Readers ask: What Is Balloon Frame Construction?

What is a balloon frame in construction?

Balloon framing is a style of wood-house building that uses long, vertical 2″ x 4″s for the exterior walls. These long “studs” extend uninterrupted, from the sill on top of the foundation, all the way up to the roof. Some also assumed this type of framing could only be used in utilitarian, box-like buildings.

Why is it called balloon framing?

These materials were used to build lightweight buildings with nailed frames made of dimensional lumber. It was said to have been called balloon construction because the buildings were so light they looked like they would float away.

How do you identify a balloon frame construction?

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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Is balloon framing stronger?

Balloon framed houses use some very long pieces of lumber. Though not as strong and imposing as a timber frame, balloon frames were eventually regarded as a more than acceptable way to build a house.

Is balloon framing still used?

Balloon framing is no longer used today, Stack said. It has been replaced by a style called platform framing, which eliminates the problem of void spaces that comes with balloon framing, he said.

What is the most common type of framing?

Platform. Platform framing, also referred to as stick framing, is the most common method of framing in modern-day residential construction. The builder creates a frame using uniform-sized lumber pieces such as 2-by-4s spaced in consistent increments.

Why is framing required?

Framing is a function of the data link layer. It provides a way for a sender to transmit a set of bits that are meaningful to the receiver. Frames have headers that contain information such as error-checking codes.

Why was balloon framing important?

The main advantage balloon framing has over platform framing is the increased wind load strength. The roof structure tied to the sole plate by the continuous studs make balloon framing very popular in hurricane-prone areas. Balloon frame structures also have less settling than platform framing as a result of shrinkage.

When did balloon framing stop?

Post and beam, which is now used predominantly in barn construction. Balloon framing using a technique suspending floors from the walls was common until the late 1940s, but since that time, platform framing has become the predominant form of house construction.

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Why is platform framing the norm in most construction?

In platform framing, each floor is framed separately, as contrasted with balloon framing, in which the studs (vertical members) extend the full height of the building. Freed from the heavy timbers of the post-and-beam system, platform framing offers ease of construction.

What are the different types of framing?

Framing consists of light, heavy, and expedient framing. There are three principal types of framing for light structures: western, balloon, and braced.

Why do old houses last longer?

Why Do Old Houses Seem to Be Built Better? There is good craftsmanship in home building, and there’s plenty of bad craftsmanship, too. Houses that are built well today will probably last even longer than your grandpa’s beautiful custom home, because we have better technologies and higher standards in a lot of areas.

Why is a platform frame construction generally preferred over balloon framing?

Why has platform framing become the method of choice. Balloon framing has less vertical shrinkage from drying out of the wood, while platform framing is easier and safer to erect, uses shorter lengths of lumber for studs, and is automatically firestopped, for which reasons it has become the method of choice.

Who invented balloon framing?

Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel attributed the invention to Chicago carpenter George W. Snow in 1832. The Chicago History Museum and other scholars point out that Virginia carpenters in the 17th century — facing similar pressures to build fast — employed similar techniques.

What is the main difference between balloon and platform framing?

The central difference between balloon and platform framing is that the studs in a balloon frame extend from the foundation to the rafters, whereas in a platform frame, the studs are independent on each storey.

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