If you’re used to tackling your own jobs, it’s tempting to hop on a ladder and get things sorted.
Don’t be too hasty, though: ladders are the riskiest tool a DIY-er can use. They’re quick and convenient but if you make a mistake, it’s a long way down.
They can work for the right job in the right place, but how often are conditions perfect? If you’re on rough ground or a slope, it’s not worth the risk.
That’s why specialists often turn to trade-specific ladders, scaffold platforms and cherry-pickers. So here are the four common jobs at height you should leave to the experts.
Cleaning or fixing the gutters
Are your gutters blocked or leaking? Before you grab a pair of rubber gloves and a ladder to wobble your way up to the eaves, consider professional help.
Experts can often clean them out without leaving the ground, even if they’re jammed up with leaves or moss. Sometimes that means an extra-long pressure-washer or telescopic cleaner tools.
However they do it, a professional job will be quick, safe and more cost-effective than you might think.
Your ladder is propped against a tree trunk – and you want to climb up and start sawing?
Don’t do it! This is a job for a tree surgeon. They train hard and take safety seriously – which means doing things properly.
Tools like pole-saws and extending loppers often mean they can work from the ground. For work at height, they use specific arborist systems and ropes to keep them safe as they prune and cut.
Indoor and outdoor lighting
Lights and ladders don’t mix well. A job that feels simple with your feet on the ground is very different when you’re balanced on an a-frame ladder.
So if you need to swap a bulb or light fitting, chat to an electrician first. They’re used to working at height and are very fussy about how they do it. It’s a far better idea than trying to strip cables or make connections while you balance on a ladder you don’t trust.
It’s the same outside – whether it’s fitting security floodlights or gentle mood lighting. If it’s any higher than you can comfortably reach, get an electrician to sort it out.
Hallways are the bane of the DIY-decorator. Kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms: they’re rarely so high that things get dodgy. But any time you’re painting a stairwell, it gets much more difficult.
We’ve seen some terrifying DIY contraptions with ladders balanced like a game of jenga. That’s why painters and decorators use professional solutions to work at height. And it’s not just about safety - professionals know they’ll get a better result if they know they’re safe.
So before your feet leave the ground, take a minute to think about whether it’s safe and sensible. Most of the time, the best plan is to get professional in.