When using an extension ladder, it’s important to establish the correct angle of the ladder against the house. The general rule of thumb is to position the ladder 1’ from the house for every 4’ of height, so the base of a 16’ tall ladder should be 4’ from the house.

To get the right ladder angle:

  1. Put your toes against the base of the ladder.
  2. Grab a rung of the ladder at shoulder height.
  3. Extend your arms straight out so that the top of ladder rests against the house.

When you’re working on a ladder, it’s important to have your hands free. One easy way to hold tools and other items on a ladder is by inserting a wooden dowel through a ladder rung so it extends out past the ladder. Cut a notch near the end of the dowel, and use it to hold a paint can when painting or a bucket to act as a tool caddy.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

Learn More