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How I Learned to Love Balloon Framing by Paul Hanke Several years ago I had occasion to help a young couple in nearby Peacham, Vt. design and build a house that taught me a valuable lesson about when to use balloon framing. During the design stages everything sent smoothly. Working from the owners' sketches and ideas we developed a plan for a modified saltbox-style house that was contemporary in feeling but reminiscent of traditional New England farmhouses. The final design was for a two-story house with a 1 1/2-story wall along most of the south side, and a one-story wall on the north, resulting in the desired semisaltbox appearance when viewed from the gable end. A steep roof pitch and clapboard exterior added