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Balloon framing a loft


dlukas's Avatar
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08-29-16, 05:21 PM   #1  
Balloon framing a loft

I've just finished framing a small detached mother-in-law unit in my back yard. However, we just decided kind of at the last minute that we'd like to add a small loft at one end for storage (I know, should have planned better). The span will be 14', and it will only be 4' deep. So basically I need to balloon-frame three 2x8 joists at 16" OC, so that they align with the first 3 studs on that end of the structure.

I have fire blocking at 8' high, and my intention was to set the joists on top of the fire blocking, face-nail the joists to the studs, and put in a ledger/ribbon to support the fire blocking in the bays between my 3 joists.

So my questions are:
  1. Is the ledger overkill for a storage loft? Should I be satisfied with letting the joists be supported by the fire blocking and the face-nailed connection to the studs?
  2. If I do need a ledger, does it need to be continuous, and notched into the studs? Or can I just toenail some blocking between the studs, basically the same as the fire blocking except on edge rather than flat?
  3. What should be the dimensions of my ledger?

 
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08-30-16, 03:37 AM   #2  
From what you describe without pictures, I would band the area and attach joists to the banding with joist hangers, then finish it with whatever you desire. Will it span the total length of the room and extend 4' . At 14' you may be looking at a double LVL for a face band to eliminate center support. Do you plan on any center support? Where will the access be?

 
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08-30-16, 02:10 PM   #3  
No center support. Access will be with just a folding ladder. This photo is similar to our desired end result (though loft in the photo appears to be deeper than 4')

[ATTACH=CONFIG]70269[/ATTACH]

When you say "band the area," do you mean like a rim joist? That's not really feasible because the whole structure is already framed, sided, etc. So at this point I can't really alter the framing of the exterior walls.

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08-30-16, 02:37 PM   #4  
Not the exterior. Band the interior, support the joists via joist hangers, then cover it all up. Not sure why you think the exterior would need anything.

 
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08-30-16, 02:52 PM   #5  
I just misunderstood then. I'm still not clear on what the band should look like. Are you saying the band should be notched into the studs, like a ledger with balloon framed joists? If that's what you mean, is there a benefit to using joist hangers, rather than balloon framing the joists?

 
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08-30-16, 03:52 PM   #6  
It is probably going to be more beneficial if you were to post pictures of YOUR project, so we can see exactly what you have planned. Balloon framing goes all the way up. You would attach the band/ledger around the area you want to incorporate in this loft, using possibly LVL for a front band/ledger. You would attach these ledgers directly to the balloon framing studs. Maybe we are missing too much without the pictures.

 
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08-30-16, 04:14 PM   #7  
Here's a photo of the framing in-progress. In this photo, the gable-end walls have not been framed yet. The two walls you can see are the ones between which the loft joists will span. The top plate is at 10', and the loft joists will be at 8' (which is level with the window headers you can see in the photo).

The loft will be at the far end. You can see in this photo there is a temporary 2x6 bracing member running between the two walls, face-nailed into the studs; that is almost exactly where I would anticipate putting the middle of the 3 loft joists.

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Hopefully this helps?

 
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08-30-16, 05:15 PM   #8  
Is this the second story of the building? Since you are in the framing stage, just install banding as shown in the picture with LVL running across the front (your end wall will have studs so you can attach framing to it.

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08-30-16, 09:11 PM   #9  
The building is only one story; it's on a slab. Since this photo was taken, I've finished framing, siding, etc, but no drywall yet.

The crux of my question, I think, is: how is this portion of the banding installed?

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I assume it has to be notched into the studs so it's bearing directly on them? Also, why use joist hangers in this application rather than traditional balloon framing?

Thanks for your help.

 
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08-31-16, 03:35 AM   #10  
There is no "balloon" framing involved. The bands are attached directly to the studs on three walls. Once these bands are installed and the front LVL is installed, the joist hangers will hold your joists. Why not a current picture?

 
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