Balloon-Framing a Rake Wall
How one builder stiffens walls by running studs from floor to roofline.
Synopsis: A builder working in a wind-prone part of the country makes a case for balloon-framing rake walls, meaning that he runs studs on rake walls all the way from the floor to the roofline. The article explains why, and offers tips on how such walls should be built.
Here in Montana, the wind is something you can count on. The broad mountain valleys that grace this state are, among other things,nature’s wind tunnels (the high plains are called “windswept” for good reason). A builder must contend with the wind during all phases of a project, and any building should be designed with the wind in mind.
One technique that our crew uses to increase the wind resistance of a rake wall (a wall whose top plate follows the incline of the roof) is balloon-framing. Whenever we can, we extend the rake-wall studs all the way from the…