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Old 05-30-2017, 01:17 PM   #1
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spliced studs on balloon frame wall


Working on a project I stumbled across these spliced 2x6 studs. Originally i thought just the front of the house was balloon frame but apparently the east side wall is too. I know the house went through two remodels in the late 1960s and in the early 1990s. I'm guessing this was done one of these times where they replaced a sill beam and possibly rotten ends of wall studs. I continued to remove sheetrock all the way across and the entire wall was done this way. The newer 2x6s are about 5ft in length and are connected about half their length to the original studs. The original studs were 20ft tall, with close to the last 3ft removed here. The studs rest on a single 2x6 sill plate on a concrete foundation wall about 12" wide. The sill plate appears to be treated wood. All the floor joists on both levels of the house run parallel to this wall so its mostly the weight of the hip roof on this wall. There is only crawl space under the floor, about 12 inches clearance. On the other side of this wall the dirt was meeting the top of the foundation wall. I've graded that back, but surprised I didn't find more problems here.

Question is, what can i do to improve the strength of the studs? I can cut the power off and pull the electrical wire out to do whatever needs done. I was thinking of getting a 2x6 directly under the original studs so the weight is transferred down into the sill and not on whatever few nails are in the splice. Maybe then sister a much longer 2x6 on the other side to hold everything in place? Or instead of a longer 2x6 sister, steel bracing on the splice and some blocking between the studs?
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spliced studs on balloon frame wall-east-wall-1.jpg   spliced studs on balloon frame wall-east-wall-2.jpg  

Last edited by jb8578; 05-30-2017 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: spliced studs on balloon frame wall


Not a structural engineer and I don't play one on TV or the internet so take this with the appropriate dose of salt. If the sistered studs are glued and fastened sufficiently then this isn't a major issue. If there's just a couple of nails here and there, or worse yet some drywall screws, then this needs to be fixed asap.
For the sake of your piece of mind, you could pull that electrical wire, put in blocking to carry the load from those studs to the sill plate, then replace the wire. If the blocking is snug then it will carry the load should any of the fasteners above give a little. I think that would be more than enough to carry the load and isn't a very complicated or expensive fix since you already have the wall open.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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Re: spliced studs on balloon frame wall


Thanks. I think i'll go with the piece of mind option with the snug blocking.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:44 PM   #4
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Re: spliced studs on balloon frame wall


In addition, it would likely make sense to examine how the original and new studs are connected and improve upon that if needed while adding in the 'snug blocking'.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:59 AM   #5
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Re: spliced studs on balloon frame wall


The reason I mentioned "snug" was because the new wood will most likely shrink a bit as it dries. OTOH, if you force an oversize piece in there it can easily move the wall up when you bang it in. <--banging in longer studs is actually how we raise up ceilings when we don't have bottle jacks.
Aaaaanywaaaay...the idea here is to make the new pieces the proper size so they support the cutoff studs above without pushing them out of place or too short so that they're not carrying any load.
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