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Old 11-03-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
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Just a General Question Balloon Vs. Platform Construction


I have been a carpentar wannabe my entire life, unfortunetly it is to late for me to do it full time, (48 years old haha) but I would still like to learn about it and do renovation projects on my new house nights and weekends. But I have always wondered which is better Balloon or Platform construction. (My thought is platform) What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to both?

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Old 11-03-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
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Just a General Question Balloon Vs. Platform Construction


balloon framing was the newest/best thing when it replaced post and beam building. however, starting in the 1930's, the combination of more uniform milling techniques, and increasing scarcity of quality length lumber made platform framing much more popular.

my current home is balloon framed, and it does present a few head scratchers every now and then (for someone who has only owned platform framed before this.)

from the standpoint of remodeling/new construction/additions, i would think that platform framing is the way to go.

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #3
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Just a General Question Balloon Vs. Platform Construction


A primary advantage of platform framing over balloon framing in this era is co$t. The lumber readily available from the yards is pre-cut to dimensions suited to platform framing. The longer framing members (studs) required for balloon framing - where the studs run from the bottom plate resting on the foundation to the eave of the second or even third story - are generally not economical nor readily available in the quantities and quality needed.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:38 AM   #4
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Just a General Question Balloon Vs. Platform Construction


One of the main disadvantages of platform is fire stopping. Platform framing is a natural fire stop.
It is also much simpler to build. I can't imagine trying to raise a two story wall with no floor to stand on.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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Just a General Question Balloon Vs. Platform Construction


Balloon framing had it's hey day beginning in the 1800's when trees were big and tall and long framing lumber was relatively cheap. Insurance companies really made a push to eliminate balloon framing in the late '50's to '60's, because of the inherent fire spread dangers. Today, finding decent 18-20 foot studs would be a challenge, let alone all the firestopping work required.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:12 PM   #6
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Just a General Question Balloon Vs. Platform Construction


we still do balloon framing on the walls in a room that have large cathedral ceilings. The longer 2X's really stiffen up the wall. Other than that, its all stick framing with all the 2x's pre cut.

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