to serious problems and possibly even injuries. One consideration is to ensure that scaffold towers have a stable base, which allows users to work at height in a safe and secure manner. Most quality scaffold towers come with safety features, such as outriggers or stabiliser bars, which ensure precise deployment. While not necessary, it’s a good idea to choose a tower with colour-coded components, since this will facilitate correct assembly. Here’s more information about scaffold towers.

More About the Scaffold Tower

Although scaffold towers are widely employed in trade and industrial applications, many DIYers and domestic users find them quite useful as well. In any work at height scenario, all alternatives should be explored to determine whether it’s absolutely necessary to deploy a tower. If this is the case, then the next step is choosing the most appropriate size and type. Scaffold towers, when they’re used properly, provide what can be the best alternative for working at height. Remember that when accidents occur, very often they’re caused by user error, rather than defects in the tower, such as faulty assembly or misuse. Most accidents and injuries related to scaffold towers are preventable, if the right safety and health practices are followed. Scaffolding towers can be made from steel or aluminium. Aluminium towers often are preferred because they’re light in weight. So it’s especially important to ensure that an aluminium tower is assembled correctly because this lends the maximum amount of strength to the structure. If necessary, review the guidelines and publications that come from both the Health and Safety Executive and the tower’s manufacturer. An instruction manual for the tower should be kept on site and such a manual should include both bracing requirements, as well as the assembly sequence.

Further Highlights of the Scaffold Tower

Even if the tower is hired, it must conform to all relevant rules and procedures. This is particularly true for the assembly method.  One feature to look for on quality scaffold towers is a guard rail system specifically designed for that particular model. It’s important never to substitute parts, such as guard rails, from other models of towers on the one you’re currently assembling or using unless specified and compatable.  Guard rails should be locked in place from the seated position on a platform. This assembly process makes sure that workers never stand on an unprotected platform, which means they’re protected from falls and accidents, yet can safely install the tower’s necessary components.  Once the tower is assembled, a thorough safety inspection should be performed before using it.

Types of Scaffold Tower

Independent scaffold towers are fitted with base plates.  Such a structure is usually stabilised by attaching it to a nearby wall.  These towers are useful for working on a specific area of a wall or structure.  Mobile scaffold towers, however, are more versatile.  These towers are fitted with castors on the legs and so are easy to move and reposition as needed. Unlike the independent tower, this type doesn’t need to be disassembled, moved and then reassembled. This means that a great deal of time is saved.  Mobile scaffold towers also are known as multi-purpose scaffolding, rolling scaffolding, portable scaffolding, and wheeled scaffolding.  Scaffold towers made from glass fibre are also necessary when working around electrical sources, since they won’t generate a spark or conduct a current.Interestingly, in Asia, bamboo is a popular material for scaffolding. It has the added benefit of being biodegradable and inexpensive.

When using a scaffold tower, it’s important to choose the right one and assemble it 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.

Loft Ladders: Why and How to Upgrade Yours

Have you ever struggled to carry a heavy or bulky item up to your loft? Chances are, then, that you 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.

Aluminium Ladders: Their History, Features and Usage

Widespread use of aluminium did not occur until the early years of the 19th century. This was because the special process for extracting large quantities of aluminium from ores such as bauxite did not exist. For that reason, aluminium often had a higher value than gold. In the court of Napoleon III (1852–1870), aluminium plates were reserved for use by the most important guests. It wasn’t until the mid-1880s that an electrolytic process known as Hall-Heroult made it cost-effective to extract aluminium from ores. By the end of the 19th century, aluminium came into wide use as a building material all over the world. The dome of the Chief Secretary’s building in Sydney, Australia is made from aluminium, as is the apex of the Washington Monument in the US. This set the stage for the transformation of this versatile material into highly functional and durable aluminium ladders.

