Framing question

On a colonial home that is 103 years old how would you determine the type of framing. Would it be platform or balloon or something else.

The reason I ask is the home has no insulation and the potential buyer wanted to know the type.

The basment walls & floors where covered and there was no open areas to determine. The home is all lath & plaster & I just wanted to ask the inspecters that have building expierience if they would know the type of framing & how I could detertmine in the future if asked this question.

By the way would you describe the roof detail as a tower, turret or pinnacle?

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Hi Dave,

I would strongly suspect that the framing on that home is balloon type, as that was the most common style in that era, as to the architectural detail, personaly I would call it a tower with pinnacle roof.

BTW, nice looking property, I have a soft spot for buildings of that era.



Thanks mate!

If it is balloon framing how would you advise the client to insulate the walls? The exterior was recently vinyl sided. What would be the best type of insulation.

Hi Mate :wink: shame the place has just been sided as the best bet would be to blow insulation in from the exterior, thats still the best bet, but they will have to lift the siding (you should check for any active K&T wiring first though)



Gerry’s right, has to be balloon framing, Platform framing didn’t start until the late 40s. I believe it was started as an easier and quicker way to build because so many service men were coming home and needed houses.
The blown in is probably the most effective.
They will have to remove some of the siding panel to be able to drill about a 2 1/2 holes to get the nozzle in from the insulation blower.

You should advise your client to make sure they do around the window cavities also, this is as long as the windows have been replaced and the old weights removed from the pockets

…and they may want to consider closing off the openings between the floor joists and wall studs to the crawl space or the insulation will fall into the crawl space while they are blowing the walls…a substantial amount will. :shock: Typically they just stuff a piece of a batt between the joists but they’ve got to get in the crawl spaces to do it.

Heed Gary’s warning about Knob and tube. It is designed for clear air installations, no insulation to bridge the gap.

I don’t know if it’s true in this case, but cross members were often used to strengthen corners. They are staggered every two feet, so when foam is used, it leaves big gaps. My Dad said they were perlins. I know this was done on a lot of late 19th century one story homes in these parts. Could that be true here?

Gerry, Is that because you were in construction at that time? :mrgreen:

I was going to suggest a 3 or 5 lb hand sledge and just look INTO the walls from the inside. Should be able to get a GOOD look with that size hole. :smiley: If there isn’t any then you can tell them you just saved them tons of time and money by installing insulation blow holes for them. :smiley:


You have been given good advice here and would like to contribute more if that helps.–0B.htm

Hope this helps.

Marcel:) :slight_smile:

Advise them to call an Insulation company for a quote.

Framing may be a modification of balloon framing. Tall houses often had one stud coming up from the bottom into the second floor and another, offset by a foot or so that started in the lower floor area about 6 feet up and goes to the top plate. Problem was, with high ceilings, studs weren’t long enough to go full height. I have seen this numerous times when doing remodels of houses from this era.