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Can I screw drywall to bottoms of heat and return air trunk lines?

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Posted by: from Edmonton
2/3/2016 at 7:19:16 PM

I am finishing my basement and want to know if I can screw drywall directly to the bottoms of my heat and return air trunk lines to maintain as much head room as possible, as part of doing my bulkheading? Is this allowed by code in Edmonton, Alberta?

REPLIES (3)
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Date/Time2/3/2016 at 8:13:11 PM

Hi Chuck,

Bad idea in my opinion. Sheet metal trades say every time your furnace kicks on there is a good chance you will hear the entire bulkhead vibrating from the moving air. The best option is to build the bulkhead out of 1 5/8" light gauge steel stud. Installing a brace in the middle of the span to either the floor system or anything other then the ducting. Make sure there is at least a 1" gap between the steel stud and ducting to prevent unwanted noise. Then the drywall of finished covering will create a strong bulkhead.

Hope this helps,

Kyle C.

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Justin from Court Renovations in Pakenham
Date/Time2/3/2016 at 8:32:15 PM

No I would not recommend that. Typically you want to screw to a wood surface such as studs or joists.

Bulkheads- I'd recommend you build a bulkhead using 2x2 aspantie and steel studs/straight 2x4. Find your lowest point overall rip your sheets to that measurement.

Now the 2x2 youll put as close as possible to the beam/duct work and screw them to the joists.

Now youll use drywall screws and screw the aspanite to tje 2x2 making it even at the top this will make sure your one aolid measurement all the way across once you do that

Take your steel studs or straight lumber up right so the 8' runs along the bottom full width up and down you should only see 1 1/2" on the bottom make sure its flush on your bottom and screw it in from the side of the aspantie into the steel stud/straight lumber. Now your bottom will just need drywall screw it in making sure you level down your bulkhead making sure its level up and down before measuring and cutting the drywall.

I would level the outsides of the bulkheads where it meets blocking or a wall and fasten it once it's level

I'd recommend steel stud, as it creates a nice even bottom this set up is a low.profile liess labour and have never had a call back or a problem.

The purpose of this is to keep the bulkhead low profile as possible while keeping it small as possible and time consumption is cut in more than half, then stick Framing.

As for code you would have to check with Bi-laws and the Alberta code. My focus is within OBC.

Hope this helps. Good luck!!

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James from Deckster Decks in Scarborough
Date/Time3/14/2016 at 11:54:52 AM

Do not screw into HVAC.

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