Glass Atrium protection


Men, I have a question on how to protect a glass atrium on the rear of a home. We are looking at tearing off 1 layer of Archs on a 10/12 pitch, the ground slopes down from the front of the house to the back almost 3 stories to the gutter edge , the atrium sets almost 2 stories below the tear off the atrium is 20 ft wide x 18ft, We have protected structures like this before on a normal setting , little tougher with this particular set up , any suggestions are appreciated.


Id build a gable roof above it mostly with rope and tarps.

Or tarp it from the roof edge with a 60x40.
40 attached to the fascia every 2 groments with some round metal simplex.
Also using some rope for the tarp to lay on to bring it out past the atrium so the tarp dose not touch it.
Scheduled perfectly with the lowest wind possibility.
So much risk involved with that job…
I would just say NO.
Me and my guys dont like doing 3 story 10/12s.
Much less with a glass building under it.


Roof-lover, great suggestions and that could work , if it wasnt for this being a great customer i would have walked away, kind of have to do it to keep him happy , he knows it comes with a hefty price tag to protect. Thank you for responding


I would scaffold the sides of it and build a roof across it. That wide will be expensive, might even need a few I joist for the span.
If you don’t build a roof I can’t imagine not damaging it, some garbage going off the edge is unavoidable on a 10/12. Good luck, sounds like a fun project if you bid it right.


Few hundred dollars in osb and 2x4s a great investment. I agree with patchap


Yes, anchor, secure a rope above and near the center of the atrium.
Through a window maybe.
Stake the rope into the ground or maybe a tree.
Now you have the perfect gable frame work for a tarp.

How would i attatch the rope through the window?
I would find the framing studs underneath the window and screw a 2x4 right into the wall.
Then attach the rope into the 2x4.
Id put a pillow in the window sill for the rope to lay on so it wont damage the window frame work.

Id also let the homeowner know that he would be the one repairing the 2 or 3 screw holes.
Maybe even put an old towel behind the 2x4 so it helps not scruffing up the paint on the wall.

If you see you can safely attach the rope without going through a window, all the better.
Id have this rope frame work done the day before the crew arrived.

I know all of this sounds crazy.
But doing a 3story 10/12 with a a glass building underneath IS stark raving crazy…
Do you really have the men willing and able to do this??
I would charge so much the homeowner would hate me…


What we do in a situation like that is cover glass with old plywood or ISO then strung up a tarp as roof described, and the run a row of planks across bottom of edge. Use the planks to catch the trash, don’t let it build-up too much and throw it off by hand, only using the tarp for protection, not a trash chute.


Great suggestions , I do have a crew that does this type of work on large custom homes, however this one is in a upscale existing neighborhood. I have explained the charge for the safety and the homeowner is on board with the what ever it takes to keep everyone safe attitude and is willing to pay. My Thought is also having a scaffolding company come in and scaffold the perimeter and then run joists spanning 20+feet to have a safe working platform on top of the scaffold with safety rail around the perimeter of the scaffold. I have contacted the company that installed the atrium and they said it is safety glass that is on the roof portion and can with stand impact of only 500 - 1000 lbs depending on the age of the glass and what exposure the glass is facing (south) of course. So i will keep all up to date and see what transpires . Thank you all and keep it coming.


You just have a competent worker or 2 take their time tearing off that area paying extra attention in not letting stuff fall on the glass.

Extra time on the tear off part and save a lot on setup that can be avoided.


I really like MPAs idea of the sheets of ISO on top and then creative tarping
And then positioning planks at the bottem of roof edge.
So you instill Multiple layers of protection/precautions.


We had a similar situation, built a scaffold buck tower at each corner and bridged them with 2 24ft alum walk planks, then bridged across the walk planks with 2x6 and then osb.


Something like this MIGHT work in this situation too.
You just couldnt use any 2x6.
Because they dont make them long enough to make this span.
Because this structure is 20 feet wide.
Even 24 foot alum walk boards would barely make the span.
The alum walk boards would barely be reaching the scaffolding by a foot or less.
Putting all the weight on the scaffolding to one side of it pulling it toward the atrium.
I figure you would need about 9 or 10
24 foot alum walk boards.
1 on each side and then 7 more making the span across every 3 feet on center.
Sounds extremely risky to the atrium.
Maybe use ropes and stakes to keep the scaffolding from pulling in and crashing into the glass building.

I dont think i would endorse this idea.
I like my solution of one rope and one tarp idea better.