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CONGRATULATIONS TO: Emily @ The Diligent One! Please reach out to me about your contact info!
The people from Extend-a-Step sent me a request a few weeks ago requesting the usual review and giveaway. Little did I know that I would really, really enjoy using this one.
Most of you are aware of how short I am (and if you aren’t, then you must not have been reading this blog very long, so welcome!). When it comes to ladders, it can be especially trying since my center of gravity is rather low, and a heavy metal ladder scares the hell out of me. Most of the time, I struggle to get it upright along the house in just the right way. And I look like a total jackass every time I try to move an extended ladder and keep it from falling backwards at me. It really is just completely ridiculous.
In addition to balance issues, I also have a few other challenges when I try to use a ladder on the exterior. The bushes in the front impede placement of the bottom of the ladder immediately next to the house, so the ladder has to extend a little further to reach each spot. This pretty much eliminates the use of my go-to shorter ladder that I use all over the interior. If the bushes weren’t there, it would easily reach the top trim of the lower windows. This means that my only option is the larger, very heavy ladder that extends far enough up the house that I can reach the second story. But, its length also makes it cumbersome (for my neighbors: hilarious, I’m sure); I can’t just whip it out, put it against the house, and get to work. I’ve got to trudge out of the garage with it, drop it when I get close to the side of the house to reposition it, rest it against the bushes to keep myself from toppling over, and hoist it up onto the side of the house. Yeesh.
But thankfully, Extend-A-Step contacted me and suggested I give theirs a try. Taking it out of the package was easy and much shorter than I expected.
Each of the rungs come tightly packed together, with obvious black buttons that are meant for releasing/compacting each rung (I imagine it works somewhat like the little knobs on compact umbrellas).
To extend, you just pull on the rung until you hear a click.
Next up, it was time to test it outside. I picked up the ladder and was able to keep it under one arm comfortably. Even though it had plenty of heft to it, moving it around wasn’t difficult at all. I extended the first few top rungs and kept going until I reached my desired height. Although it could extend further (12.5 feet), I wanted to reach in between the top and bottom windows to do some caulking/painting on the trim. The best part was that since you start to extend from the top, you don’t have to lay it on the ground or maneuver anything to get the next rung to expand; you extend one rung above your head, and the next is still sitting there at eye level if you want to lift it, too. This extend-as-you-go deal worked perfectly to reach the height I needed. And it was so easy when it was extended, no top-heavy feeling, that I could easily hold it with one hand and snap a picture with the next.
Being that most of the time I work on the house solo, it becomes a bit of a safety risk to try to climb a tall ladder with no one holding the bottom. But this trip up, despite how much thinner both the rungs and the sides were, felt just as sturdy underfoot as my traditional bigger ladder. Granted, that doesn’t mean that you don’t feel a little shaky (I am a bit of a wuss with ladders ever since my Dad fell off a roof shattered his wrist when I was in high school), but I was comfortable.
|(That dirt on the window is wiped-down overspray from painting the house.)|
This whole process to get the ladder up, extended, and climb took all of 5 minutes. And the best part was that it wasn’t embarrassing and stooge-like per my usual experience. I took several trips up and down the ladder, got some good use out of it, spilled a little paint, got most of it onto the house, and when I was done, was able to easily move the ladder over several feet to continue on with the task.
Clouds were rolling in, so I knew it was time to pack up. Lord knows you don’t want to be on a metal ladder in a rain storm! Now comes the only part where I’d have to give some honest criticism. There are an abundance of warning stickers all over this thing tell you how careful(!) you need to be when getting the ladder back into its compact form.
And I unfortunately found out that these warnings, as numerous as they are, are quite appropriate. To compact each rung, they basically fit within each other like a Russian nesting doll. To get the first rung to go into the second, you have to push the two large black buttons on each rung inward at the same time, which sends the rung above sliding down (quickly) into the first.
You have to be careful to not place your hand in between the two rungs, or risk snapping your fingers when the first rung comes sliding down. You can probably guess that I experienced this. As light as this ladder feels compared to a normal ladder, the rungs are still heavy and slide down fast (which is great time-saving-wise, but not so great if you’re not paying attention and hurt yourself). I pinched my right ring finger, but didn’t break the skin; just bruised it a bit. The rungs don’t always slide into each other evenly, so when one side gets hung up a little, trying to fix it is what can cause you to accidentally pinch a finger when the rung finally slides (or I should say, snaps) free. Ouch. I found that the rungs got hung up on one side about 20% of the time, but they were easily fixed by moving my hands down to the next rung and, positioning my fingers out of pinching range, sliding the buttons. This caused both the rung above and the one that was wonky to both snap down together, which straightened everything out.
Considering that pinching your fingers is a worry even for traditional extension ladders, I don’t consider this a deal breaker for me, especially when it does everything else on my ladder wish list. Conveniently, it has a fabric strap to wrap around the rungs when they are all compacted, and also comes with a cover to protect it when storing – which I should also mention, is a hell of a lot easier to do when you’re dealing with a storage footprint of 2.5 feet as opposed to the traditional 8 feet of the extension ladder.
All in all, I’d have to say that I friggin’ love this ladder. And lucky me, I not only got to do this review, but I get to give one away to you! And not only that, but Extend-A-Step is also offering a discount for the rest of UDH readers! Here are the dirty deets:
Giveaway closes: Friday, December 9th at 8 PM.
Number of winners: 1
Ships: Continental U.S. only.
Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on this post.
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
1. Leave a comment on this post (don’t forget to include your contact info!).
2. For additional entries, you can retweet this giveaway on Twitter (please mention @uglyducklingDIY and @extendastep when you do) or like Extend-A-Step on Facebook and leave a comment to let them know that The Ugly Duckling House sent ya. Leave a separate comment for each activity on this post.
If you don’t win, don’t worry! You can still get this awesome ladder at a better price just because you’re a UDH reader. Simply enter the code UGLYDUCK10 at checkout for $10 off.
GOOD LUCK, and happy shopping!
This giveaway is sponsored by Extend-A-Step. All opinions and reviews are 100% my own. An Extend-A-Step ladder was given in return for hosting of this review and giveaway, but this post (and others) may also contain sponsored links. Please also see my Disclaimer page for additional details on giveaway and advertising policies.
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