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I am an incredible wimp when it comes to climbing up ladders, even changing a lightbulb has me clinging onto the stepladder for dear life. When I was decorating my livingroom I was dreading doing all of the high up work like painting the ceiling. Luckily my friend Julie was on hand with her magic Abru combination ladders which convert into a platform so I was able to paint my ceiling far more easily.
The ladder can be used as a traditional ladder, a stepladder, a platform, a stair platform or a ladder which can be used on the stairs. It comes in 3 parts, 2 parts are metal steps and the third piece is the platform.
It is reasonably easy to build the ladder into whatever shape you want it to be with the only tool needed a small spanner. There are also plastic locks which are tightened to make it feel nice and secure.
My main use of these ladders has been the standard platform ladder. The platform is around a metre long and half a metre wide and can hold a maximum weight of 150Kg or 23 stone and 8 pounds which means that two people can fit side by side. The platform can be fitted to the ladder at various heights. It feels secure on the platform, the surface is a nice rough non-stick material so you never feel like you are going to slip. There is also enough room to have a paint tray, paint pot, rollers and brushes up there beside you which is brilliant because there is no need to climb up and down the ladder. You do need to move the platform around the room when you have finished each section, it can be dragged easily by one person to the new position.
The stair platform ladder is built in exactly the same way as the standard platform only the bases ladders are built to different heights so that they can sit on different steps. I've not used this and I can imagine it would only work if your steps are the same size as the increments on the rungs.
I'm not too impressed by the stepladder. Once you have built it into position there is no platform to put any paint etc so you will need to end up holding it leaving only one arm free. It does feel sturdy enough but it is much easier to use a purpose built stepladder to save the hassle of building it up.
The standard ladder works well, the two pieces simply slotting together and then fixed into place to build it. It goes up to 2.3m high so not the longest ladder out there but fine for most domestic uses. It does have non slip grips on the base of the ladder but as my friend discovered when climbing down from the attic it does not always stay still so having a safety person holding it steady is a good idea.
These ladders cost £119 from Argos, they are a good investment for decorating over many years due to the platform ladder as they are sturdy and well made and stow away easily when not in use.