balloon frame house problems
November 13th, 2020

You’ll have to remove either the interior walls or exterior siding to gain access to the stud bays to add your fire blocking, which makes the process all the more difficult. Where I live balloon construction and knob and tube wiring go hand in hand. So, how is that different from how we build houses today? However, what insulation should be used is mot mentioned other than “to a minimum of an R-49”, but what kind of insulation should be used? The Chicago system of balloon framing would last to c. 1888. Heck, fire was such a prominent problem, you could see the appeal of indestructible, fire-proof asbestos. This allows not only rapid vertical fire spread within the wall, but horizontal fire spread underneath the floors and above ceilings. I was actually going to try to use joist hangers, but I don't know yet what I would have to attach them to. Code compliant construction keeps you in good relations with the building official. Nowadays, that kind of wood is more difficult to come by and can be more costly than shorter pieces. Houses would burn down very fast and often didn’t allow enough warning for the people inside to escape to safety. Because it has balloon framing we were able to successfully run the cables through the walls between the stories pretty easily. If I recall, for fiberglass insulation to be used as fireblocking it has to be unfaced. Another common avenue of fire spread within a balloon-frame structure is the transoms. Thanks for contributing an answer to Home Improvement Stack Exchange! Bowker holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science administration. I would tend to think that you would use normal procedures but would like to hear if there are differences from someone more experienced with balloon framing. Fire spread characteristics and collapse potential are vastly different in lightweight wood frame structures compared to homes of the balloon-frame era. The room floors tend to be high around the outside, but dip as you get to the middle of the house. My problem right now is deciding what to do to even up the floors. And if you can, it’s time to add some fire blocking to your walls. The most obvious fault, from an energy auditor’s standpoint, is that it’s really difficult to insulate balloon framed houses. Partially a result of the incipient industrialization occurring in the young nation, the balloon frame was based on much lighter precut two-by-four-inch studs positioned sixteen inches apart and held together by factory-produced nails. Fires in balloon-frame homes can rapidly spread throughout the structure in a variety of ways, entrapping unsuspecting occupants. I don't deal with any balloon framing in my area but fireblocking isn't structural, it is blocking an air supply. The fire hazard can be easy subdued by multiple blocking among other techniques. We discovered the attic room had a finished hardwood skating rink installed over the floor, covering the entire top floor of the residence. If you are insulating the outside walls as it is, you will be covered. We are looking to replace our siding is it more costly to do it then or just go ahead and remove inside plaster to add fire stops. It’s too bad there’s no more old growth lumber so it would be costly to build that way today but the possibilities are endless for design with balloon framing, just look at your old victorian gothic style homes. I know that FHA standards were an impetus for heavy electrical wiring becoming standard practice in home building. Is cellulose considered a fire retardant in the situation you described? For what modules is the endomorphism ring a division ring? All you have to do is look at our heavily forested state and massive amounts of readily available tall trees to understand why balloon framing became popular. Your email address will not be published. Additionally, 3 of my grandchildren will be growing up in this house, so I'm not looking for shortcuts. for hand wrought nails to $0.03 lb. That may be so. These were much longer studs than anything we use today and since there was still a wealth of tall old-growth trees in America’s forests, lumber mills could make a 20, 24, or even 30 foot long 2×4! The factory production of nails and mill cutting of standardized lumber reduced costs and increased availability of materials to individual builders. Sorry, left out the link to the article that tells why you do not want to use insulation, especially blown-in, in the old houses with plaster-over-lath walls, probably typical with balloon framing: This article says you do not want to insulate the old plaster-over-lath walls, typical with balloon framing. It’s not a perfect or scientific test, but for me, that’s usually the easiest way to tell unless the walls are all opened up for some other repair. Of course, balloon framed houses require long pieces of lumber for the framing. Houses were built using stout pieces of lumber fitted together with heavy joints. Fire can travel very quickly up inside an open wall plan. When it comes to a whole home rewire I can assure you that every electrical contractor prays for balloon framing. Every building and home has a frame that supports the walls and roof. Lexipol. Do not be deceived. All rights reserved. Your email address will not be published. Thanks so much! What LEGO piece is this arc with ball joint? Whoa...who says you, "have to install X-type (fire resistant) 5/8" sheetrock on my exterior walls anyway, and so that satisfies the lateral fire blocking requirement.". It would be worth doing a search to see some of the threads. If you need further help setting your homepage, check your browser’s Help menu, Station digital signage: Real-time info, easy to update, It's the building type all firefighters should dread as fire will spread fast and unhampered through the walls and floors. That's about what I thought. Probably pics or examples would help too. Is blown in insulation better in our case then batting insulation? In addition, the joist channels underneath the floors are interconnected with the exterior wall stud channels. Well, of the three types of framing, balloon frame houses have the greatest danger of catastrophic fires. Such was the case of an early morning house fire in Stamford, Conn. on Christmas Day 2011, which claimed the lives of five family members. This further complicates accessing a fire that has extended into the attic void.

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