Cleaning our guttering is one of those jobs that we all have to do from time to time, but like with all other household tasks that require working at height, it’s important to use the right ladder for the job! Here at Browns, our access equipment experts are often asked what height of ladder is best for cleaning gutters. Though obviously the answer can vary depending on the exact measurements of your home, the good news is that it’s easier to narrow down your list of potential purchases by following a couple of key rules. (Plus, we’ve got a few helpful suggestions of our own!)

The Easy Way To Work Out What Ladder You Need

When looking at your list of potential ladders, the main thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to select a ladder with a working height that matches your gutter height. Now, it’s important to remember that the working height of a ladder isn’t the same as its total height, or even its platform height. It can all get a bit confusing!


  • Total height is the full length of the ladder when fully extended
  • Platform height is the height at which you can safely stand from the ground (so when you climb a ladder as far as you can, platform height is generally defined as where your feet are)
  • Working height, meanwhile, is defined as the area you can reach when safely using the ladder. So if you can easily reach the guttering without overbalancing the ladder, then by definition it’s within the working height.

guttering on house

Don’t forget the safety essentials of working at height, either. Amongst the most important, you need to ensure that you’re not standing on any of the top three rungs of the ladder, and that your hips stay well within the guardrails at all times.

Accounting For Height Differences Between Houses

If you live in a single storey building like a bungalow, you might find that a humble stepladder will do. The gutter on a single-storey house is generally about 3.3m off the ground, so for single storey buildings a wise choice is often a two-section extension ladder with an extended height of 3.95m or more. Personally, here at Browns we find that combination ladders are often ideal for such applications, given that they neatly merge the functions of a double stepladder and a staircase ladder. Particularly, the supreme functionality of the market-leading Zarges Skymaster is more than enough to get the job done. With its stabiliser bar, sturdy and rigid construction, it’s also got a number of inbuilt safety features that make it one of the most inherently safe options for homeowners and professionals alike.

On the other hand, if you have a two-storey house – as the majority of you will do – the average height of your ceilings will almost always be 2.35m. Logically, the distance from the ground up to your eaves will simply be the height of two full rooms, so 2.35m x 2 – which equates to 4.7m. As you’ll have guessed already, there are no suitable stepladders for two-storey house gutters. Instead, it’s a good idea to seek out an extension ladder with an extended height of at least 5.8m, or even all the way up to 8m.

werner ladderIn terms of extension ladders, you can’t get much better than Werner Trade Triple Extension ladder. It’s a firm customer favourite that’s been designed to cope with everyday wear and tear, making it easily capable of the type of home use you’ll require it for. Amongst its most useful features are slip resistant D shaped rungs and slip resistant feet, which make it particularly stable on solid ground.

Of course, these are far from our only options – we have a huge range of extension ladders and combination ladders in stock here at Browns, and if you need any specialist advice or guidance on which ladder to choose, you can always give one of our friendly team a call on 01282 615517.