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Old 06-26-2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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Balloon Framing


Two questions:

1) The ledger for the second floor: Should the ledger be notched into the upright studs or not?

2) Would it be sensible to build the wall standing or build it on the ground then try and lift it? The total wall will be 14' high be 40' wide.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemp View Post
Two questions:

1) The ledger for the second floor: Should the ledger be notched into the upright studs or not?

2) Would it be sensible to build the wall standing or build it on the ground then try and lift it? The total wall will be 14' high be 40' wide.

Thanks in advance.
Why are you balloon framing it? What is the first floor height and height of the floor joists, and what type of roof is sitting on the second floor wall? Are the plans drawn by an Architect?

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Old 06-26-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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Balloon Framing


My 1890's house had balloon framing where the ledger was notched into the studs.

I'm not a framer, but is balloon framing allowed nowadays? I assume you need to fireblock the hell out of it if it is, but I wouldn't think it is allowed over platform framing. Is it better, or required, in certain framing circumstances?
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:08 PM   #4
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Balloon Framing


I'm getting some preliminary drawings ready for a discussion with a Structural Engineer. I realize they could simply tell me the answer about the ledger for the second floor (and I am sure they will). But, I have learned over the years that it is best to cut down on the number of "distractions" when talking to people.

As for the question about the wall being built in place, well, that is actually a question for later. I just thought I would kill to birds with one stone.

The walls are balloon framed because the house is a cape cod style. The wall studs need to run all the way from the foundation to the top plate under the roof. The roof is pitched. Without solid studs, the only thing keeping the second floor walls from spreading is the collar tie. The ceiling height for both floors is approx 8-1/2' and the floor joists are 2 x 12" for a 14' span.

Thanks for you input.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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Balloon Framing


You are attempting something that requires a lot of detail and knowledge of the building code. These codes are written to keep you safe, which is why professionals state the engineering required. They are called Structural Engineers. The details of your framing should be on paper, checked by a S.E., and submitted to your local Building Department for approval.

Your house is listed on the County's record, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, floor square footage, etc. Any changes made should be recorded with a permit so you won't have to rip out all your hard work later, if you ever sell. Notify your Homeowners Insurance agent, so you will be covered for theft and mostly fire. Be safe, G
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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They are called Structural Engineers.
I guess you missed that part of my last post. I am not trying to bypass anyone.

This is a very complex, partial re-build. I want to show the Structural Engineer what I have in mind and how I believe it can be done. I do not want to just tell them what I want and let them figure it out. That kind of approach is expensive.

Do I need to be this annal about some sketches -- No, I don't. Am I? -- Yes, yes I am.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kemp View Post

The walls are balloon framed because the house is a cape cod style. The wall studs need to run all the way from the foundation to the top plate under the roof.
Why do they need to run all the way to the roof?

Quote:
The roof is pitched. Without solid studs, the only thing keeping the second floor walls from spreading is the collar tie.
This type of framing will hold the walls in if they are set at the proper height. No need to balloon frame.


Quote:
The ceiling height for both floors is approx 8-1/2' and the floor joists are 2 x 12" for a 14' span.
Is that 8'6" for each floor, or 8' 1/2" for each floor? Let's say it's 8' 1/2" for both first and second floor ceiling height. That equals 16' 1" plus 11-1/2" floor joists and 3/4" sub-floor. You have a total ceiling height from first floor deck to second floor top plate of 17' 1/2".

Quote:
The total wall will be 14' high be 40' wide.
How do you get 14'?
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:10 PM   #8
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Balloon Framing


Joe Carola: The second floor walls are approx 5' high. The roof provides the remaining wall up to the collar tie at 8' 6" (approx). If the studs do not go all the way up from the foundation, the only thing keeping the walls from spreading on the second floor is the collar tie.

It is my understanding that platform framing would require building a 5' high wall with no resistance (except the collar tie). In that case, the roof would flatten along with the upstairs walls and the entire house would collapse.

