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Community and Q&A

Framing a Bulkhead

moose_head27 | Posted in General Questions on

Hi, I’m looking for advise for framing bulk heads around ductwork.

I have a 37 foot run which needs to have a bulkhead installed around. The width of the run is 8 feet wide.

I was originally planning to use 2×2’s and create a ladder on each side and one in the center for extra support. My partner however is suggesting to have 2 mid span supports. The ladders them selves would be framed at 16 inch on center. TheĀ  framing which crosses the 8 foot span at the bottom would be toe nailed at 16 inch on center as well. The bulkheads will be drywalled with 1/2 inch.

Lumber is crazy expensive, so I’m trying to minimize costs. Does the arrangement above sound suitable with 1 midspan ladder or would 2 be better. Lumber prices have already went up close to 40% in the past 2 weeks alone in my area so if I need to buy more material or alternate materials I’d rather do it now before prices get even higher.

Thank you for your advice.

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  1. Expert Member


    - Drywall spans are what should determine the spacing of the supports. If you use either 5/8" or ceiling drywall you could stretch them to 30". Going further risks sags.

    - My own preference is to skin one side of the ladders with plywood or OSB so they don't rely on the drywall for their structural integrity. If you don't want to do that, make sure you use adequately long screws to build the framing.

  2. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #2

    I'd normally do something like that with steel studs.

  3. Expert Member
    Akos | | #3

    2nd the steel stud idea. 1 5/8 studs and tracks plus 1"x2" drywall angle are your friend. If you are tight on space you can also use steel hat channel instead of a stud as it is only 3/4" thick.

    Sometimes it helps to mix a bit of wood in there (see attached) as it makes attaching things much easier.

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