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Old 12-10-2006, 05:03 PM   #1
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


I am in the process of building a soffit around my heating ducts
.
I am building a soffit which encompasses 2 main heating ducts, that rund beside each other, and a steel beam that runs right beside them.

The total width of the soffit will end up being 4 feet wide.
(The duct runs right down the middle of the room)

I am using 2X2s as my joist ledgers, and 2X2s for the sides, and 2X4s for my lookouts underneath.

Will this be strong enough?
And if not, what can I do about it?


Thanks for any help.

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Old 12-10-2006, 05:21 PM   #2
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


I don't have a clear picture of what you're describing in my head. Can you draw a quick picture, or post a real pic? That would help a lot.

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Old 12-10-2006, 08:18 PM   #3
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


I don't know how to send pictures through this chatroom, or how I would draw one and send it.


Maybe I can describe it better.

My main heating trunk runs right down the middle of the room.

When I end up boxing it in, it will end up being 4 feet wide and probably
25 feet long.
What I am wondering is if the 4 foot width will be strong enough and not sag in the middle.

I hope this is as clear as mud.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:17 PM   #4
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


It will be just fine. As long as you use the right amount of fasteners. And keep your "joists" at 16" O.C. you will be just fine. BTW you can go about 8' before you have to add bracing in the middle.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:58 AM   #5
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


FWIW: If you want to gain any 'head space' on the under side of the soffit, you could also use 3/4" 'spring board' or 4' long strips of 3/4" plywood cut down to about 12" in width....
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:20 AM   #6
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


Thanks to both of you for the information.

Thanks Atlantic for the tip about having more head room under the soffit. I will definitely do that, as my basement is only 7 feet at it's highest point.

You guys are just great.

The only thing I am going to hate doing is covering all this hard work that I have done!
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:22 AM   #7
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


Is it standard to have to keep 2 inches away from the furnace duct when building a soffit at the underside?

Would I be able to just leave say 1 inch at the underside of the soffit, so that I can have more headroom?



Thanks
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:39 AM   #8
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


If you are going to insulated the heat trunk as you said you will, you don't need to leave any space between the frame and the heat trunk... and insulated it... it will give you peace of mind and probably save you some heating bill...
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:43 AM   #9
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


you are smart for building a wide soffit... it although may waste some space... but looks better... I instead some of my soffit are so isolated because I want to get all the space I have... now some of them looks odd like a piece of lonely island on the ceiling when finished drywalling... well... so try to make the soffit cover more area rather than have it goes up and down... it also save a lot of drywalling and tapping works... it looks better that way... also... try to put in some pot light if possible... it also makes the soffit so professional look in my opinion.... especially in those space it is empty... and chance are, it is pretty dark below the soffit...

Last edited by KUIPORNG; 12-11-2006 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:57 AM   #10
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


Thanks for the advice about having a wide soffit.

In my case, I have to do that because two ducts run together and also a steel beam beside them.

Can I install pot lighting under the soffit?

I thought I could not?
But if I can, I would like to do that later.


Thanks again.
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:01 AM   #11
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


You can install canned light anywhere you want as long as there is enough room... i.e. is no touching combustion materials like wood, insulation..etc. I installed a few under the soffit... just hoped could have installed more as it looks good...
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:45 PM   #12
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Is it standard to have to keep 2 inches away from the furnace duct when building a soffit at the underside?

Would I be able to just leave say 1 inch at the underside of the soffit, so that I can have more headroom?



Thanks
NO, there are no code requirements for heat ducts....Only for Chimney flues (Active thermal heat)
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:52 PM   #13
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Thanks for the advice about having a wide soffit.

In my case, I have to do that because two ducts run together and also a steel beam beside them.

Can I install pot lighting under the soffit?

I thought I could not?
But if I can, I would like to do that later.


Thanks again.
If you have a space that can 'house' the actual lighting unit:

Then, yes, you could install 'canned lighting' ..or what is commonly referred to as 'recessed lighting'.
What you want to use are 'INSULATED' recessed lighting units (Again: if you have the ceiling space to install these) They are constructed with an added baffle of 'space' using an extra 'ring' of metal around the heat eminating parts of the light. It is designed to be used on areas of the ceiling that have actual insulation installed that will be in contact with the lighting (hot) portions of the lightning fixture.

(Another option would be to install 'directional' lighting on a wall adjacent to the soffit area)
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:14 PM   #14
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


I don't have any space that can "house" it, as I am leaving very little space underneath.

So therefore, I think I will not go for recessed lighting under soffit.

Atlantic, you say another option is directional lighting.
Does that mean lights that are put on the wall, like wall sconces?


Thanks
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:30 AM   #15
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can width of a soffit be 4 feet and be strong?


Hi Yummy, depending on your lighting needs, I have seen some very nice low voltage accent lights that are a surface mount (on a tape ribbon). They will need to be near a poower receptacle, but with limited space under your soffit, they might do nicely. Lowes and Home D carry them (Sears too if I recall).

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