Appreciate your feedback.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemp View Post
Joe Carola: The second floor walls are approx 5' high. The roof provides the remaining wall up to the collar tie at 8' 6" (approx). If the studs do not go all the way up from the foundation, the only thing keeping the walls from spreading on the second floor is the collar tie.

It is my understanding that platform framing would require building a 5' high wall with no resistance (except the collar tie). In that case, the roof would flatten along with the upstairs walls and the entire house would collapse.

Appreciate your feedback.
The Engineer will determine that if the collar tie at 8'6" is set at the right height, the walls will not move. This type of framing is done every day. Collar ties at the correct height, walls will not move. Balloon framing is your last resort. If the Engineer says that the collar ties at 8'6" isn't the correct height, he can add a structural ridge. You have options here. I've never seen a Cape Cod house balloon frame like you're describing.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Appreciate your comments and your efforts.

I will ultimately let the Engineer make the call, of course. But, I personally have been leaning toward balloon framing for this project because I have seen plenty of sagged roofs and spreading walls over the years -- one stories at that. This house is located near a lake and the winds can get pretty fierce.

Joe Carola. I am sure you are correct about platform framing being suitable for this project. But, ceiling heights play a big part here and so does wind shear. The stronger the finished structure and the more flexibility to keep the ceilings at the desired height the better.

I never thought such a simple question would become so involved. All I want to know is if the ledger should be notched or not. And, if any one with experience has ideas about building the wall standing or on the ground.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
I will ultimately let the Engineer make the call, of course. But, I personally have been leaning toward balloon framing for this project because I have seen plenty of sagged roofs and spreading walls over the years -- one stories at that.
Probably because they weren't framed right.

Quote:
Joe Carola. I am sure you are correct about platform framing being suitable for this project. But, ceiling heights play a big part here and so does wind shear. The stronger the finished structure and the more flexibility to keep the ceilings at the desired height the better.
And when the collar ties are set at the correct height they are structural and will hold your walls in and ridge up no matter where your from.

Quote:
I never thought such a simple question would become so involved.
That's because it's not such as simple as question as you think it is. Your asking to frame a balloon framed wall for no reason other than just because you think it's the right way without considering any other thoughts. Framing the way you want isn't normal. So you will be questioned, that's all. Why bolt or notch a ledger and fire block and hang joists off joists hangers for no reason if you don't have too? All I;m saying is you have another option.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:13 PM   #12
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Balloon Framing


Thanks Joe Carola. You are good, no doubt.

I like to think I am open to ideas. This is simply the direction I picked because it is the one that makes me most comfortable in regards to wind shear and spreading. If the Engineer says I am nuts, I will of course have to agree with yourself and them.

Your comments, knowledge and experience are appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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Balloon Framing


we just did a home and we did a partial balloon frame with a ceiling height of 16' at its peak in the kitchen. It really stiffens up a wall of that height. Ive built them the other way as well and the wall is not as rigid especially above the 8' foot mark ( standard 92 5/8" studs ).
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:40 PM   #14
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Balloon Framing


My house is a Cape
Back was dormered, 2nd floor walls ended up at ~6'
This was platform framed
That was 5' years ago & nothing has moved
Ceiling rafters are at about 7' 6" & the ceiling the slopes down to the 6'
Celing joists collar ties both keep the walls from spreading
Collar ties required every 3rd rafter, I put them on every rafter
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:54 AM   #15
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Balloon Framing


Theres no need for balloon framing if theres a floor between but for outside walls with heights over lets say 14' and no other structure to help support than balloon framing helps stiffen the wall IMO. Ive seen it built both ways and saw first hand the difference.

Heres an example of what I saw. This is an outside wall with cathederal ceilings. Ceiling hieght, collar ties were at 4' feet below the ridge.

They doubled up the king studs on both sides of the door and window. The rest of the framing on the wall was done normally.It was a solid wall.
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