Add a floor above Balloon framing


Old 12-24-06, 09:08 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: lie land
Posts: 37
Add a floor above Balloon framing

My 1-story (plus attic) 1939 Cape Cod is built with balloon walls on the gable ends. The two walls on the front and rear of the house are only one story tall and have a top plate that connects to the roof rafters. However, the gable end walls extend up to meet the roofline. The floor joist for the attic above rest on the top plates for the front and rear walls and are hung to the balloon (gable) walls in the usual "sill" manner.

I would like to tear off the existing roof and add a full second floor. I am aware of many issues involving the cieling joits and footer requirements, and plan to consult a structural engineer. However, my question is, in general, would/could I trim the balloon studs on the gable walls and add a new top plate to each, flush with the existing attic subfloor? Basically converting the balloon walls to almost platform-like? I would imagine I would then simply build the new gable second floor walls on top of the new top plate and frame the second floor as any normal platform framing job.

Does this seemt to make sense? Again I plan to fully consult a structural engineer, but I'm just trying to understand the process at this point.
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Old 12-25-06, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,150
With the exception of some additional blocking and connectors, that's pretty close.
Old 12-30-06, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
The only other way I can think to do it (reasonably, of course) would be to block between the studs at the height of the existing top plates (and as deep as the beam about to be mentioned), then bolt/fasten a 2x? across the gable end that will act as the new plate (kind of). Then, you sister your new studs for the second floor to the existing studs sticking up past the first floor.

This should save some wood, money, and time and get you the same results - from what I can tell from your post.

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