How Far Can You Extend an Extension Ladder?

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As extended ladders offer that little bit of extended steps, these ladders are considered far superior to usual run-in-the-mill ones. If you are to get one, you should know how far can you extend an extension ladder to make sure it serves your purpose well.

This article will talk about exactly how much you should extend your extension ladder so that you don’t face any uninvited accidents while working. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the details.

What is an Extension Ladder?

As the name suggests, extension ladders are ladders that have the unique option of extending their reach. Doing so offers the users the extra height needed for particular jobs like reaching a higher place while keeping the ladder at an optimal angle while climbing.

We see extension ladders almost in every tool shed as they are one of the most common household and handyman tools in the world.

How to Properly Extend an Extension Ladder?

Before you use the extension ladder, be sure to go through this section to use the ladder more conveniently.

Understanding Each Parts of the Ladder

An extension ladder’s usage or working process can be complicated for some new users, but if you understand the mechanics right, it is straightforward to use. Therefore, make sure that you are familiar with every part of the ladder and know exactly how each part of it works.

Placing the Ladder Properly

Afterward, place the ladder’s foot according to your desired angle while ensuring that the ladder’s foot is firmly placed. It shouldn’t face any hindrance or resistance that will make it move from its original place.

Extending the Ladder

Use the pulley or chord to extend your ladder to your liking. If your extension ladder doesn’t come with a pulley or chord, it should have latches to latch onto the steps once you push the ladder upwards.

Extending an Extension Ladder to Its Limit

It is the most challenging part of extension ladders. Because if you make it wrong, you will either face accidents with your extension ladder or end up not reaching your required height. Therefore, understanding how much to extend on an extension ladder should be your top priority.

Now, imagine – Mandy will need to extend her ladder to 60 feet top of the roof. How should she extend the extension ladder?

In general, if you don’t care about safety, then the maximum extended length of an extension ladder is the same as its size. Meaning, if you have a 30-foot ladder and want to extend it to the extreme, you can expand it close to 30 feet if you wish.

That being said, this is not safe and can lead to easily avoidable accidents. That is why you should always keep an eye on the amount of overlapping when you are using extension ladders for your DIY and handyman works.

Minimum Overlap

The minimum overlap of an extension ladder is the portion of the ladder that you will need to keep unexpended. That ensures maintaining the balance and the rigidity of an extension ladder.

Consider 10% of the ladder’s initial length as the required length for a perfect overlap.

So, for example, if you want to know the minimum overlap required for extension ladders taller than 48 feet, the answer should be somewhere between 4.8 feet to 5 feet.

Extension Ladder Ratio

The optimal ratio for any extension ladder is 4:1. For every 4 feet in height, you should move your ladder 1 foot away from the base. It’s regarded as the rule of fourth in DYI and handyman terms.


Do I need someone to hold the extension ladder while I climb on it?

It doesn’t require you to have someone as an anchor when climbing on an extension ladder. However, if you extend the ladder to the maximum, you should have someone to cover the base. The more you expand, the less firm the base gets.

How long is the 28-foot extension ladder not extended?

The ladder’s length should be around 27 feet when not extended.

How to fully extend a triple extension ladder?

The procedure to extend a triple extension ladder is the same as any extension ladder. But this time, you need to expand the ladder twice to reach greater heights.

What is the safest extension amount for an extension ladder?

This depends entirely on the length of your ladder. 10% of its original size is regarded as the safest extension.

Final Words

We need to use extension ladders for various jobs throughout our lives. That’s why it’s imperative to understand how far can you extend an extension ladder so that you can avoid any accidents from using it.

Hopefully, this article answered all your queries regarding the matter. So, best of luck!

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