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When considering a bespoke-made library ladder, whether it’s a hook-on ladder or rolling-ladder, it is important to look at variety of elements. Of course, how the ladder looks is very important – getting the right style and combination of materials for your room and scheme is one of the fundamentals, but equally important is to ensure the ladder is produced to the correct measurements, and is safe and comfortable to use.

The length will affect the angles which are involved and thus the incline that the person using the ladder will be obliged to go up and down! Getting the angle right, will be the difference between using a ladder which is comfortable and safe, versus a ladder which is too steep, or too angled and potentially unsafe and dangerous.

Industry standards to keep you safe

We will always work to the ‘Four-in-One’ rule, which is an industry architects’ standard when it comes to ladder inclines – allowing safe and comfortable use. This rule translates very basically as in the diagram below: We calculate the overall length of the ladder based on the two measurements below. The known height of the ladder rail from the floor = ‘X’. This measurement is then used to define the distance from the wall/bookshelf that the ladder will be positioned on the floor (X ÷ 4). From these, we can calculate the ladder length.

Of course, it’s not always possible to stick to the ‘Four in One’ rule, as there maybe other furniture, or other features of the room/building that might prevent the desired space being available. In these cases, we do our very best to work around the issues with our clients, but on the whole, 4-in-1 is our goal! (For any particularly tricky projects, we suggest using our 3D visualisation service which will help make sense of the space available and the dimensions you are working to. For more information about this service, please contact us.)

If you have a bespoke library ladder project and would like to talk through your requirements, please get in touch… we love a challenge! To view a selection of our standard ladder hardware components, please visit our “Shop-Ladders” page.