Balloon framing versus using a ledger


Hello,
As discussed in a previous thread, I'm reframing my porch deck and joists. On one end of the six foot span the joists hit the sheathed exterior wall of the house, so I'll be using a ledger and joist hangers. On the other end there is a porch knee wall and cripple wall below that are framed as a single stud wall. The old joists ran into this wall and were each nailed to the face of a stud, i.e. it was balloon framed. Is there any advantage to balloon framing like this over using a ledger and joist hangers?
BTW, it seems like a ledger and joist hangers don't provide much resistance against the joists pulling away from the ledger, as this would put all nails holding the hangers to the ledger into withdrawal. Is this a concern?
Thanks, Wayne
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On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 17:27:26 GMT, Wayne Whitney

Yes. You don't have to pay for a ledger board and a bunch of joist hangers.

Not unless you have some reason to expect the wall to be moving sideways, no.
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

Its a good practice to use lag bolts to attach the ledger- prob. not a risk in your case, but for folks with a porch against the house, and just a few support posts on the far end, ledgers that are just nailed to the house have pulled out and dumped people to the ground. having all the joist hangers pull out of the ledger is much less likely.
D
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Why do you say this? Is there some reason to think that the withdrawal strength of a nailed metal hanger/wood connection is greater than the withdrawal strength of a nailed ledger/wood connection, if the nail diameter and the penetration into the second member are the same? Or do you mean to suggest that the joist hanger solution will simply have more nails? Just curious.
Thanks, Wayne
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wrote:

I'm no expert, but I would expect the direction of the grain makes a difference. I've always found nails easier to extract pulling in the direction of the grain. No, I don't have a cite, just in my experience.
aem sends...
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

I didn't say it, but I agree with it. A nailed joist to ledger connection can be easily pulled out while a joist hanger connection is much harder to remove if installed correctly.
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

One thing I can say for a fact, more nails means more friction.
I like the thought about the nails being harder to pull based on orientation also.
I'm guessing also that there's something like the joists can't act as a lever against the ledger the way the ledger can against the house for any loads parallel to the ledger.
Dave
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On Wed, 06 Dec 2006 02:03:13 GMT, Wayne Whitney

The joist hangers I've used require two toenails on each side, plus a few nails driven directly into the ledger. With out the hangers, you've only got the toenails, so I 'spose it would depend on how many you drive. The bad news is if you support your joists with nails driven straight through the rim-joist into the end-grain. THAT gives you no withdrawal resistance at all.
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On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 17:27:26 GMT, Wayne Whitney

There are (at least) 3 ways to do this.
1. Balloon framed where joists run into wall cavity and are face nailed to studs.
2. Balloon framed where joists run into a ledger attached to the studs.
3. Platform framed where you have two separate walls each with top and bottom headers and a rim joist capping the joists.
Balloon framing resists in/out racking better than platform framing because there is no hinge point. Whether this is important or not depends on whether you have outward forces from the roof, or live in an earthquake zone, and whether the side walls provide resistance to racking. If you are depending on the joist/wall connection to help resist outward forces from the roof (or eathquakes) then method 1 is probably best. Joist hangers aren't effective at resisting outward force (unless you use the types with flanges that can be nailed off to the top and bottom of the ledger.
Balloon framing, in theory, allows easier snaking of utilities, but because it also allows easy propagation of fire up the wall, you should always install fire blocking, which negates the snaking advantage.
Method 2 allows the joist spacing/placement to be different from the stud placement/spacing, which may be an advantage in some designs.
Balloon framing is a little easier to insulate effectively, especially with method 2, because the insulation can be run between the ledger and the ouside wall. This is somewhat defeated by the fire blocking.
Platform framing gives you top and bottom plates to nail baseboard molding and drywall to.
Platform framing lets you use shorter (and cheaper) studs. It sounds like you have short walls, but when balloon framing a tall assembly, it can be a real challenge to find long, staight, studs.
That's all that comes to mind at the moment...
HTH,
Paul Franklin
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Right, because the nails from the hanger to the carrying member would all be in withdrawal. What about replacing these nails with a structural screw, such as a Simpson SDS screw? I wonder what sort of outward resistance this would give.
Thanks for the extensive answer on balloon versus platform framing.
Cheers, Wayne
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