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Airborne180 11-12-2006 05:37 PM

metal studs to build up attic floor
H'lo, all... first post here.

I've had in mind to add insulation to my attic, but I need to retain
the attic floor. It would seem pretty easy to take metal studs
(much lighter than wood), lay them on their sides, and screw them
down to the ceiling joists (presently 2x6) to add about 3 5/8 inches
of space for more fiberglass. Traditional 1/2 plywood would then
be screwed to the tops of the (sideways) metal studs. Does anyone
know if this is a reasonable use of metal framing material? Is there
another more common method?


mdshunk 11-12-2006 05:47 PM

I would question why you feel the need to add plywood to the attic? With 2x6 ceiling joists, it is most likely that those joists were sized to just barely hold up the ceiling finish material below and have no real load bearing capacity left to support loads from above.

Airborne180 11-12-2006 10:24 PM

According to the span calculators that I can find, a Live Load of 20psf and a dead load of 10psf are consistent for Douglas Fir, for the present span, but since the year of construction is 1957, it's pretty hard to tell
what species it is. I've seen gypsum ceilings described as 2psf.

I just need the storage...

Thanks again,

Bonus 11-13-2006 01:15 AM

It'll probably work but metal studs are NOT designed to bear load in this direction and the existing structure might not be designed to be loaded at all. If you're storing anything other than feathers up there I'd be talking to an engineer...

AtlanticWBConst. 11-13-2006 07:08 AM


The responses here are all 'on the money'...especially regarding your issues with the 2x6's not having the strength to support additional dead load/storage weight.
One of our customers (Large apartment complex) is going through this right now. They have a walk in attic area on top of each of their buildings. The space is great about 7' high & about 60' wide by 240' long. Plywood down on the joists with all kinds of past tenant's 'crap' on top of it. Unfortuntaly, they have to get all the old crap out and put a security door on the entrance because.......The joists were never designed to hold that extra dead load weight!...(the fire dept. discovered it and advised them...and they called us to put the doors in.)

....The only thing I can say is to lay your added insulation blankets loose over the 2x6's and find a different storage area to put your 'stuff'...

-my 2 cents-

Bonus 11-13-2006 12:23 PM

"....The only thing I can say is to lay your added insulation blankets loose over the 2x6's and find a different storage area to put your 'stuff'..."

Good call, Atlantic.

AllGoNoShow 12-13-2006 05:02 PM

You guys have me scared now! Thats my 1930 House the cieling joists are 2x4s and I just got done spending 6 hours up there laying some more insulation. OO well, must be that old lumber is a little stronger then the new stuff!

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