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Assuredly assinine attic access


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Setting a radon monitor yesterday gave me a chance to scope out a bank barn conversion that I'll be inspecting Tuesday. Like all but one of the other 4 or 5 that I've done, the center bay remains open to the roof and the two outer bays are divided into two floors. On this one, there is a second floor ceiling with an attic space above it. The only access to the attic is through a four foot high door next to one of the two original built-in ladders. It's about 20 feet above the floor.

I've been climbing barn ladders since I've been a teenager, so I don't have a problem going up there, but that transition through the door looks like it could be pretty hairy. I'll give it a shot, but I aint Fred Dibnah. What an idiotic place to put the access door. There are several closets where they could have put a scuttle, but for some reason they didn't do that. There's an air handler in the attic. Can you imagine asking a service tech to climb up and swing through that door?

I am of course going to recommend adding a safe access point.

The first pic is kind of grainy because of low light - a heavy snow was falling, tree limbs were crashing down outside and the power was out.

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The inspection was originally booked for Tuesday, but because the power has been out, it was rescheduled for today. I started up the built-in ladder, but stopped about halfway when I encountered a loose rung that I could slide back and forth about an inch and a half. Since I didn't know how much of it was still embedded, I backed down and went to plan B - my own ladder. I did come prepared, just in case.

I could have just tied my ladder off to one or two of the rungs, but I wanted something more secure, because the floor is pretty slick. I rigged something up to brace the ladder against a wall.

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You can see in this picture taken from the attic, there is nothing to grab onto when transitioning from the ladder on the right. The seller said he's never had a problem with HVAC techs using the built-in ladder. He said when he called for service, he told them to "send your smallest guy".

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I've fantasized about bringing people from the past into the present for a day or too and seeing what their reaction is and getting their take on things as they are today.

I'm an agnostic, but if there is a heaven, my idea of it would be the ability to go back in time and place myself into any time and place I wanted. I could be a 'fly on the wall', be myself, or assume someone's identity and be an active participant. I don't know if the novelty of it would wear thin in my voyage through eternity though.

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I've fantasized about bringing people from the past into the present for a day or too and seeing what their reaction is and getting their take on things as they are today.

I'm an agnostic, but if there is a heaven, my idea of it would be the ability to go back in time and place myself into any time and place I wanted. I could be a 'fly on the wall', be myself, or assume someone's identity and be an active participant. I don't know if the novelty of it would wear thin in my voyage through eternity though.

But there would be some dope from the future who'd be wanting you to go there to see your reaction and get your take on things as they will be then. And you'd be, like, "Hey man, leave me alone, I want to go back & hang out in the past." And he'd be, like, "Yeah, but hold on a minute, I want your opinion of this new kind of 2x4 stud that we make out of grass clippings."

You really must read To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

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