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The Home Inspector’s Gadgets- The Best Ladders 2023

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

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Ladders are an inspector’s lifeline. You use them to get up into attics and on top of the roof, everyday your life is on that ladder. I went 16 years without a ladder accident and then this spring I became a statistic when my telescoping ladder collapsed at a job site. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 500,000 people seek medical help and 300 people die because of ladder-related injuries each year. Every time I took a ladder out of my truck I took for granted that it had my back, so much so that the last time I bought one, I prioritized price and convenience over safety features and suffered a concussion, broken wrist, and severe lacerations because of it; I almost lost my livelihood and my life.

Whether you are a home or commercial inspector, contractor, homeowner, or just a person who buys tools and equipment for your garage, safety should be paramount. Luckily for you, in purchasing my new set of ladders I have researched and tried a lot of them! Here’s what I feel are the safest and most reliable ladders that I’m using in my work and personal projects to date.

There are five categories of ladder Duty Ratings:

  • Type IAA (Extra Heavy Duty) 375 pounds. Uniquely tough and durable

  • Type IA (Extra Heavy Duty) 300 pounds. Most pro projects and jobs, built to last

  • Type I (Heavy Duty) 250 pounds. Most DIY projects and jobs

  • Type II (Medium Duty) 225 pounds. Simple home projects

  • Type III (Light Duty) 200 pounds. Lightweight use

Don’t forget to add on your weight and your tools, anything you might have up there like flashlights or a jacket and it doesn’t hurt to size up if you aren’t sure. Also, weight and height do not equate. When it comes to ladders, they are completely separate things.

I’m a big fan of the Xtend and Climb brand.

Is it the cheapest one out there? No, it’s not. Is it the safest? I think it might be. The safety features are undeniable. The series comes in Home, Pro, and Contractor levels. It retracts completely and fits easily in the back of my truck or in my wife’s Honda. It locks by the foot and has a no-pinch closure system so you know that you feel safe and you aren’t panicked that it’s going to collapse down on you. You will be able to drive around with it daily or stow it neatly in the back of your garage or shed for house projects.

The Xtend and Climb 780P+ Telescoping Ladder Pro is a top-of-the-line telescoping ladder designed for professionals and DIY enthusiasts who require a reliable and durable ladder for their projects. It is the perfect solution for those who need to access hard-to-reach areas quickly and easily.

Here are some of the features and benefits of the Xtend and Climb 780P+ Telescoping Ladder Pro.

Safe and Sturdy Design;

The Xtend and Climb 780P+ Telescoping Ladder Pro is designed to be safe and sturdy. It features aerospace-grade aluminum construction, making it lightweight and strong. It also has a non-slip end cap, which provides additional stability and prevents the ladder from slipping while in use.

Adjustable Height:

The Xtend and Climb 780P+ Telescoping Ladder Pro is adjustable, which means you can set it to any height you need, up to 12.5 feet, plus reach over 15 feet. The home and contractor series have slightly lower and higher heights depending on your reach needs, the contractor reaches up to 19 feet. It also features an integrated locking mechanism, which ensures the ladder remains securely in place once set, as I have learned the hard way not every telescoping ladder has this. That really inexpensive telescoping ladder you just scrolled past and put in your cart… doesn’t have this.

Portability and Storage:

One of the key benefits of the Xtend and Climb 780P+ Telescoping Ladder Pro is its portability and ease of storage. When fully collapsed, the ladder measures just 32 inches, making it easy to transport and store in your vehicle or workspace. It also comes with a carrying handle for added convenience. As I mentioned before, just stow it in the truck or the car; it’s that easy!


The Xtend and Climb 780P+ Telescoping Ladder Pro is versatile, making it suitable for a wide range of projects. It is perfect for use indoors and outdoors, including for painting, cleaning gutters, and accessing roofs, attics, and high shelves.

Easy to Use:

This ladder features a one-button retraction system that allows you to collapse it with ease. Additionally, the ladder comes fully assembled, so you can use it straight out of the box. It's a cool ladder and a valuable investment. I’m really enjoying it and for the price, it’s absolutely worth the peace of mind.

If you're in the market for a high-quality, versatile ladder that can handle a variety of tasks, then the Little Giant Velocity with Wheels, M22, 22 Ft, Multi-Position Ladder, Aluminum, Type 1A, 300 lbs Weight Rating (15422-001) may be just what you need. Ask most home inspectors and they will tell you that Little Giant is one of the most recommended brands out there. A quick survey of the InterNACHI and ASHI discussion boards was all it took for me to realize that most Home Inspectors who actively post have an LG in their ladder arsenal.

I like this model in particular, it is also very popular in the 17 ft version so I’m including them both, every LG owner has their favorite; let me tell you why I like mine.

It’s crazy convenient:

One of the key features of the Little Giant Velocity is its ability to function as multiple ladders in one. With 33 different configurations, this ladder can be used as an A-frame ladder, extension ladder, staircase ladder, 90-degree ladder, and trestle-and-plank scaffolding system. This level of versatility makes it a great choice for a variety of projects, from painting and window cleaning to gutter repair and construction work.

Seriously well made:

The velocity is also incredibly durable, thanks to its high-quality aluminum construction. It's rated as a Type 1A ladder, which means it can support up to 300 pounds of weight. This makes it ideal for heavy-duty tasks, such as carrying heavy tools and equipment up to elevated work areas.

Ultra portable:

One of the standout features of the Little Giant Velocity is its built-in wheels. This makes it incredibly easy to move the ladder around your workspace, even when fully extended. The tip and glide wheels also lock into place, providing added stability and safety during use. Despite its many features, the Little Giant Velocity is surprisingly lightweight and easy to transport. It folds up easily for storage and transportation.

The HBTower 4 Step Ladder, Folding Step Stool with Tool Platform is a sturdy and reliable option for those who need a step stool, it’s great to throw under your attic entrance to check on that noise you heard up there last night or just to paint the crown molding. With a weight capacity of 330 lbs, this ladder can accommodate you and your tools and paint cans and is made from high-quality steel to ensure durability and longevity. Many other step ladders on the market are rated far less than that, and once you have everything you need up on a step ladder, it can really add up!

Key features:

Wide anti-slip pedals, which provide a stable and secure platform for users to stand on, again safety first! Just because it’s a step ladder doesn’t mean you can’t break your arm. This makes it easy to complete tasks that require both hands, such as painting or changing light bulbs.

Convenient tool platform, which can hold tools, moisture meters, and snacks, allowing users to keep everything they need close at hand while they work. This is particularly useful for those who need to complete tasks at heights, as it reduces the need for constant up-and-down movements.

Lightweight and portable, which makes it easy to move around the home or workspace as needed. It also includes a convenient handgrip, which makes it easy to carry the ladder from place to place.

As always, feel free to reach out!

Sean Finney

Pivotal Home Inspection

Florida Licensed Home Inspector

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Excellent advice. So we'll described and clear. Love your blog.

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