What size ladder for 2 Story House – A Detailed Guide

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Carrying out tasks such as painting, repairing the roof, or cleaning the windows in a 2 story house isn’t easy. You need a ladder to help you carry these tasks with ease.

First of all, we have to agree that a 2 story house is a tall house. You need to get an equally tall ladder to help you access the roof in case of repairs, paintwork, or when you want to clean the gutters. But then, how tall should it be?

So, how do you get the best ladder for your 2 story house? What size ladder for 2 story house suits you best?

This guide will help you figure out the ladder size to go if looking for one for your 2 story house projects.

How Tall is Your 2 Story House?

Before selecting the right size ladder for your2 story house, you need to find out the height of your house first.

The height of a house is the distance from the ground floor to the roof’s highest point. For a story house, the height varies because of ceiling variations. The rooftop of the house also leads to the difference in height. Remember that although some houses have flat rooftops, it might not be the case for others.

For a 2 story house, the height varies due to the difference in ceiling height.

Each floor of the house has height allocated for the floor itself, actual ceiling, and other infrastructure. Most 2 story houses’ height goes between 16ft to 20ft. And although it’s the standard size for such houses, some go up to 25 feet high.

How to Figure Out the Right Ladder Size for a Certain Height

As mentioned earlier, it’s quite challenging to get the right size ladder for a 2 story. It, however, becomes easier for you to get the right size of a 2 story extension ladder if you know the height of your house.

So, how do you get the right size of the ladder?

You actually don’t need a ladder calculator to figure this out. Drop a tape out of the window of your 2 story house for simple guesswork. In addition, measure the house’s ceilings and add 1.6ft – 3.2 ft. to allow for the ladder pitch and depth of the ceiling.

Measuring the height of your house correctly will help you get a ladder that is right for the job. You should also know that a ladder of incorrect height is not safe to use and might bring you more harm than good. You also don’t want to end up with a ladder that doesn’t get the job done, right?

Use the Pythagoras Theorem

What size ladder for 2 Story House

To estimate the right size ladder for a 2 story house, we need to use the Pythagoras theorem.

Let’s assume that the height of the wall of your house (a) is 22ft, distance from the base to the ladder feet (b) is 5ft. To get the height of the ladder (c), we need to;

Use Pythagoras theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) to get the length. In this case, we need to figure out the value of c2.

a2 +b2 =c2


c2= a2+b2

c2= (22)2 + (5)2

c2 = 484+ 25

c2 = 509

To get the value of c, we need to find the square root of 509, which is 22.56. This means that the pitch the ladder will make is 22.56ft.

If you want a straight ladder or extension, you also need to keep in mind that these must extend beyond the roofline by about 3 feet. So, in this case, it means that you need to get a straight ladder that is over 25 ft. in height.

If it’s an extension ladder, you must remember that these ladders reach 3ft less than their described height because of the overlapping sections.

So, in this case, when the 25ft ladder is fully extended, it can only reach a height of 22 ft. You, therefore, need to get an extension ladder that is 3ft higher than the estimated size, which will be 25 ft.+ 3 ft. = 28 feet.

It, therefore, means that if your house is 22 feet high, the recommended size for a straight ladder is 25 feet and 28 feet for an extension ladder.

Basic Ladder Safety

When selecting the right ladder for your projects, remember that your safety is of topmost priority. Therefore, ensure that you purchase one that is made of high-quality materials. While climbing, always remember to maintain 3 points of contact.

Tips and Tricks

There are several mistakes that people make when using extension ladders for a 2 story house. We’ve listed the following tips to help you avoid them:

  • Always inspect the ground where you need to place the ladder. This is because the ground might have dips and bumps in it that can make you topple over after stepping on the ladder. Ensure that it is well leveled and hard.
  • Note that longer 2 sections extension ladders tend to be wobbly once fully extended. To avoid this, get a 3 section extension ladder instead.
  • Check the ladder weight capacity before you pay for it.
  • Always follow a ladder sizing chart if you want to get the right extension ladder size.
  • Always check for damages before using the ladder. You don’t want to endanger your life by using a ladder with wobbly rails or one broken or loose parts.

The 4:1 Rule

The Rule stipulates that for every 4 feet you climb, the base of your ladder should be 1 foot away from the base of the wall. This applies to anything else that you use to support the ladder.


We hope you get the right size ladder for your 2 story house with ease after going through the guide. Also, ensure that the ladder is of high-quality and safe to use at all times. Always observe the 4:1 rule when using the ladder and enjoy carrying out tasks around your house with ease.