On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 03:44:01 -0400, Greg G. wrote:
|>> You won't catch me doing it the old way.
|>> Matter of fact, you won't catch me doing a roof.
|>See, that's exactly my problem. There's no one to catch me. ;-)
|You *could* invest $150 in an OSHA safety harness. Not that looking
|like an idiot hanging from a piece of rope leading to the roof ridge
|if you slip is a total remedy over the alternative. ;-)
|I'm not a pro, but am re-roofing and re-siding a large 3 story house
|without other human help. (In addition to much re-framing work due to
|termites and the original contractor's sub-standard non-code work.)
|Ladder lifts, air nailers, and safety harnesses work wonders in
|lightening the work load - but it's still hard-ass work! Especially
|for a 46 year old who spent his younger years working technology jobs
|in air conditioned buildings, not on their roofs. But even after the
|investment in tools and time, I'm still money ahead, and have total
|control over the workmanship, which is a real consideration here in
|illegal laborer land... where job costs are high and quality is
I too did an addition to my house almost singlehandedly and I was 54
when I started. I did a 10' x 16' laundry/sewing room attached to the
existing house and a 28' x 30' garage attached to that. Other than
the concrete slab, stucco and hot-mopped roof, I did everything
myself, while holding down an 8-5 EE job (+2 hours of commute time).
And I just worked off a 16' extension ladder. Hanging sheets of 1/2"
OSB by yourself 16' above grade is a real thrill. I built an A-frame
and used a screwed on cleat and ropes and pulleys to hoist the stuff
while I tack nailed (by hand). When everything was in place, I rented
a nailer and finished. Similar stunts were required to tip up framed
wall sections (2X6s 12' tall), the 28' long 14" I-joists and the two
6x12 14' long beams used for garage door headers.
But I was young and foolish then (relatively speaking) [g]. Shortly
after finished (nearly 3 years after pulling the permit) I learned of
the untimely death of my first boss, who fell of his roof and died
from a broken neck. I figure it could have been worse, he could have
been paralyzed, or it could have been me.
This brings me closer to the point of writing this, as I'm not trying
to blow my own horn, but to bring up another safety issue.
Since I'm also a radio amateur and have a 45' tower in my yard, I
sometimes have to climb the damn thing. I will confess, I'm
petrified, even at 20'. To me there is a big difference between being
on a ladder propped against something solid and having *nothing*
between you and the ground except air. So following Jean's death, I
retired my old used lineman's climbing belt and bought a full body
harness that I use with redundant safety ropes. And then I learned
that the harness can kill you! See:
So my real point is that working alone is always dangerous, regardless
of how personally satisfying it might be and how many safety
precautions we try to take.