Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: History of constructoin of frame houses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    outside of Toronto, Ont
    Posts
    182

    History of constructoin of frame houses

    Just recently recalled doing some reno on our previous house that was over 100 years old. Historic photos of the area always have a house at that location. The foundation was stone of varying ages, showing how additions were added.
    The walls were framed with real 2 by 4's. They were rough sawn and exactly 2" x 4".
    The sheathing was horizontal boards and the siding vertical boards. I can't remember if the boards were tongue and groove or shiplap, but there was a bead on the one side of the joint and a fancier profile on the other. It had of course been covered with aluminum siding before we bought the house. I wouldn't have wanted to scrape and paint it.

    Anyhow, to the question, the 2x4s went all the way from the foundation to the rafters. When did they start using studs that were only a single story?
    Was the change from full length to single story studs because of fire concerns or cost?

    Oh, and there was no insulation in the walls.

    There was a story about how after an earth quake in Japan, there was one subdivision where all of the houses were destroyed except for a handful that had been built by a Canadian firm using the single story studs instead of the typical finely crafted timber frames.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,427
    I dont know the year they switched to single floor studs, but what you have is balloon framing. I had a 1925 house that still used it. We did add some fire blocking as we did its reno.

    Edit: Looks like platform framing took over in the mid 50's...https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framing_(construction)
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 02-15-2016 at 03:47 PM.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,243
    Thanks Paul you indirectly answered many questions I have had about building technology and methods in NA since I grew up with brick house building.


    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,002
    That's an interesting and informative Wikipedia link, Darren. Thanks.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    outside of Toronto, Ont
    Posts
    182
    Yes, the Wikipedia article was very informative. I'm getting into old codger territory and the first house that I saw being framed was in the mid fifties and it used the single story studs.
    Next time I see my uncle I'll ask him, since he is about 15 years older than I am and might remember seeing balloon frame houses being built.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,697
    Going back another step..

    My copy of "Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide Vol 3" from 1923 (reprint[1]) was apparently written when the shift was being made from "timber framed" to "balloon framed" in a large scale. The chapter on balloon framing roundly criticizes balloon framing as a cheap knock off. Its interesting because they had some of the same criticisms that lead to frame on frame later, notably the fire hazard problem. Its also a bit later than the 1830 date from the wikipedia page, so it may have been regional and/or its possible the author was still somewhat conservative (although I got the impression from reading it that practice had been spreading fairly widely for at least a generation prior).

    Its also interesting that they had interior shear bracing as a standard practice on both timber and balloon framed houses (with examples showing proper and bad examples of both) which seemed to be somewhat dropped after that in favor of using the skin as the bracing but is now making a come back in the codes.

    [1] http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...96,46100,54923 - I originally bought it for the excerpt in one of the books on the steel square that my dad had had since forever but the rest of the books are pretty interesting as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,806
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Brubacher View Post
    There was a story about how after an earth quake in Japan, there was one subdivision where all of the houses were destroyed except for a handful that had been built by a Canadian firm using the single story studs instead of the typical finely crafted timber frames.
    First, Old Japanese home means that it was built in the late 1940's as almost NOTHING survived the war in any large cities.

    Two major problems occur with these homes and earthquakes;
    First, they have very primitive foundations, often if they are concrete it is very small, usually almost on the surface only and very thin, very little if any rebar, and they homes are not very well secured to said foundations. It is not uncommon to see an old house that survived the quake intact, but has to be demolished afterwards as it has jumped off it's foundation, this happened to several homes in my area after the March 2011 quake.
    Second, they have a HEAVY tile roof, they are designed to stop fire from spreading and to stay in place during typhoons, OK that might be a good idea in the 1800's but why are so many NEW homes still made with these heavy tile roofs? Tradition, that is what a roof should look like I guess, also the roof tile company does not want or is able to switch to asphalt shingles. These roofs are heavy, and when a big quake hits, with them sitting on top of an old wooden framed home, well a lot of them fall down, they don't have proper shear walls in the old homes, so they crash down like a house of cards.

    It is also fair to note that during the late 1940's and early 1950's there was a frenzy of construction, and not everything was built well, people just needed homes to live in, no one imagined that these homes would still be around 70 years later.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,002
    Interesting insights, Stu.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,243
    Well its a mad mad world.
    Back in SA we used typical English/European construction build technique. Double brick wall with air gap between. Initially in early post war years roof was all corrugated sheet steel. (Galvanized).
    Then concrete tiles became "in" and houses were either upgraded or built with tiles as is.
    I recall my Dad and I doing a section of a roof on a extension to his house and the tile had a single nail hole in top center. However if u dared put a nail in, chances are u had a cracked tile. Lol. This was not as one might suspect as a result of uneven support on the bottom, rather a hole that was poorly cast and could not take the nail.
    Crazier still there was no sheet of anything beneath this, next surface u would see looking down would be top of Sheetrock used for ceiling. Go figure.
    All heat generated in winter just got sucked out the roof. Doh.

    Now the outbuildings (garage, workshop had steel sheet laid pretty flat with angle from one side but maids room and washroom, all had concrete roof. Yeah a slab. Then slab was waterproofed way a commercial building in North America is done with roll of asphalt heated and stuck down. Again no idea of insulation direct to concrete. Go figure. Three different incomplete systems.

    Then I come to Canada and a sought after roof is a metal roof.
    We never changed the tile roofs they lasted longer than the building but here we got permanent maintenance cost on a home roof what with shingles getting blown off , ice dams and shingles shrinking and curling and whole roof needing replacing. So maybe them Japanese not so crazy with their tradition provided framing can withstand load.

    While the techniques used in roofing here are relatively easy and cheap to mass produce, they not exactly durable. It just lends itself to mass production homes with min labor effort.


    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    outside of Toronto, Ont
    Posts
    182
    Rob,
    The double brick wall was also used in North America. There were even 2 types of brick used, soft inside brick and harder outside brick that would withstand the weather.

    Then there were also the stone houses. The Scottish masons would shape the stone and use very little mortar. Most of the houses were build with lots of mortar except at the corners. The walls of stone houses were typically 2 feet thick.

    The first houses built by the settlers would have been built with logs.

    When my grandfather married during the first world war, the family farm was divided and a new house and barn built. The house was double brick. It was torn down about 15 years ago. I remember that my mother said that it was drafty during the winter.

Similar Threads

  1. new bluebird houses
    By Dan Noren in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-09-2012, 01:14 PM
  2. Bird houses
    By Dennis Kranz in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-06-2012, 09:47 PM
  3. Bird Houses
    By Dennis Kranz in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-16-2011, 05:13 PM
  4. tree houses
    By Darren Wright in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-16-2008, 11:56 PM
  5. Pole frame / Post Frame construction question
    By Lincoln Myers in forum Carpentry and Construction
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 10-19-2007, 10:54 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •