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Old 08-15-2008, 02:40 AM   #1
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


I am considering a project that IMHO might be better suited to metal studs than wood. I have a 2 car garage with a south facing opening. Right now it has a dirt floor, but that will change soon. Once the garage floor has been poured, I want to pour another pad right outside the garage doors, with PEX for underfloor solar heat, to be used as the floor for a greenhouse. It will be as wide as the 2-car garage door and about 8' or 10' deep. This would be something I would erect each fall once the weather has cooled down (the garage will be turned into a pottery studio) and broken down and stored during the summer. While the "greenhouse" is erected, it would serve a dual purpose--starting the next year's garden plants and also providing a source of heat for the garage .

I've given great consideration to using metal studs for this endeavor, it just seems to me that they would be easier to disconnect and store than wooden studs.

So, I'm asking advice--I've never used metal studs, but I'm very handy and I'm sure I could learn. How difficult is it to erect structures such as this one using metal studs?????

TIA for whatever information you can provide .

Dugly

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:29 AM   #2
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


Would moisture be a problem for causing corrosion? They are galvanized but will still rust over time and anywhere you cut them.

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


Will they have sheetrock or plywood applied to them? Metal studs basically have no rigidity until some sort of sheet goods are applied to them.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:29 AM   #4
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Will they have sheetrock or plywood applied to them? Metal studs basically have no rigidity until some sort of sheet goods are applied to them.
I think I could deal with the rust issue--some sort of galvanized metal primer and a paint--I even thought about painting the metal studs before assembling the wall b/c a greenhouse would definitely be a humid, rust friendly environment.

The lack of rigidity is a bigger issue to me. These walls would not need to bear much weight, but I had definitely planned on using some sort of transparent covering, perhaps some sort of semi-rigid plastic sheeting or maybe plexiglass.

Weight is the critical issue here, and I could accomplish that by ripping the 2 X 4's or 2 X 6's down to half thickness. With wood it would be an easy matter to use one-by firring strips inside the "window" openings to create a "double-glazed" sort of southern exposure. I had actually planned on leaving the rear wall transparent, too, so that I could have some sort of natural light in the garage.

Hmmmm--maybe the idea of using metal studs isn't such a great plan. I was hoping for strength equivalent to wood at half the weight, but if the metal studs rely on some sort of rigid covering for their strength, it might not work!

Any other input, anyone?

TIA!!

Dugly
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


You can buy metal studs in a variety or gauges and dimensions; when you get thicker than 18ga. they aren't flimsy at all. They're available in 16, 14, and 12ga. as well. I've had studs laying out in the weather for more than 5 years and they still haven't rusted. However, they are more expensive to buy, the fasteners can be expensive and you'll need specalized tool's. I think they would be the way to go for what you want to do.

Last edited by rustyjames; 08-15-2008 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:28 PM   #6
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


You could probably get by with 20 ga. studs. Angle a stud from your top track to the bottom track on the corners and secure to keep things braced. Apply your desired cladding to the outside. You would have to buy the metal at a drywall supply. Self tapping screws would be necessary. You CAN cut 20 ga. with snips, but a chop saw would be easier. If there would be any kind of "load factor" involved, 16 ga. would be the minimum I would recommend. Metal is far more expensive these days than wood...... especially when you get into the heavier gauges.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:48 PM   #7
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


I have a 'green house' arrangement that I put over my fish pond in the winte and remove in the spring!
Its constructed from pressure treated 2X2's.
It has a foot-print of 6'X12'.
It consists of four 6'X6' panels, covered with 6 mil plastic.
The panels lean on each other, tent style. The end gables, triangular in shape are made the same way.
The wood is connected together using standard metal framing hardware, that is screwed in place with deck screws.
I would suggest that wood would be better suited for your project, rather than metal studs.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:59 PM   #8
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How difficult is it to learn to use metal studs?


The sharp edges on the metal studs are not really compatible with plastic either if that is what will be used to cover it.

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