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Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing

 
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:25 PM   #1
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Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Hello folks, I have a client who inherited an old farm house (1901). This home is a balloon frame house (16ft x 22 ft). This house will be undergoing a complete renovation. As part of the renovation the owner would like to raise the roof line on the second floor. The owner is 65 The current second floor has ceiling heights that vary from 53" to 65 to the collar ties. Make its pretty low for the owner...

The owner would like to have a 8 ft ceilings.

Some have mentioned to remove the rafters and install a new approx.. 2 ft knee wall on top of the existing balloon frame system to achieve the height. In theory, this sounds good but I do not think engineer will sign off on this due to the hinge joint created. I also do not feel comfortable with this.

I have been tossing around a few ideas.

1. Remove the existing rafters and cut the existing balloon frame studs down to the second floor joists. Install a new top plate and build a new wall platform style on top.

2. Remove the existing rafters and current top plate. Install new 8 ft 2 x 4 sistered into the existing stud. I would then infill the old stud height difference to flush out with the new top plate.

Has anyone ever done this? Or does anyone have any other suggestions.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


If ever there was a time to spend a grand on a structural engineer, this sure seems like it, doesn't it?

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Old 03-04-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


There is no way for me to tell you my expert opinion without knowing more info. There are several potential factors that are unknown . I need more details . Start with some pictures.
That old framing is probably rough sawn lumber .Maybe 2' centers. Is it a hip roof?
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


1901 ain't that old.

Knock it down and build a house that they want?
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


No way to tell what the best solution is. I had one that was 30" stud spacing more or less. Just sistered new studs to the existing, ran some studs in between, and headed them off.

Energy performance can be a major concern, so a lot of times it may be cleaner to just cut everything down and frame a whole new wall if you have plenty of good weather.

Last edited by hdavis; 03-04-2019 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by onmywayup View Post
If ever there was a time to spend a grand on a structural engineer, this sure seems like it, doesn't it?
I wouldn't go to one until I was pretty sure I had a solution I wanted to build. Some engineers would come up with a great solution, and some a solution that's a PITA.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:59 AM   #7
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


You have to walk through the options on how you would actually do this. Having a crew and a crane and plenty of room onsite can change what's practical compared to working solo.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Attached a few photos of the walls opened up. Stud are 2" rough sawn lumber approx 16" o.c.

The roof system consists of a a gable, sloping to the two 22 ft lengths.


Attached is a sketch of the wall section as well if that helps.

We will for sure be taking this to a engineer to review. However we wanted to have an idea of what we were looking at prior to bringing them in.

If you need further information please let me know.
Thanks again for the assistance.
Attached Thumbnails
Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing-floor-1.jpg   Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing-floor-2.jpg   Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing-20190302_122845_resized_1.jpg   Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing-wall-sketch.jpg  
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:21 AM   #9
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Well, now that you got it opened up that far, the whole shebang is going to have to be code compliant, starting with firestop at each floor level.

Doesn't necessarily require an engineer, does require joists and other structural elements to meet span ratings and sheer loads.

16 x 22 ain't hella big.

Difference between labor expended salvaging anything above 1st floor and simply sawing it off and doing a conventional stick build on up would come close to nil.

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Old 03-04-2019, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


IMO, between sistering and potentially adding studs and other upgrades to make it compliant, it's probably faster and cheaper to cut it off and build conventional.

No way to tell without actually seeing it and knowing the weather.

Edit- that actually looks pretty good. If you just sister, you're going stud by stud up through the roof, or removing roof sections. Working solo, you'd probably do it that way and keep it weather tight as you go. Very labor intensive.

A crane and a crew and room to work, you'd build everything on the ground, brace the old, cut it loose, crane it off, crane new on. Lots less labor, much much faster. Increase in siding and sheathing materials and labor.

Last edited by hdavis; 03-04-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #11
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


That old framing and sheeting looks like it is in pretty good shape for its age.
I think you could save the wall and do the sister thing. Run that stud down to floor height .Put a horizontal block in at that level. You need that for a fire stop anyway. You will probably have to do some furring on one side or the other to compensate for modern lumber being only 3 1/2".
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:19 PM   #12
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallTownGuy View Post
Well, now that you got it opened up that far, the whole shebang is going to have to be code compliant, starting with firestop at each floor level.

Doesn't necessarily require an engineer, does require joists and other structural elements to meet span ratings and sheer loads.

16 x 22 ain't hella big.

Difference between labor expended salvaging anything above 1st floor and simply sawing it off and doing a conventional stick build on up would come close to nil.

Its YOUR Pandora's Box- have fun !!!
The further I got into digging into my own home, the more I realized it would have been faster and cheaper to just buy a vacant lot. I'm getting that vibe with this project.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:27 PM   #13
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
The further I got into digging into my own home, the more I realized it would have been faster and cheaper to just buy a vacant lot. I'm getting that vibe with this project.
yup. You should have watched the movie first.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:42 PM   #14
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Got sold the American Dream.

Took it hook, line, and sinker.

Whatever. At least the roof is new.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:26 AM   #15
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
The further I got into digging into my own home, the more I realized it would have been faster and cheaper to just buy a vacant lot. I'm getting that vibe with this project.
Don't dig so much.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:42 AM   #16
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


I see plenty of Hos that buy an old house and decide to make it new.

If you want a new house, but it build a new house may be way cheaper.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Being you'll have close to the same amount of studs sistering, to doing it new, I'd cut it off and rebuild. You'll gain a couple inches in floor space and have a more efficient and straighter envelope. You'll have a little more labor and material, but not that much IMO.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:56 PM   #18
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Get ready for tons of fireblocks....lol
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:04 AM   #19
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Buy UNSAWN lumber to match existing, the extra $ is a no-brainer,

Plan B: get some recycled stud length lumber

Plan C: use 2 x 6" studs and get modern with the wall insulation......& much stiffer... fresh lumber is far easier to hand nail and bend to old crooked stuff...

NO KNEE walls please

Consider building 8- 6" or 9 foot high walls to add value to the tiny space and room for more ceiling insulation...

Energy style trusses or Double ledger construction, for insulation above ceiling wall nexus.

Add X bracing to knee walls BEFORE cutting roof lose,

cable tie lower rafters or add bottom wood chord for tension member for roof removeal. (Make temporary trusses out of rafters).
3-4 pipe frame scaffold sections and screw jack could raise a 16 x 22 (4 Square?) roof with too many layers of shingles

1st floor scaffold on beams/sleepers directly under the the upstairs screw jacks/ dunnage.

I'd inspect the barn sill for rot/bugs first, R & R if needed then re-frame the now straighter upstairs....
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Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 03-14-2019 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:09 PM   #20
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Re: Balloon Frame Roof Raise Framing


Interesting post here... any updates on what you decided, @Afterhours?

My first vision was to go to your local reputable truss company, and see if they can build the trusses with legs. Leg would sit on top plate with panel blocks, and raise whole structure to height then you aren't having to mess with any existing walls.

A good truss co. will do the engineering and will make it seem easy. The wrong truss company will tell you they can not do it hahaha. Old roof comes off, and new roof to match customer specs goes on.

Of course, it depends on your locality, but this would be my first idea.

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