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post #1 of 18 Old 12-04-2012, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Unlike a new house with a almost flat roof pitch, one that is a single story that one can almost jump up on, I don't have that convenience. This obviously isn't for everyone, but it was more than worth it for me.

I try to access my antennas yearly for inspection and maintenance, but erecting a 32' type 1A fiberglass extension ladder and 16' aluminum roof ladder with a "chicken hook" is no picnic. I have thought about coming up with a roof access opening, hatch or skylight of some kind allowing me to access the peak from the attic, eliminating the heavy ladders.
I did a search for roof hatches, but all I could find were those square boxy metal flat roof hatches for commercial buildings which were expensive, ugly and surely not suited for a sloped roof. I then looked into skylights, but most are just windows that don't open. There are some that open slightly for ventilation, but that won't work.

Then I came across these roof access windows from a manufacture in Poland (no less). These are popular in Europe due to regulations for 3rd floor living areas in what would be considered here an attic. (Their regulations have changed that these are no longer required I believe.)
The company is Fakro and the egress window is here. The US importer is based outside of Chicago.;
http://www.fakrousa.com/our-products...egress-window/

These are also available through Amazon & Home Depot;
http://www.amazon.com/69107-Egress-2.../dp/B008YGZ48A
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Fakro-Egr...9108/203003735

There are three choices (sizes), right or left opening. I choose the smallest since this isn't for regular daily or weekly access for a roof deck. Including shipping it was $665. I was having the south side of the roof replaced (a tear off due to three existing layers), so this was the obvious time to do this. Being in a 95 years old house, rafter spacing was around 24", their smallest window was perfect, not requiring any rafter cuts. These are real 2 x 4 dimensional rafters, not todays cut down versions.

I already had a 8' fiberglass stepladder in the attic, so I planned on using that for access to the window. What I needed was a short ladder of some type to get me from the window to the peak which was less than three feet from the top of the opening. Actually, with the tripod within reach I could pull myself up, but I didn't have a platform to stand on with no roof ladder, so that wasn't adequate, or safe. I looked around for a used 16' aluminum extension ladder and lucked in and found one on Craigslist. Splitting this as I did with my 16' "roof" ladder from a 32" extension ladder (using one of the two sections, selling the other to a friend for the same purpose). I didn't want another bulky "chicken hook" for support around the peak, so I devised a bracket out of two pair of 8" right angle flat brackets with a 2 x 4 between them. I tried a single bracket on each side, but it seemed to 'flimsy'.

Location of the opening was critical for closeness to the tripod, spacing between rafters (some were less than 24" in center, making it a non-fit for the window) and distance from the peak. Since the object was to be as close to the peak as possible and given the fact I already had a 8" stepladder, I based my choice on this. If I choose to place the window close to the floor, a longer roof ladder would be necessary, defeating the purpose of closer 'peak' access. Also, it would be harder to get that longer ladder out through the window.

The finished result worked better than I thought, making it a real pleasure to go up there. I also gained another benefit that I never thought of. A instant view of the mast and antennas from inside the attic without even using the stepladder.
Here are the pics of the project.





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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.

Last edited by videobruce; 10-23-2015 at 03:33 AM. Reason: Updated links.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-04-2012, 11:40 AM
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I've seen those used in Europe for hiding a satellite dish. They just set up the dish inside the window, and you can open it up to get a little better signal, or to "kick" the rain and snow off of the glass.
(Of course, I'm talking about the FTA dishes, where they often receive different providers on many different satellites, at all kinds of different signal levels.)

Looks like a great way to access all your different antennas.

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-05-2012, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
I've seen those used in Europe for hiding a satellite dish.
Interesting idea. Europe is so far ahead of us in many ways.

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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-22-2015, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quick update. No leaks or issues with the access install.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-22-2015, 02:22 PM
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I realize this is an old post but I missed it way back when. That is a really cool idea and looks mahvelous! Nice job.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-22-2015, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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If I wasn't having that portion of the roof re-done, I probably wouldn't of done it. It just made a lot of sense to do it then saving additional labor of tearing off that portion of the roof. My 32' 1A fiberglass ladder isn't getting any lighter.
The time it takes me to get that ladder in position to raise is about the time it takes to get to the peak through the access hatch including setting up both stepladder and the short roof ladder.