Aluminium Ladders: Their Early Use

In the 1930s, a fire department located in Norway asked ALCOA, the Aluminium Company of America, whether there was an alternative to the heavy and bulky timber extension ladders that they were using. They needed a type of ladder that was more reliable and easier to handle and manoeuvre. In addition, an innovative, more efficient and useful ladder design was needed by business, industry and DIY users. Because it’s light in weight, an aluminium ladder is ideal for a myriad of commercial and domestic uses. Unlike a wooden ladder, it is not susceptible to fire. Aluminium does not rot or weaken the way wood does when exposed to the elements. This means it can be stored outdoors with no problem. However, it’s best to keep your aluminium ladder in a dry and covered area, so that it’s ready to use at a moment’s notice and not wet and slippery. Aluminium isn’t affected by fire or insect damage. In addition, it’s impervious to water and isn’t likely to crack or warp. Finally, an aluminium ladder will never rust or corrode, although it may develop some minor pitting on the surface. It’s important to note, though, that aluminium will conduct an electric current, so it’s wise to choose a timber or glass fibre ladder for work around electrical sources. However, specially insulated aluminium ladder models are available, but usually at higher prices.

Aluminium Ladders: Many Positive Features

Since an aluminium ladder is much lighter in weight than timber or glass fibre, it’s a good choice for most commercial or domestic applications because the ladder can be handled by a single person, including women and older children. An aluminium ladder is likely to cost less than timber or glass fibre ladders too. For example, you can expect to pay well over £120 for a timber loft ladder, while an aluminium one sells for about £55, a saving of over 50%. When considering ladders, be sure to factor in that a timber ladder does require regular maintenance, and an aluminium ladder does not. So, over time, timber ladders can be more expensive, even if their initial price is less. Aluminium ladders also are an earth-friendly, environmentally sound choice, because aluminium is the 3rd most abundant element and can be recycled quite easily.

Aluminium Ladders: Attributes and Types to Consider

Most users want their ladders to be as strong as possible, and aluminium has a superior weight-to-strength ratio, thanks to a high degree of tensile strength. This can vary from 200MPa to as much as 600Pa. MPa is a measure of how much stress a material can withstand without stretching, rupturing, breaking or otherwise failing. In contrast, the MPa of pine wood is 37MPa to 45MPa. This means aluminium has superior strength and usually is preferred over steel because of its density and light weight. There is an excellent range of ladders made from aluminium to choose from. Leaning or lean-to ladders are popular with homeowners for exterior work like painting or washing windows on upper storeys. Aluminium step ladders can be used indoors or outdoors. For extra safety and stability you can buy aluminium ladders with rubber feet, stabilising bars, locking clamps and even step platforms to provide extra stability at height. Some aluminium step ladders have extra-wide rungs or steps that make the ladder very easy and comfortable to climb. Aluminium roof ladders are designed with curved bars at the top capable of hooking onto the roof to provide safe access.

Aluminium Ladders: More Types

Aluminium scaffold towers are ideal for applications where it’s necessary to work at height for extended periods. These ladders have special configurations of hinges and sections that make them the ladder of choice for this type of work. There’s also a special-purpose ladder for use on stairways that can be adjusted to accommodate the uneven nature of the steps. If you need several types of ladders, then take a serious look at combination ladders, which can be configured in a variety of ways, including stair ladder, extension ladder and leaning ladder. If you have limited storage space, a telescoping ladder is a good choice. This ladder has a number of sections, each of which telescopes into the section below it. Each section of the ladder features a locking mechanism, so the ladder can be telescoped to just the height that’s needed. Regardless of the ladder chosen, deploy it only on dry, level surfaces. If you’re using a straight or extension ladder, always put it up at a 75 degree angle, so that the distance between the base of the ladder and the vertical surface it’s leaned is about one-quarter of the ladder’s total height. Never use a steeper angle, because the ladder may fall when the user leans away from it. Shallow angles are dangerous as well, because they may cause the ladder to lose its grip on the ground. To avoid this problem, it’s wise to fit the ladder with stabilisers that improve its grip on the surface on which they’re deployed.

So, there we are. Over the last 80 years aluminium ladders have developed to provide a wide variety of innovative and useful applications in both commercial and domestic settings.

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.