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eHam Forums => Antennas and Towers and more => Topic started by: N2NJO on November 24, 2012, 06:32:17 AM



Title: Fast roof access for a 2 1/2 story house??
Post by: N2NJO on November 24, 2012, 06:32:17 AM
I wanted a faster way to access my roof antennas without getting my 32' fiberglass & my 16' aluminum roof ladders out. I had to have the south side of my roof replaced (tear off), so what better time to do this?
Living is one of those single story new homes built in the 50's (and later) is surely no problem as one can almost jump up on the roof without a ladder. :wink: But, being 25 or so feet up (at the peak) is another story.

There are plenty of 'roof windows' and skylights available, but none made here that actually open all the way. I was only able to find those industrial 'roof hatches' which are big, square, bulky & expensive that are designed for flat roofs.

I then found these 'roof access windows' from Fakro from Poland (believe it or not) that had a US importer out of Illinois. These are very popular in Europe due to building design and fire regulations for 2nd & 3rd floor living (though the regulations have changed), but not here unfortunately.

The US site is here;
http://www.fakrousa.com/htmlen/238.php

I choose the smallest window. It fit between the rafters, so no rafter cutting was necessary. I had it placed as high up as possible. I have a 8' fiberglass folding ladder in the attic, so that aspect was covered. What I needed was a short ladder from the window to the peak. I can climb out and get to the peak without, but that isn't the safest idea.

I looked around for a 16' aluminum extension ladder since I already did the same thing with a 32'. Splitting the two half's, using one for the "roof ladder" with a "chicken hook" (I believe that is what it is called) to hook around the opposite slope of the roof for access from the gutter.
I did the same for this 16 footer, but bought two pair of 8" 'L' brackets with a 2x4 placed between them for the 'hook'. One of those 'chicken hooks' is too large and heavy for such a short ladder.

It works out fine. I had enough room between the frame of the window and the closest leg of the tripod (I didn't want to move it) and the 8' length was just about right. I can lift it up and out, then return the ladder back inside the attic in a minute.

Pictures below. This forum doesn't seem to allow thumbnails, so this is the best I could figure out how to post these:

(http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/th_roofaccesswindow04.jpg) (http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/?action=view&current=roofaccesswindow04.jpg) 
(http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/th_roofaccesswindow03.jpg) (http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/?action=view&current=roofaccesswindow03.jpg)
(http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/th_roofaccesswindow02.jpg) (http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/?action=view&current=roofaccesswindow02.jpg) 
(http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/th_roofaccesswindow01.jpg) (http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/ff40/videobruce/?action=view&current=roofaccesswindow01.jpg)


Title: RE: Fast roof access for a 2 1/2 story house??
Post by: N2NJO on November 24, 2012, 06:42:02 AM
There is a side benefit from all of this; I now have a easy view of the antennas & mast without going outside on the front porch that I use to do to confirm the TV antenna direction.  ;)


Title: RE: Fast roof access for a 2 1/2 story house??
Post by: AB4D on November 24, 2012, 09:15:57 AM
Very cool idea.  I owned a 4 story townhouse when I was first licensed, I hated getting on that roof.  It had a 12/12 pitch, and it gave you the feeling that you could easily roll of with one misstep.   I would have loved to had an access panel on that roof.

Thanks for sharing.

73


Title: RE: Fast roof access for a 2 1/2 story house??
Post by: KB4QAA on November 26, 2012, 07:28:30 AM
Nice solution!  Thanks for sharing.


Title: RE: Fast roof access for a 2 1/2 story house??
Post by: WA2OLZ on November 26, 2012, 02:53:06 PM
That is a fantastic installation idea!

One question - I do not see any product with a less than 24" width. How does that work with standard 16" spacing?


Title: RE: Fast roof access for a 2 1/2 story house??
Post by: N2NJO on November 26, 2012, 08:40:02 PM
It wouldn't except cutting one of the joists.
Being a older house with real 2x6's, spacing between was 22"-24" in my attic.
Thanks for bringing that up. If you have to cut, you might as well spend a little more and get the largest.  ;)