balloon construction
 n.— «It took 40 minutes to chase down all the hot spots as the fire traveled through walls that had no fire breaks, Kaplan said. He said the house was built with a method called “balloon construction” in which there is only open space between the walls, allowing the fire to spread easily.» —“WPB fire leaves family of seven homeless” by Rochelle E.B. Gilken in West Palm Beach Palm Beach Post (Florida) Aug. 24, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. mike says:

    Balloon construction, or balloon framing, is an early version of what we today call the “stick-built” method of construction, in which a structure is held up by a series of studs placed at relatively small intervals. The technique was invented in the 1800s and was a common way to build two-story houses until platform framing became the norm in the 1900s. In balloon framing, the entire height of the house is built using long studs; the second story is built by hanging joists on these long studs. (In platform framing, each story is built as its own platform, which is stacked on top of the story beneath.) Among other reasons, the change from balloon to platform framing was because those long studs became hard to come by, hence expensive, and platform framing worked just as well. Incidentally, balloon framing was itself invented because the earlier style of post-and-girt required huge posts (which were set at much wider intervals) that likewise became scarce.

  2. JOSE ESTRADA says:

    MORE THAN A COMENT I HAVE A QUESTION. HOW IS THE FLOOR BUILT IN
    THE 2ND FLOOR IN A TWO STORIES HOUSE WITH BALOON FRAMING ANY BODY KNOWS IN CALIFORNIA?

  3. The second story is held up by a ledger cut into the studs that run from floor to rafters. a 2by is cut into a minamum 2×6 2×8 better.

  4. Claudia Mori says:

    Is it possible to build a three story, flat roof baloon frame structure?
    Claudia Mori

  5. I own a 1870 Victorian home in Savannah, GA. It has a common interior wall (two story) with a twin home to one side. It is noisy. I can hear my neighbors conversation. What is the possiblility of shooting foam insulation in the interior wall for sound control?

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