What Size Ladder For 2 Story House | Simple and Useful Guide

It’s no wonder why so many people get confused about choosing the right size ladder for their two-story houses.

Everyone has different needs, such as cleaning the window or gutters or reaching the roof of the house for maintenance and much more.

Moreover, there are some misleading pieces of information when it comes to purchasing the right-sized ladder for 2 story house.

However, this post is the answer to the most frequently asked question: what size ladder for 2 story house.

What you have to do is go through our post!


What Size Ladder For 2 Story House – In-Depth Discussion

Not sure where to start? 

This guide will:

  • Provide you with the information on the height of a single-, and multi-story house
  • Teach you the easy work out to calculate the ladder size right for two-story house
  • Suggest you three best ladders for 2 story house 


Let’s get started so you don’t end up buying the wrong size ladder.

Keep in mind that the height of a house or building varies a lot since it depends on the size of house as well as the country you reside.

The height of single-story house

In general, a single-story house indicates a “ranch” style home that has only one story.

As there is only one level, this type of house features higher-than-normal ceiling heights. Moreover, larger homes have a higher ceiling because of large room sizes. Older houses also tend to have higher ceilings.

For a single-story house, the finished height of a ceiling interior is approximately 8 feet from the finished floor.

Moreover, there may have 1 to 3 feet space above the finished interior ceiling. This portion is called “plenum” that provides space for attic, cables, wires, pipes, and other necessary support items that you desire to keep hidden from view.

In summary, the height of single-story house may be 11 to 12 feet, including plenum height, where the finished interior height may be 8 to 10 feet.


The height of each floor of a multi-story house

There are lots of variations that have impact on the particular building’s height. Moreover, the height of a building varies depending on the number and types of floors, the thickness of the floors between each pane and much more.

For residential construction (USA), the height of each story (ceiling to ceiling) of a multi-story house is between 9 to 10 feet or 10 to 11.5ft (floor to floor) depending on the floor thickness.

This is because the wall height is between 8 to 9 feet, where the framing for the next floor may take about one foot.

In case of commercial buildings, the floor to floor distance is considerably more than residential space. Because there may have many mechanical systems such as the ducts in the space above a dropped ceiling.

In essence, for a commercial building, the floor to floor heights of each story may be anywhere from 12 to 13 feet, and in some cases, it may be 15-16 ft.


The average height of a 2-story house

So, what is the actual height of two-story house?

In fact, it’s difficult to tell exactly how tall a two-story house is as the height varies based on different aspects.

Each story of dual-floor house may have an 8 to 12 foot ceiling.  

So, drawing the variances, a standard 2-floor house measures anywhere between 20 and 25 feet in height. However, the minimum recommended height is 16 feet.

What Size Ladder For 2 Story House – The Most Important Things You Need To Know

Our experts are often asked, “What size ladder do I need for 2 story house?” or “what height of ladder is best for two story houses?”

Obviously, there is no fixed measurement. And the answer may vary depending on the exact measurement of your house. 

The good news is that it’s easier to narrow down your list of potential purchases by following the work out below.

When figuring out the right size ladder, the crucial point to keep in mind is that you’ll need a ladder height with a working height that matches your reach height and platform height.

You should remember that ladder’s working height isn’t the same as its total height.

Get confusing a bit?

Let me clear it.

Total height= the full length of the ladder in a fully extended position

Platform height= the height at which a user can safely stand from the ground

Working height= the height you need to reach by using the ladder safely.

May be you’re confused about what ladder height you need.  Let’s figure out what length you exactly need to reach your two-story house.

Believe me, without the help of a ladder height calculator or ladder height chart, you can work out the right length of a ladder for your dual-story house.

When it comes to calculating the required height of a ladder, you need to consider the following points:

So, how to place an extension or straight ladder against a house?

According to angle rule or 4:1 ratio, for every 4 ft. of height that you need to go up, you have to set the ladder feet 1- ft. away from wall.

Hence, when you set your ladder by following the angle rule, it’ll reduce the total height.

For example, if you want to reach 20 feet, you have to set the ladder feet 5 ft. away from the wall of the house for safe use.

What Size Ladder For 2 Story House – The Easy Way To Work Out


Maximum reach required, A= 20 feet (take, each floor is of 10′ tall ceilings)

The distance of the wall from the ladder feet, B= 5 ft.  

(According to 4:1 ratio, 20* ¼=5 ft.)

The pitch that the ladder will produce with the house at its leaning position, C=?

Ladder size for 2 story house

Now, let’s follow the Pythagoras Theorem (A2+B2=C2) to calculate the required ladder size.


