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#67044 - 06/25/06 06:43 AM 14' vs 16' A-frame
Jps1006 Offline

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
I will purchasing a fiberglass double-sided A-frame first thing tomorrow for a 2-story (19') ceiling job on Tues. Our 12' just doesn't cut sometimes. I'm undecided if I want to go 14' because that should be enought for most two-story residential ceilings, or if I should go 16' and deal with it being a little too big.

What do you guys use for 2-story reidential?

And for your ladder stock, do youe guys own every ladder at 2' incriments (2,4,6,8...) or do you 6' guys buy in 4' incriments?

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#67045 - 06/25/06 10:39 AM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
btsloan1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Allen, KY. U.S.A.
I would probably buy the 16' for a couple of reasons. One being that I made the mistake of buying a 14' and now wish it was 16'.

The trend locally seems to be 9' ceiling hieghts (as in your case?? 9+1+9=19) and 14' is to short to work comfortably. It requires you to go past the "Do not stand on or above this step" to work the connections in the box.

As a side note, I'm not sure if they can be bought without, but my ladder has an extra set of horizontal braces between the legs that you install after the ladder is unfolded. It really adds to the strength of the ladder. I also opted for the 375# rating cause I'm a big guy and the stuff we carry up adds up in hurry.

#67046 - 06/25/06 11:25 AM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
ShockMe77 Offline

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
I second the 16 footer. The reason being is that most custom homes that have great rooms have ceilings at least 20' high. With a 14 footer you'd almost have to be on the top step to attach the canopy of a chandlier, or whatever. And with a tool belt on standing on that top step thatr high up is dangerous and could be career threatening if you were to God forbid fall. This is an interesting subject because this week I either have to buy an 8 or a 10 footer A-Frame myself.

#67047 - 06/25/06 12:51 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
The problem with residences is access...halls are too narrow, corners too sharp, for long ladders.

Much as I hate to say it, there IS a place for scaffolding. It's also quite affordable to rent. The aluminum stuff is almost a joy to handle.

#67048 - 06/25/06 07:10 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
Dnkldorf Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
2nd the bakers scaffolding idea.

Them 14' and 16' ladders usually stay on top of the vans and chew up gas mileage.

scaffolding you use and take out of the van until the next time, or return if your renting.

#67049 - 06/26/06 02:10 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
Sandro Offline

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 449
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
Huge stepladders have their place for some jobs, but scaffold is a great way to go.

On our custom's, we put in the contract that the builder/contractor must supply all scaffolding for high ceiling lites. Many are happy to oblige as many other trades require the use of scaffolding anyways.

#67050 - 06/26/06 03:07 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
Trick440 Offline

Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Waterford, MI, USA
For residential ladders are 98% of the time the way to go.

The problem I have with double sided 16' is the weight. We have one and due to the extra weight it gets beat up very fast.

If you bought it of course your gonna try and treat it alot better, but the guys on the crew are gonna trash it. We call ours 'The Widow Maker'.

From my experiance I would skip the double sided its a pain. Invest in 2 single sided ladders. A 16' and either a 12 or 14'. So when you do hang that heavy chandelier you can have one guy on the big ladder and one on ther smaller.

My van has 4', 5', 8', 12', 16' double sided, and a 36' extemsion ladder.
Shake n Bake

#67051 - 06/26/06 03:38 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
Fred Offline

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
I used to carry 3 fiberglass ladders on the service truck; 4', 6' and 8'. Last winter I found a fiberglass ladder similar to the "Little Giant" made by Gorilla Ladders. It is 4' at its shortest and 8'at its tallest as a step ladder. You can work from both/either side and folded out it is a 13' straight ladder. It can be adjusted to set up on stairs. It cost 1/2 what a Little Giant does. It is heavy but very versatile. I also have an aluminum version by Gorilla that as a step ladder ranges from 5' to 9'. It is lighter than the shorter fiberglass. I still have my 14' Werner fiberglass step ladder. If it isn't tall enough for the job I set up scaffolding. Ladder rungs aren't big enough for me when I'm working with both hands up that high.

#67052 - 06/26/06 06:31 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
BobbyHo Offline

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 33
Loc: CT
If you are short like me, carrying a 16' is almost laughable. The back side is always dragging and it weighs a ton. I am a one man shop and if I need to put it up in a foyer I usually have to get a helper that day (maybe 2) depending on how tight the hall is. All in all, I think it was the worst purchase I have made yet.

#67053 - 06/26/06 06:45 PM Re: 14' vs 16' A-frame
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Speaking of "ladder stock," well, I'm finally happy with my arrangements.

IN the truck are three ladders, and ON the truck is one. Thes cover 90% of my needs. Back at the shop, I have several others.

I have a 2-ft double-sided step ladder. While sometimes used as a ladder, it's main use comes from the "Vee" formed by the sides whan opened. It's a work platform, great for holding pipe as I cut.

I used to use a 4-ft step ladder, until another contractor persuaded to the advantages of a 5-ft one. That extra step makes office work a breeze.

Then there is my real work-horse. Called a "7 ft combination ladder," it is either a 7-ft step ladder, or an extension ladder to 11 ft. It also has a bracket for leaning against poles.
Typical use: As step to open attic hatch, as extension to enter attic.

Atop the truck is a 20-ft extension ladder, to which I've added a pole bracket.

Back at the shop are:
-16 ft "4-way" ladder; service changes, open stairwells
-10 ft stepladder
-12 ft stepladder (regular cust store has 14' ceiling)
-24 ft extension
-20 ft cable/sign ladder (with hooks)

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