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-   -   Can I remove the ribbon from Balloon framing? (

Buster 01-08-2010 12:57 PM

Can I remove the ribbon from Balloon framing?
I have searched and searched for this, but haven't really found anything other than people explaining what balloon framing is.

Anyway, I have gutted out my 1890s two story farmhouse and want to remove the 1x4 ribbon under the 2nd floor joists. The joists are face nailed to the studs and have the 1x4 under them. I have to sister the joists to meet code, the ribbon isnt completely let in (or uniform) so drywalling is going to be a pain, and I have to fireblock it.

Any suggestions? I was thinking of making a header with 2' cripple studs that would support the joist and fireblock at the same time.

inspectorD 01-08-2010 03:04 PM

This is really an engineers decision to make, hire one for a couple hundred and get the right advice.

However, if you where to remove the let in 1x4, you could reinstall it after you noch it at each stud to make it work. Bottom line is , it needs the support, it is part of a system for when the loads increase with wind ,snow and really bad weather.
The fire block does not need to be solid. you can pruchase rockwool insulation which is used for fireblocking. there are others available at your real "local" lumber yard. It is very dense and cuts with a handsaw.Much easier to make changes later also.

Run this by your building official, cause they are sometimes different on what they like to see.
Good luck, been there and finished...looked like it was always that way.;)

GBR 01-08-2010 06:39 PM

As Inspector said, check with your local B.D. before fire-stopping with insulation. Many times, solid wood blocking is required to carry the shear flow across the floor above, nailing into it as a perimeter diaphragm. It may also prevent the joists from rotation, unless designed and approved by a Structural Engineer to just sister to ones side nailed to studs.

"I was thinking of making a header with 2' cripple studs that would support the joist and fireblock at the same time. " ----- Again, ask them. You would be mixing balloon and western framing--- not a bad thing unless you change the integrity of the structure. Proper connection nailing comes to mind here....

Be safe, Gary

Buster 01-10-2010 06:34 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Thanks for your replies. I set this up as a mock up for my building inspector to take a look at. He advised that I would have to sister the 2x8s, but unless I cut the ribbon, I can't get the full length 2x8 in there, so a short header is what I was thinking. Has anyone ever cut the ribbon and what did you use to support it?

inspectorD 01-11-2010 05:39 AM

If you want the header, it will work for support.
But my suggestion to remove the ribbon and adjust it down and in to be flush with the surface will work also.
You can then install a solid fire block of 2x4 to take care of any fire spread issues. You will also need to fire caulk any joints.

The header idea is good if you are not looking for insulating value. These areas will always loose heat, at the top of the wall. The 2x4 r-value is somewhere around 4 at best, and by reinstalling the ribbon, you also have a solid connection across the room.

Good luck.:)

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