(20) 2+ (5) 2=C2

400+25= C2

C2= 425

C= 21 ft.  (Approximate)

Hence, the created pitch is 21 ft.

As mentioned earlier, due to overlapping of the base and flying section, an extension ladder reaches about 3 feet less than its total height.

So, the required ladder size for a 2-story house is 21+3=24 ft. where the maximum reach is 21 feet.

I hope, now it’s clear to you.

The following extension ladder height chart will also give you a glimpse.

Extension Ladder Sizing Chart

Maximum reach (feet)

Required Ladder height (feet)









What Is The Best Ladder For 2 Story House – Our Suggestions

Now I know what you might be thinking!-“What is the best ladder for 2-story house I can buy?”


Choosing the right height ladder for dual-story house is undoubtedly a tricky task.

But don’t panic!

Here, we’ll also recommend the three best ladders needed for the 2-storey house to get the job done efficiently and, of course SAFELY.

Choice 1: Louisville FE3232 Extension Ladder

In terms of extension ladders, you can’t get much better than Louisville Ladder FE3232. You won’t find a more reliable and durable ladder than this for dual-story house. 

It offers impressive 300-pounds weight capacity. The fiberglass construction makes it safe for electrical work. The 32-feet is the right ladder height for 2 storyed house in most of the cases.

Choice 2: Little Giant 15426-001 26 Ladder

To do most of the work of two-story height, this Little Giant 15426-001 26 is an excellent option. Unique alloy construction with 300-pound load capacity makes it heavy-duty. Moreover, you can set up it at many different configurations.

Choice 3: Louisville AE2232, Extension Ladder

This is another 32-feet extension ladder, perfect for two-story houses. This ANSI and OSHA-rated ladder can be the right choice for you.

Of course, we have more suggestions for extension ladders.

How Tall Is a 1 Story House?

A single-storied residential house usually has a height of around 10 feet or even lower. However, other structures such as buildings made strictly for official purposes generally have more height to them. Each story of an office usually comes in at the height of around fourteen feet.

How High Are Gutters on a 1 Story House?

Usually, gutters have a height of about eleven feet on a single-storied house.

What Size Ladder for 1 Story House?

Depending on what you will be using your one-storied house for, we would suggest you get a ladder which has a length of approximately fourteen to sixteen feet. It will not hurt to get a slightly bigger ladder because you will also have to take into account some additional heights such as that of the floor and so on.

Ladder Height Chart

Type of Ladder

Height of Ladder in Feet

Maximum Reach of Ladder in Feet

Platform or Step



Trestle or Extension Trestle



Single or Extension or Telescopic



Extension Ladder Height Calculator

In order to properly calculate the height of your extension ladder, you will have to bring a bit of trig into the mix. However, before we get started on that, let us share a quick rule of thumb with you. For every 4 feet that accounts for the total height of your house’s wall, push the ladder one foot away from it.

To make it easier, think of it this way: If your wall has a height of 4 feet, you should position the ladder in a way so that the foot of the ladder is one foot away from the wall. Keep adding 1 to this distance as you go every 4 feet up to your wall.

If you know the height of your wall and place the ladder correctly, you will easily be able to find the length of the ladder itself by using Pythagoras’ theorem. In this case, the ladder will act as the hypotenuse (longest side of the right-angled triangle).

Ladder Height Calculator

It is extremely important that you get a ladder of the correct size for whatever job you are about to do. In order to calculate what sized ladder you would need, use the following formula:

Ladder Height= Maximum Reach + 3+ Reach/4

Here, the maximum reach refers to the extra height above the ladder that is safe for you to reach. Usually, a ladder’s maximum reach is 4 feet above the top of the ladder.

Afterwards, add 3 to the maximum reach. Next, divide the reach of the ladder by 4. Be careful here because we will not be taking into account the extra few feet like how we did with the maximum reach.

Add the answer that you get by dividing the reach of the ladder by 4 to the sum of the maximum reach and 3.


How Tall Is a 3 Story House?

Unlike 1 story and 2 story houses, 3 story buildings are taller and therefore require ladders that are also bigger in size. In general, 3-storied buildings have a height of around thirty-one to thirty-two feet. This includes the thickness of the floor which is usually approximately one foot in height.

How tall of a Ladder Do I Need for a 3 story House?

Keeping the additional height in mind, you should purchase a ladder that is at least a couple of feet longer than the height of your building. To conclude it all, you should opt for a ladder that is approximately thirty-five to forty feet in length.


That’s it!

I hope you have got all the information you needed to choose the right height ladder to suit your requirements.

Thanks for your time to read our post on what size ladder for 2 story house.

Don’t forget the most essential safety measures of working at height!

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