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Old 04-27-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
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are there any things that we need to know about balloon built homes verses the regular type of built homes before we start to remodel???

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Old 04-27-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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are there any things that we need to know about balloon built homes verses the regular type of built homes before we start to remodel???
Yes, there is a lot you need to know about Balloon type framing. Suggest consulting with an architect familiar in this method, before you do anything.

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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Agreed. Understanding how things are supported in balloon construction is important. You can pick up some decent books at the library or search online if such places scare you. If you have an archivist at your library see if plans for your home, or one like it, happen to be on file.

The last full restoration I did was a large balloon construction thing built turn of the last century. I found plans for one that matched it almost exactly.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
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If you are talking about a house built just after the turn of the century:

1. The studs are not necessarily on center, because masons lath was used with plaster. Usually 18 inches, but this could vary.

2. The studs are not necessarily on plane, because the studs are rough cut, not milled. The wall was straightened with the brown coat of plaster.

3. There is usually 100 years of dirt in the walls, which got there from convection. If there is no insulation air can flow from the basement all the way to the attic from chimney effect.

As far as building goes, the second floor joists sit on a ledger that has been let into the studs.

If this is a true turn of the century house that has not been upgraded be ready to completely replace the plumbing, electric, and HVAC. Look out for Asbestos wrap on the duct work if the house has an Octopus Furnace.

Did this once, and would never do it again. Its much easier to build a new house.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:46 AM   #5
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Jagans, but unless that new house was built to the standards of the older homes, it will not last as long. Most structures these days are guaranteed to stand no more than 35 years.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
If you are talking about a house built just after the turn of the century:

1. The studs are not necessarily on center, because masons lath was used with plaster. Usually 18 inches, but this could vary.

2. The studs are not necessarily on plane, because the studs are rough cut, not milled. The wall was straightened with the brown coat of plaster.

3. There is usually 100 years of dirt in the walls, which got there from convection. If there is no insulation air can flow from the basement all the way to the attic from chimney effect.

As far as building goes, the second floor joists sit on a ledger that has been let into the studs.

If this is a true turn of the century house that has not been upgraded be ready to completely replace the plumbing, electric, and HVAC. Look out for Asbestos wrap on the duct work if the house has an Octopus Furnace.

Did this once, and would never do it again. Its much easier to build a new house.
Ayuh,.... I've got 2, 2 story, houses, built in 1913, 'n 1915....

The studs are full 2"x 4", 'n their spacin' varies from 16" to 'bout 4'....
Both, havin' been built on a backfill, In a river, musta shifted, Bad, towards the river, studs are All leanin'...
probably as, or shortly after the original build...

The 2nd story, the ledgers ain't let into the verticals, but just spiked onto 'em,...

As I've been rebuildin',... I've been cuttin' the studs off, 'n creatin' a platform build, puttin' bulkhead type headers up, 'n restuddin' below 'em...

Lotsa jackin' been goin' on,...
Amazin'ly, the roofline on the 1 is startin' to straighten out....

Replaced 3/4s of the foundation under the 1 of 'em, over the last couple of years,...
Headed out there now to finish up the steel, 'n formin' for the last small pour, tyin' it's foundation, All together,...
Probably the 1st time ever,....
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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The home I mentioned restoring was a gorgeous old structure. It had, as a two story with basement and attic unit, ever so slightly tipped to one corner but everything was square to everything else and the craftsmanship was something that sadly you just do not see anymore. We found beautiful oak pocket doors sealed over for example.

It is true the framing was not dimensional lumber and there was no insulation (we fixed that) so walls had been drafty. The last tenant was a fraternity that more or less destroyed old plaster walls so they came out. It had nice sized rooms hard to get with other framing schemas though.

It was well worth money sunk into it I think. Unless something dreadful happens to it, it will be around for at least another 100 years. Few new constructed homes will be lucky to last as long.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Probably the biggest difference is that you'll have open stud cavities from top to bottom. It makes running wire super easy, but you should be prepared to add fire blocking between floors. Obviously for stopping fire travel, but also for draft and convection control. I've had a couple of balloons over the years. One with very old rough cut studs on a variety of centers. The other post WW II, on 16" centers. Nothing to be overly concerned about them. They are built well enough.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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Something I've noticed on every one I've done is the floor joists go the long way across the house. Not the shor way... Like we do now... If that makes sense.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:40 PM   #10
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Ones I've seen run from the foundation wall to the center beam on the first floor and from the ledger board across the top plate of the load bearing partition on the second floor. In every case that has been the shorter dimension of the room.

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