Question Related To 'Balloon Framing'

(Robert Young) #1

Suspect. Balloon framed home.
In balloon framed buildings, long, vertical 2" x 4 stud lumber is for the exterior walls. What should I be looking visually, as well as measuring, in the basement?

As well, using a thermal camera, what should I be looking for at floor/wall assemblies.
Sorry no thermal images just yet. Reinstall Fluke Smartview.

1930’s 2 story, shingle veneer envelope, no brick shelf, cantilevered front porches. Basement egress abandoned.
Images 204825 is the girder cased in foundation concrete.
All joists are in masonry.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Looking forward to any/all answers.
ballon framing.JPG


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(Robert Young) #2

Seeing the absence of information leaves me wondering. I was hoping someone would be able to provide some tips at to what wall/flooring intersections to look to seeing as I could not enter the attic.

In Balloon framed homes, walls are typically constructed on their side and tilted up allowing nails to be driven through the plate and into the studs.
After all the walls of the residence are in place, the next step is to install the floor joists.
First step, attach the ribbon at the height you want floor joists. The ribbon, typically a piece of lumber 1"x6", but can be of larger dimensional lumber running the length of a wall used for floors.
Once the floor joists are installed, flooring can be laid and then ceiling joists are installed on top of the rafter plate. When the wall framing is complete, the roof framing and wall sheathing begins.

From the internet. If you look around the edges of the 2nd story subfloor or attic subfloor in a balloon frame house, you’d be able drop a penny down to the basement in the stud bay. In a platform frame, the penny would rest right there at the break between stories.

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(Kenton Shepard, CMI) #3

Structurally, you’re looking to see that the floor is adequately attached to the wall studs. A house that age it’s probably rim joists nailed to the studs. Look for weak or failed framing connections. Bounce on the floors around the perimeter of the rooms on the main and upper floors to look for bad connections. Framing in those old houses is like now; good carpenters, bad carpenters, and everything in between.
Originally there would have been no thermal insulation.
There may be live knob and tube in the attic.

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(Robert Young) #4

Thanks Kenton.

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