Learn About 5 Different Types of Ladders to Pick the Right One for You

Types of Ladders

Your DIY home projects wouldn’t be complete without step ladders and extension ladders. You’re all too familiar with these two types of ladders. But did you know that there are other different ladder types?

And using the appropriate type of ladder for the job is necessary. In fact, it’s crucial. Even if you are a seasoned DIYer, using the wrong type of leader can send you to a hospital bed. 

We know how much you love your step ladder. But let’s take a look at the other types of ladders. So that you can finish your DIY repairs safely.

Main Types of ladders

Ladders essentially can be categorized into 5 types.

1. Basic

These ladders are a staple in everyone’s home. These are inexpensive, handy, and convenient ladders that you use for your day to day activities and chores.

2. Extension ladders

These ladders can help you reach higher places such as repairing a leak in your roof or cutting trees. 

They are simple and easy to use. But these ladders don’t stand on their own, so you have to set it up properly. And it’s best to have someone to hold the base of an extension ladder while you ascend.

Extension ladders have two parts- the base and the fly. The base is the one in contact with the ground while the fly is the extension part. Using extension ladders require more caution as you are several feet away from the ground. 

3. Versatile ladders

Multipurpose and beyond the basics. Though these ladders can be a bit expensive but they can be of great value for your numerous DIY repairs.

4. Painting ladders

These ladders give you the liberty to have a can of paint by your side. Thus, it’s the only ladder that you should use for painting jobs.

5. Mobile ladders

Mobile ladders are often used in barns and warehouses. And since they’re mobile, they have wheels for easier tarspaistt. Though you have to be sure to lock the wheels once you’re using the ladder. 

Different Types of Ladders

Now the 5 main types of ladders are further subdivided into several types. This will make it easier for you to pick the suitable ladder for the job.

1. Basic ladders

  • Step ladders

Let’s elaborate on one of your favorite ladders to use. What makes it a favorite is because it stands on its own. You don’t need to have a buddy looking out or holding the base of the ladder. So it’s also accessible even by females. 

This self supporting ladder is quite versatile. Almost every household has this in their garage. They’re also inexpensive and easier to store. You can use it for a variety of tasks. 

But did you know that there are different types of step ladder? Let’s see the following.

  • Twin ladder

Twin ladders can be utilized by two people at the same time. It’s equipped with two rungs on both sides so it’s stable and flexible.This ladder is built for more convenience that is why it’s a favorite of manu.

  • Simple front ladder

This consists of only one rung while the other side acts as a support. So only one person can access it.

  • A frame ladders

Aside from step ladders, A frame ladders are also a staple in most households. Homeowners often use this type of ladder to change the bulbs or to repair the garage door. It’s also a popular ladder for cleaning windows.

These ladders are pretty stable and you don’t need someone to hold the other side for you. 

  • Step tools

Step ladders only consist of a single step. Though there are brands that may offer 2-3 steps. These are short ladders that come in handy when you’re trying to reach for something on your kitchen shelf. 

These are inexpensive and convenient. You can consider having one in your kitchen for those hard to reach cabinets. It’s foldable so you can stow it away easily when not in use.

2. Extension ladders

  • Telescoping extension ladders

These ladders are collapsible. They are extendable and portable too. These extension ladders are very easy to store since it can collapse into a handy unit. And you can elongate it once you need to use it. 

The downside is these ladders are often questioned for their safety because of how the rungs are locked. So to avoid accidents, make sure that they’re certified by EN131.

  • Basic extension ladders

These are your go to, run of the mill extension ladders. Teeth are used to lock the ladders in place. 

  • Attic ladders

Attic ladders can be folded in smaller sections for easy storage. And they are mainly used to access the attic.

  • Flexible ladders

Flexible ladders roll up and are often used for recreation and as an emergency escape ladder. 

3. Versatile ladders

These ladders are more expensive but they can be used in more applications.

  • Multi Purpose ladders

These ladders are the king of DIY and home repairs and renovations. This type of ladder can be used in more ways than one. It’s a combination of 4-5 ladders in one unit.

An advantage of multipurpose ladders is that it saves you money. Because you don’t need to buy separate ladders. If you have tons of DIY to do or if you are a contractor, this is probably the best ladder for you. It won’t make any sense to buy separate ladders.

  • Podium ladders

Podium ladders are built for standing for a longer period of time, hence painting. It’s not often used for household repairs, but more for jobs that would require you to stand longer.

It consists of an extra large platform with toe guards so that it feels like you’re standing on the ground. It’s very safe and has no chances of tipping over. You can even move a bit on the wide platform if needed. 

  • Platform ladders

The platform ladder is a variation of the basic one step ladder. It has a supporting side and a side where you can climb. Hence, it’s safer and more comfortable. 

This type of ladder is ideal for jobs that would require you to stand longer. 

  • Folding or articulated ladders

Folding ladders are fit for small tasks such as changing light bulbs or if you need to access something at the uppermost cabinets. They can be folded, hence the name. So it allows for easier storage too. It’s also compact and lightweight. 

4. Mobile ladders

These ladders are designed to be moved from one place to another.

  • Portable warehouse ladder

This wide ladder is often used in warehouses and factories. It has a good size platform on the top that’s ideal for carrying heavier boxes. So these ladders are quite stable and heavy duty.

  • 5 step portable ladder

These ladders are stable and very easy to use. It has railings on the side so you can hold onto them as you ascend. It gives you more stability. And the other side of the ladder acts a support

And it’s like a 5 step ladder but with wheels. This allows for easier transport.

The downside is, it can eat up space in your garage since you can’t fold it for storage. 

You may also like: How To Install Attic Ladder

5. Painting ladders

Instead of lifting a bucket tied to a rope, you can have your tub of paint handy by your side. 

  • A frame ladder with shelf or paint can

This ladder is the most stable ladder you can use for painting jobs. It’s an A frame ladder outfitted with a shelf where you can place a tub of paint.

  • Platform trestle ladders

These are like miniature scaffolding ladders that are perfect for painting the exterior of your homes. It has an A frame base and a wider platform at the middle which is quite stable. 


Why is it important to use the right type of ladder?

Each ladder has its own limitations. So you have to choose the suitable ladder for a specific job to avoid accidents and to work more efficiently.

What are the best ladders for electrical repairs?

Fiberglass basic extension ladders are the most appropriate. These do not conduct electricity but can be expensive.

Do ladders expire?

Technically, there is no expiration date for ladders. However, the life span of your ladders depends on the usage, how you maintain and take care of them.


Ladders are perfect tools that can help you with a lot of tasks. From day to day chores to home repairs and renovation jobs, these cannot be done without a ladder. But you have to choose the suitable type of ladder for the job. Otherwise, it can end in a complete disaster.

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