• Share:
Should You Buy a Cheap Extension Ladder? Maybe.

There are four types of extension ladders. Here's how to choose the right one for your home projects.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Weigh in on the right extension ladder

There are four classifications of extension ladders, and they’re based on fully loaded weight. That means your weight plus the weight of the materials you’re carrying. The biggest mistake DIYers make is buying a Type III ladder to save money. An extension ladder is a long-term investment, so think about how much your weight may change over the years—and don’t be delusional about it. The average American male weighs 189 lbs. Add a gallon of paint and a few tools and you’ve already exceeded the weight limit of a Type III ladder. Carry a heavy power tool and a few hand tools and you’ll blow past a Type II. And if you ever have to lug up a bundle of shingles (70 lbs.), you’ll need at least a Type IA ladder. Heavy-duty Type I and Type IA ladders weigh more and cost more, but you’ll get a stiffer ladder with better construction. 

Back to Top

Comments from DIY Community Members

No comments on the article have been posted yet. Be the first to add your comment!

You will be required to log in or create an account to post a comment.


Add Your Comment

Should You Buy a Cheap Extension Ladder? Maybe.

Please add your comment

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today

Report Abuse

Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us