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post #7 of 18 Old 10-23-2015, 01:08 AM
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Greets!

I was researching roof access hatches and this thread was listed, so thought I'd add the current link to Fakro: http://www.fakrousa.com/our-products...egress-window/

Note that a Google search of 'roof egress windows' listed other brands as well as ordering them at Home Depot: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...+egress+window

GM
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-23-2015, 03:36 AM - Thread Starter
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^ Thanks for the link. I updated the 1st post.

There is also Velux, which at the time didn't have a similar version (IIRC). They do now;
http://www.veluxusa.com/products/roof-windows

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post #9 of 18 Old 10-23-2015, 04:40 AM
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Nice job videobruce!! What are the other antennas for? Two of them look like scanner antennas, but not sure.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-23-2015, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
^ Thanks for the link.

There is also Velux........
You're welcome!

Right, and for those who like the industrial 'look' and/or need 'bulletproof' construction due to the locale : http://www.amezz.com/eco-series-roof...FdgJgQodnFcNcg

GM

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post #11 of 18 Old 10-23-2015, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Digital Rules;
The other antennas are for communications.

GPM;
I did look at flat roof hatches (which are far more plentiful), but they wouldn't work and they would look too far out of place. They look like common skylights which I have been seeing more often on older homes.

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post #12 of 18 Old 10-29-2015, 09:09 PM
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Great post !

I live in a 2 story house with 9 foot ceilings on both floors with a 5/12 pitch roof. I have a 28 foot ladder and it just reaches the eave if it is placed on our front steps. I have a satellite dish on the roof that needs attention from time to time. I plan to add a couple antennas and a weather station as well.

Any further information to pass along on this project ? I'm thinking of doing the same thing on my roof. It is such a pain to go up there. Not even contractors want to do it.

Any issues with hail damaging your window ?
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-30-2015, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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28" ladders are way too short. for a 2 1/2 story house built before WWII (though they are easier to handle).
We rarely get any hail here, surely nothing large enough to damage those windows. Same goes for floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, landslides.

1. The standard joist spacing which would of required cutting one joist to make room for the width of the frame wasn't the case here due to using real 2x6's and wider joist spacing. That would normally be a issue,
2. Should I go with a top opening or side and if side which way opening; right or left. I based that on which where the antenna was to the opening, but the prevailing wind direction may be a factor,
3. Placement of the opening and how far from the peak. I needed to allow enough for the roof ladder to clear the frame & the base of the tripod,
4. Distance from the peak. The closer requires a shorter roof ladder (which after all, is the purpose here), but that requires a larger/longer step ladder or some type to reach the hatch,
5. An electrical outlet nearby for power tools which I already had for an amp (optional).

Lastly, I made myself up a couple of signs to mount on the stairs to remind me to check if the hatch was left open to prevent a disaster when it rained.

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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.

Last edited by videobruce; 10-30-2015 at 04:48 AM.
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post #14 of 18 Old 11-01-2015, 08:37 PM
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Thanks for the update. I ordered a 24x46 window and flashing for our roof. I'll update this post when I get it installed.

Re: 28 foot ladder. Our house was built in 2008, so the dimensions may be different. It also depends on the landscaping and how high the main floor is above grade. In our case the eves are at 9' + 1'+ 9' = 19 feet above the main floor. Add in a foot for the main floor beams and flooring +/- 2 feet for landscaping and you are at +/-22 feet. A 28 foot ladder reaches it, but it is pretty steep.
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-02-2015, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, based on your description, it didn't sound as it was a brand new house. yes the height would be very different. You don't have a full attic do you?

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post #16 of 18 Old 11-02-2015, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Ok, based on your description, it didn't sound as it was a brand new house. yes the height would be very different. You don't have a full attic do you?
What do you mean by full attic ? Nothing is finished and the truss webs preclude using the space for anything. But there is lots of room to walk around.
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-02-2015, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Standard stairs access through a door, not by one of those pull down ceiling openings via a ladder. Flooring and the ability to walk around without bending over. No trusses.

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post #18 of 18 Old 11-10-2015, 03:36 AM
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Nope, mine is not a full attic. I could make it into one though. But our house is already large enough.

The window arrived today. Unfortunately, it will be a while until we get around to installing it, due to other things having crept into the schedule.
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