What Size Ladder to Reach Second Story Roof?

If you own or live in a second-story building, I am reaching out to you on this platform. You have probably been wondering what size ladder to reach second story roof.

What Size Ladder to Reach Second Story Roof?

Some people have been asking me what size ladder to reach the second-story roof? From my experience and knowledge of ladders, here is what I found out.

Though there are varieties of ladders in the market- different materials and brands, the right size matters. Most two-story buildings’ average height varies from 21-25 ft. depending on the design. Any ladder. Any ladder to use should not be below the given roofline measurements.

Related:7 Best Ladder for Painting 2-Story House in 2022

What Size Ladder to Reach Second Story Roof?

In this article, I will take you through the process of identifying the right size ladder

Why do you need the right ladder? Because this is the best way to minimize ladder accidents. With a good size ladder for the roof, you can also use it to access ceilings, attics, and other parts of your house with ease.

Below is a simple way to calculate the actual height of the ladder you need. These simple facts apply to most ladders in any story building.

i). the ladder should always be taller than the actual height of your roofline

ii). When you lean a ladder against a wall, it will lose on some height and therefore the need to get a taller ladder

iii). for your own safety, do not use the top 3 rungs of the ladder. The makes the ladder unstable and could easily lead to a fall.

iv). If you are using an extension ladder and leaning it against a wall, do it at an angle of 75 degrees or use a pitch ratio of 4:1

v). Most extension ladders have at least 1-2 ft. overlap. Therefore pick your ladder with this consideration in mind.

Best extension size ladder for a second-story roof

If you decide to buy an extension ladder, there are some steps you will need so as to settle for the rightful size.

The first thing you need to put in mind is that you should not step on the 3 top rungs for safety reasons.

The average height of a two-story roofline is approximately 21-25 ft. this means that for whatever reasons, your ladder must be longer than the 25 ft. length.

Also as you are aware, most extension ladders should always be leaned against a wall when working or ascending to the roof. You lean it at an angle of 75 degrees making it more stable and minimizes the chances of slipping.

Lastly, you need to take into account the overlap. This will probably take some portion of the ladder’s total length and is equally important to help you pick the right ladder size.

That said and done, you can easily choose your extension ladder. Depending on the preferred material, you can either chose an aluminum or fiberglass ladder.

Best step ladder size for a second-story roof

If your most preferred ladder is a step ladder, here are some tips to help you get the right size ladder for the job.

As for a step ladder, you will need to open it to at least an angle of 75 degrees. At least make sure the safety locks are working and are locked before you can begin to use the ladder.

How to measure the right size ladder

 Step 1: Measure the roofline

By getting the actual measurements of your roofline, you are able to tell the exact length of the ladder you need.

One of the reasons for doing this is because houses are constructed differently. This will give you the actual length than just working with the estimates.

As you proceed with measuring, do not fail to include the separating compartment in the total measurement.

For easier measurements, I would suggest you take the measurements one floor at a time. As for the upper floor, remember to measure the highest point of the roofline. This will help in being as accurate as possible not just for ladder picking but even for other purposes.

Step 2: Calculating the ladder length

Now that you have the actual height of the roofline, here is what you need to do.

Take the Actual height (AH), add to the overlap length (O), and then add the pitch. On approximate, the overlap length is 2ft. while the pitch length is at 5 ft.

Therefore, if the actual roofline height stands at 25 ft. the best size ladder to reach the second-story roof will be(25+2+5)=32 ft.

You can opt to take a ladder with an average height of 32 ft.

Alternatively, you can use this actual length when selecting either an extension ladder or a step ladder.

Best Size Ladder for Reaching a Second Story Roof 

1. Louisville Ladder FE3232-32 Ft.

As you consider the best size ladder to reach the second-story roof, this is a good option.

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What I like about this ladder is that it is tall enough and there you will not have to overstretch or strain to reach the roof and other jobs.

This ladder can reach a maximum height of 32 ft. which is very convenient to work with on a two-story building.

It also has unmatched stability with its D-shaped rungs that offers full leg support when you are working.

The steel swivel shoe keeps the ladder from sliding when you are going up and down the ladder.  Additionally, the marred feet and the rail end caps make you enjoy maximum stability as you work.

It can hold up to a maximum weight of 300 pounds and meets all the safety standards.

It is durable and also reliable for any DIY and all kinds of professional jobs.

  • Has a max. Height of 32 ft.
  • It is sturdy and strong
  • . Carries a weight of 300 pounds
  • Very durable
  • Non-conductive


  • It is heavy

Frequently Asked Questions?

How tall of a ladder Do I need to clean a second-story gutter?

You can use the same ladder to get you to a second-story building and also use it to clean the gutters.

However, when cleaning gutters, do not use the four top steps. This is to keep you firm and stable when you are working. You can also use ladder stabilizers and levelers.

Most importantly to keep yourself sturdy and safe when cleaning the gutters, always maintain a 3-point contact for safety.

 How do you secure a ladder to a roof?

There are so many factors to looks into as you set your ladder right. You can use accessories like a leveler and stabilizer to keep it sturdy and secure. If such is not available you can manually level the ground and try to keep the ladder firm.

Setting the ladder at the right angle also matters a lot and keeps your ladder from sliding while at work.

The most secure angle to set your ladder is at 75 degrees. You can also use a 4:1 ratio where for every 4 ft. up you extend the ladder 1 ft. away from the wall.

Related Content: What Size Ladder To Paint 2 Story House 


Hope you have a clear picture of what size ladder to reach the second-floor roof. Though a lot of activities to get to the right ladder, the steps are easy.

Getting the roofline measurements to the overlap and getting the final ladder length.

Ideally getting the right size ladder will not only help you get to the roof but also assure you of safety? You do not reach to overstretch or get a small ladder when you have an opportunity to get just what you need.

That said and done, your safety is very important when using any ladder.

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