draw bridge gate
Wednesday, November 9 2005
Our town's building inspector has a bizarre obsession with enforcing the four inch baluster rule, which dictates that a four inch sphere must not be able to pass through any gap in any handrail at heights of 34 inches or less. This made marginal sense out on the laboratory deck, which is accessible through a window. But on the solar deck, which can only be reached by a ladder from the laboratory deck, concerns about such issues border on the Dan Reitmanesque. What fool would ever allow a premature baby to inchworm its way around on that deck? I suppose it's possible that down the road someone could add a spiral staircase allowing people with their premies to casually climb to the solar deck for a look-see at the distant Shaupeneak Ridge. But still, there are other issues that seem more pressing in the universe of building inspection.
Nevertheless, there is no choice but to obey the dictates of the building inspector. So I find myself having to install either balusters or wire fencing around the entire solar deck. To install either would greatly limit my access to the roof beyond the deck. So for the past couple days I've been building a gate in the style of a draw bridge that provides access to the roof ridge just south of the solar deck. Normally this gate is upright and blocks access to the roof. But its hinges allow it to drop down, where a loop of chain can hold it horizontal out over the roof as a small six square foot platform that is solid enough to stand on. One can easily clamber down from this platform onto the roof ridge and continue carefully all the way to the south end of the house if one is so inclined.
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