What’s a balloon frame?

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Balloon frame is a wooden frame used in construction to build buildings. It consists of wooden studs, plywood, and rafters. The term “balloon frame” came from critics who thought it was fragile, but it allowed for rapid construction and shipping of homes across the US. It did not require skilled workers and used nails to fasten wooden beams together. George Snow is credited with creating the balloon frame in the 1880s.

A balloon frame is a frame used in construction to construct buildings. This frame is made up of wooden studs which are placed at regular distances so as to distribute the weight of the building. To add stiffness and strength, plywood and other plywood-like materials are nailed to the frame to create the walls. The roofs of these houses are composed of rafters and rafters or prefabricated trusses. The roofs are then covered with other materials to help keep the weather out.

The term “balloon frame” may have come from the early days of the frame. It is said that when buildings were first constructed using this method, its critics thought it appeared as fragile and unstable as a balloon. The story goes that critics believed the first major storm would have swept the building away. However, these buildings were sturdy. In fact, platform framing, a variant of the balloon frame, developed as a construction method and has been used in building construction around the world.

American history would have been a little different if the balloon frame hadn’t been invented. This method of construction allowed homes to be shipped by train across the country to the west where wood was not plentiful. Balloon-framed buildings cost less time, money, and lumber than other construction methods. They also didn’t require any skills to build. Thus, they were able to spread rapidly across the United States, allowing the West to grow.

Prior to the construction of the balloon frame, skilled carpenters and carpenters had to be used to build the houses. In England, houses were commonly built of masonry and stone. The wood had to be expertly joined together for the house to be sturdy. This was a problem for early Americans who were not skilled workers but rather “jack of all trades”. The balloon-framed building did not have to be expertly joined and used nails, a cheap commodity at the time, to fasten the wooden beams together.

Many credit George Snow with creating balloon frame building in the 1880s. However, some say that early versions of the method had been around for years before this. One of the first balloon-framed buildings Snow built was St. Mary’s Church. The beauty of balloon frames was that the houses could be prefabricated and then shipped. Thus, houses could be ordered by catalog and shipped by train to the site.

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