Ladders are handy to have around, but they are difficult to store. It’s easy to just throw a ladder up anywhere on the garage wall, but then you end up wasting precious wall space. It would be better to do some research and plan it out. In this guide, we’ll help you through the process of safely storing different types of ladders. We’ll explore different ladder hooks and tools designed to allow simple but effective storage.
The following are different ways in which you can store a ladder in a garage:
- Wall Hooks – Hang on a garage wall with hooks
- Slatwall Panel or Track System – Hang on a garage wall with slatwall panels or track systems
- Hang vertically from a ceiling or mounted horizontally against a ceiling with hooks
- Mount to a ceiling with a pulley-lift system
Types of Storage Solutions
There are many different storage solutions on the market, each with pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each one.
Hanging your ladder from garage wall hooks is probably the easiest route to go. Most are multi-purpose hooks that can hold several pieces of equipment. Pro Tip: Don’t use flat brackets, as it’s too easy for the ladder to slip off. You need a hook so it grabs and holds the ladder against the wall.
- If your ladder is 6 feet or shorter, use 2 hooks. If taller than 6 feet, use at least 3 hooks.
- It’s best to mount directly into a wall stud, but drywall will work if you have anchors.
- Make sure you hang the hook high enough on your garage wall to support the ladder size
With ceiling hooks, you can hang your ladder vertically, hanging down from the ceiling. Or you can hang it horizontally, flush against the ceiling, and up out of the way.
- Decide if you want to hang vertically from the ceiling or horizontally up against the ceiling
- If vertical, you’ll need 2 hooks. If horizontal, you’ll need 4 hooks
- Pick hooks that can support the weight of your ladder. The weight of a ladder will vary but are usually between 10-50 lbs.
- Find studs in your ceiling and mount the hooks.
Ceiling Ladder Lift
If you have a large, heavy ladder, definitely look into the ladder lift. It’s is a perfect way to store any ladder overhead and free up extra garage space. An overhead ladder lift is a rope and pulley system with a hook that is mounted to your garage ceiling.
Essentially you place the top of the ladder onto the fixed hook in your ceiling, attach the strap to the bottom of the ladder and pull the rope down. A lock holds it in place.
Whoever designed the slatwall paneling solution was an organizational genius. These offer you fully customizable storage solutions that you can hang shelves, magnets, and hooks to create a unique set up to meet numerous storage needs. Depending on the size of the garage and how much you need to store, you can choose from a 24 square-foot panel to a 48 square foot panel. It’s essentially a blank canvas.
Similar to slatwall panels, track systems are another type of organization system you can go with for your garage. You’re typically going to want to choose one or the other. Instead of a huge board like the slatwall paneling, track systems consist of horizontal rails that are mounted to the walls. Several different types of attachments can be organized onto the rail, including a hook for your ladder.
The Craftsman Versatrack Garage Storage System (link to Amazon) is a great choice. The Versatrack system has tons of available attachments, which tends to work well for these types of organizers.
Storage bins offer a perfect solution to store your step ladders out of sight while still keeping them easily accessible. They’re also handy tools for moving stored objects around your home.
The simple garage cabinet is also another excellent storage solution. You can easily store smaller or collapsable ladders in a cabinet, helping to keep your garage clean and tidy. They can also secure the ladder to prevent it from falling over when not in use.
Best Practices for Ladder Storage
Regardless of the type of ladder you have, some common best practices apply. Keep some of this in mind to make your life easier.
- Keep them off the floor – Leaning a ladder against the wall or lying it on the ground is neither safe nor secure. You’re going to way to find a place to hang from the wall or ceiling.
- Keep them accessible – Ladders are useful to keep handy, so be mindful of the location you decide to store. While you don’t want them in the way of high traffic areas, you also don’t want them buried and inaccessible.
- Know the type of ladder you have – There are several different types of ladders, which we’ll review in the next section. Heavier ones may be better suited for the ceiling, whereas small step stools can likely hang on a wall or be stored away in a closet.
- Know the weight & size – Choose the right solution for the weight/size of your ladder
Different Types of Ladders
Before determining the best way to store your ladder, you want to understand what type of ladder you have. There are many different kinds of ladders and the storage solutions will differ between them. When it comes to storage, you will quickly find out that no two ladders are created equal. Each is designed for a different purpose, and each will lend to different ways you may want to store.
Some might argue that this is not the ladder, but in my mind, they perform the same function just on a smaller scale. They allow you to reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible without their help.
Step ladders tend to smaller and are nimble to use. They don’t need any additional support to stand, rather they just stand on their own. Because they’re designed to be self-supporting, some are single-sided, others double-sided which enable climbing from both sides. They’re particularly useful when you need to reach something quickly, and great for just standing up in the middle of the room to change a lightbulb.
Extension ladders are very versatile and are very popular for home use. These are great when you need to reach higher ground, like a roof, because – well, they extend. Extension ladders consist of two parts – the base and the fly. The base is the part that you set on the ground, and the fly is the part that can be extended. Most extension ladders can be adjusted to make them longer or shorter to suit your needs. They have to be leaned against something for them to remain operational and upright. Extension ladders can be tricky ones to store.
Depending on the size of your extension ladder, you may have a tough time hanging these from the wall. In my experience, the most effortless way the store these ladders are by hanging them from the ceiling. Choose the appropriate ladder hooks to support the size and weight of your ladder.
These are double-sided folding ladders that fold out to make an “A” shape. They’re designed to be self-supporting, and they usually contain rungs that are much wider than others. These rungs are specifically designed to hold items such as buckets of paint. Usually quite sturdy, they’re designed to support body weight for a long time. They can be much heavier than they look and might need extra support when being stored.
Combo or Multipurpose Ladder
While a handy tool, these are possibly the most cumbersome of all ladders because they’re designed to do the work of a variety of different ladders. They regularly feature different moving parts that can lock into different places and shapes, allowing you to configure the ladder as you need.
This is possibly one of the most challenging ladders on the market to store. It’s designed to slide in and out to adjust its size, featuring numerous overlapping sections. They are an extension ladder that looks like an accordion – able to stop at different heights.
Unlike the telescopic ladder, folding ladders are designed to fold up when not in use. They’re handy for indoor usage, easy to carry, and straightforward to store.
Ladder Storage FAQs
Can You Keep Ladders Outside?
Ideally, your ladder should always be stored away from any changeable weather conditions. Meaning they should be kept in the shed, home, or garage. Far too many ladders are simply not rustproof, which means if you don’t keep them protected from moisture, they will no longer remain safe to use.
Wooden ladders are especially susceptible to changeable weather conditions, and they should be kept inside to protect them. Changeable weather conditions can easily result in the wood warping.
However, having said all this if you are entirely confident that your ladder is durable and rustproof. You could potentially hang from a fence in your yard if you do not have any other storage options available.
Is it possible to safely store a ladder vertically?
We always advise that ladders need to be safely stored and should always be kept horizontally; this offers maximum safety and security when it’s not in use. If you have no choice but to hang one vertically, remember that it could potentially fall off its supporting system resulting in harm or damage.
If you’re left with no other option, be sure to take additional safety precautions to ensure it cannot easily fall from its support. Even if you’re storing a step ladder in a cabinet, it should be at a specific angle to ensure that doesn’t easily fall over.
We hope that you enjoyed our blog article on how to store a ladder in a garage and that tips, ideas, and advice on the safest ways to approach the problem will prove useful.