Q: In a brick veneer/metal stud wall, how many studs should be used at each jamb of a wall opening, such as a window or door?

A: In general, one-half the number of studs cut to make the opening should be added to each jamb. For example, in a wall with studs spaced every 16 inches, a 6-foot, 8-inch-wide window opening would cut four studs. At each window jamb, to carry the load of the masonry above the opening, install three studs or one stud with three times the strength and stiffness. If three studs are used, fasten them together so that they work as one stud. At the head and sill of the window, the studs that are interrupted by the opening are installed into runners. To transfer the loads from these studs to the stiffer studs at the jambs, be sure to use runners that are as stiff as the studs. If you don't, the masonry veneer may crack.