basement soffit - max width to prevent sag

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Old 10-31-11, 06:41 AM
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basement soffit - max width to prevent sag

I'm in the process of framing the soffits around HVAC ducts and plumbing in my basement using this website as a guide -How to Finish a Basement: Framing and Insulating | The Family Handyman. My original plan was to use 2x4's laid flat for the lookouts (bottom of soffits) in order to retain the most headspace in the room. However, I will have some wide soffits (mostly 4', but one at ~6') and I'm worried about sag once the drywall is installed. I have no way to secure the middle of these runs as the HVAC ducts take up the entire space.

What is the maximum length of a flat 2x4 before you have to start worrying about sag? Would flipping the 2x4's on end be my only other option?
 
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Old 10-31-11, 02:17 PM
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I wouldn't be the final authority on this, but I think the 2x4's flat shouldn't be a problem. You aren't putting that much weight on them to start with. You could always put them 12" OC or closer to gain more strength.
 
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