GUTTING OUR NEW HOUSE AND HANGING ON TO OUR BUDGET FOR DEAR LIFE
Balloon Framing

Safety First

On Christmas Day, while most people were wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, I heard two other important words: Fire Blocking.

As in: “Your house is Balloon Framed and this is the time to ensure fire safety measures are put into place.”

Special Thanks to Bro, Sis-In-Law and Nephew for touring the gutted house and giving such sage advice.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON BALLOON FRAMED HOUSES:


Way back in the day, houses were constructed by a post and beam method. This required a lot of labor, skill and money.
post_and_beam

Then, along came a carpenter who decided to construct a house by using 2 x 4 inch wooden studs and running them straight up from the foundation to the top of the house. Suddenly, your average Joe could build a house. And many of them did. (In fact, Balloon Framed Houses would go on to play a major role in the settlement of the West, and the proliferation of the suburbs everywhere.)
1002

This new type of house pissed off the Post & Beam Builders who said they were so light, they’d blow away with the wind like a balloon. Hence, the term Balloon Framed Houses.

Well, the houses didn’t blow away.

But what they did do was pose a safety risk in the case of a fire, since fire can spread more quickly in the unprotected spaces, of which there are many.

That’s where Fire Blocking comes in. To fire block a balloon framed house, blocks of wood are put in between the studs, like so:
fire-blocking-between-studs

LC and I spoke about the best way to go about Fire Blocking the home. It won’t be easy, since the studs aren’t your average size, but it will be done. And with LC on the case, I’m sure it will be done well.

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