Do I Need a Big Ladder?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Johnny Angell, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    So our new house has a room with a ceiling fan (with a light fixture) that is about 10.5 feet above the floor. By that I mean the bottom of the light fixture is that far off the floor. To make it worse, its not the kind of light fixture that you can change the bulbs using one of those long poles with the light grabbing thingys on the end.

    I've got a 10% Lowes coupon (which I believe I can also use at Home Depot). Is it time for me to get a versatile and larger ladder? One of the Little Giant style ladders, but I'm not going to spend that kind of money.

    Here's one at Lowes:
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...esc&lpage=none

    And on at HD:
    http://homedepot.bighammersoftware.c...e-0ffec88fa808

    Both look pretty similar, though neither one says how tall they get when not used as an extension ladder that leans on a wall. That usage wouldn't be practical for this application.
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Just don't buy one from QVC!!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    You could probably get away with a relatively light and inexpensive aluminum or fiberglass step-ladder. You could get a 6 footer for around 50 bucks or and 8 footer for under $100. The Little Giant style ladders are nice, but if you're just looking for a ladder for basic use like changing bulbs and painting, I'd save the cash and get a cheap fiber/alum.
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    The one you linked to at Lowes will be about 8-10' when used as a step ladder, but depending on what else you plan on using it for may be overkill. You will probably want at least a class II, the lighter ones are pretty wimpy when extended. An 7-8' stepladder would be ample for the bulb changing, but a combo unit will be more versatile.
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    They may not always admit it, but chicks dig big ladders. [​IMG]

    I'm with Bryan, Johnny. Sounds like a simple step ladder is all you need. Remember, the top of the ladder doesn't need to reach the light fixture. [​IMG] You don't say what you've currently got available to you.
     
  6. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    The Little Giant (and imitations like the 'Gorilla' from HD and the Werner from Lowes) works very well but is heavy. I would only get one of these if you need to climb up on your roof (or height higher than a standard 6-8ft ladder can reach). For changing lightbulbs you can buy a simple 6ft or 8ft ladder that will reach anything in your house.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Think of the fan light fixture as a bowl with the bottom of the bowl 10.5 ft off the floor. The fan chains are threaded thru holes in the bowl and make it tricky removing the bowl from the fan.

    That means I need to reach in over the bowl and change the light bulb by feel. I can't see what I'm doing. You can't stand on the top of an 8' ladder, but I guess if I'm standing on a rung that is 5' off the floor and add my 5'10 to it, it might work.

    I'm just not sure of what height I can reach with an 8' ladder. Of course we will be installing gutters on the house and that means they'll need cleaning. That means a bigger ladder. That's the only reason I can imagine, except for changing the light bulb, for a big ladder.
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I just purchased one of these...costs about $200 IIRC, or about half the price of the name-brand "little giant" ladder. Configured as a step ladder it goes up 9.5 feet. A simple 10 foot step ladder costs about $150.

    My great room ceiling goes up over 14' at the center. Guess where they put the smoke alarm, which needs battery replacement on occasion? Hint: at the peak....

    Plus I need to balance the blades on my ceiling fan too. At least this one ladder will do anything I need a ladder for.
     
  9. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    I'd still just opt for the basic stepladder for indoor use. I have one for indoor purposes and then bought an extension ladder for outside purposes (gutters, roof, etc.). You just can't beat the lightweight of an alum/fiber stepladder indoors.
     
  10. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    You're a homeowner now, you need several ladders, some of them big.
    Seems you could get by with an 8' stepladder to change those bulbs, but what about changing out the whole damn fan, or hanging something high on the wall, or painting the cathedral ceiling?
    So, I'm suggesting you may need a 10' or 12' stepladder sometimes.
    You need a 5' ladder for "other stuff".
    Outside you need an extension ladder. Don't cheap out on this one. Whatever height you need for working on the roof or gutters, get a heavy duty ladder, they're so much safer and much more comfortable to work on.
    I've got a great 30' extension ladder (which is NOT enough to get me to the top of my 30' chimneys) and it's all I can do to move the damn thing but when I'm working on it it's like standing on the ground. None of that swaying around in the breeze stuff.
     
  11. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    We use the Werner and Louisville fiberglass ladders at work, and they are excellent. Very stable. When it was time to pony up, I bought one for myself for home- an 8 ft step ladder. It has paid for itself several times over. I'm 6'1", and I could comfortably reach to about 13', if needed, from the recommended two-steps-down position on the ladder.

    One of these days, I'll add a 30ft fiberglass to the mix, but for now, I'm content borrowing the neighbor's.[​IMG] I've only been on the roof twice since I've lived here- nearly 2 years.
     
  12. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    An 8 ft latter sounds like it might be the deal. Werner is what Lowes Carries. We'll be shopping for one tomorrow, maybe.

    Dennis, do you like the Gorilla ladder? Is it heavy?
     
  13. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    You may not need a ladder at all...

    How many chairs are in your dining room set? [​IMG]

    Jon
     
  14. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Go with the fiberglass stepladder. The steps are wider and just much easier to balance yourself on than on the rungs of a convertible Little Giant type ladder. The Little Giants do have their place...I've used one as a work platform while painting in a stairwell but the stepladder is your best bet for changing bulbs, working on a ceiling fan, etc.
     
  15. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I went to HD today and bought a Husky fiberglass step ladder. I think it'll do most any interior job I might have. It was $90 less 10%. Rated up to 250lbs.
     
  16. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Figured I'd resurrect this thread after a visit to Home Depot tonight. They're selling the 17-foot fiberglass Gorilla multi-purpose ladder (1A-300Lb rating) for only $199. They also have the 17-foot aluminum Little Giant (also 1A-300lb rated) for $369. That's a pretty big price differential. I tried out the Gorilla model and it's a damned nice ladder at that price. I guess Little Giant thinks all of their marketing justifies a huge price markup.
     
  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Does Little Giant = Bose? [​IMG]
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  19. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    Nope not at all. The Little Giant is a great ladder and for most home owners I would recommend it over other options.

    Why have several ladders to store in your garage when you can have one well constructed multi purpose one that takes up very little garage space?

    Like any high end tool it cost more but it is well worth the investment.
     
  20. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have a 4 foot wooden stepladder that I found in the trash! It was apparently from a garage sale cause it was for sale at $4 and nobody bought it... So I got it free! hahaha...

    I also inherited an extension ladder from my father. It's slightly bent but since I don't have a tall house (A ranch) I can get to my roof without even extending it so I use it to clean the gutters which is on my list of things to do, now that it is fall.

    Jay
     

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