Balloon frame Balloon framing is one of the earlier wood construction methods. Light frames of wood are constructed around studs which run continuously from top to bottom of a building. The roof is a truss structure that consists of horizontal ceiling joists and sloping rafters. Platform framing is a more modern approach in construction. It utilizes plates to enable the upward extension of a building. Floor joists for each story are supported by the top plate of the floor underneath. The main difference between the two types occurs at the floor lines, balloon framing was employed in many two-story houses before 1930. .
Balloon Framing Advantages Fewer problems are expected once construction is complete. Drywall cracking is unlikely. This adds to the durability of the building. Balloon construction is useful where a vaulted ceiling or two-story open foyer is desirable. Where a tall chimney is preferred, the balloon technique is also useful. With balloon framing, you get more flexibility in window design. Angled or arched window tops are easier to achieve. Large or vaulted windows are also more workable with the balloon technique than platform framing. The technique creates a higher resilience structure due to the longer wall frames used. The building is better able to withstand high speed or gusty winds.
Disadvantages In the event of a fire, the building is likely to be destroyed more quickly. This is because the structure provides an easy path for fire to travel from one floor to the next. It becomes necessary to install fire stops on each level. Balloon framed buildings donâ€™t have insulation between a room and its exterior walls. This contributes to increased energy utilization, hence higher costs. Additionally, the long framing members used in construction pushes up construction costs. Walls constructed turn out to be very heavy. To raise these walls, more labor, skill and specialized equipment is required. It also increases the risk during work.
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