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Re: LGSS - Light Gauge Steel Stud question

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<Thanks Ernie, but the outside is already covered with lath and stucco.
<Now the contractor says that it would be too time consuming and difficult to
<get the nuts on the bolted connection that I suggested. He wants to know if
<he can tack weld in place. I have my doubts here since the material is only
<20 gauge.
<Any thoughts?

<Dennis Wish PE
I have only seen two people in 20+ years of light gage design that could consistently weld 20 ga. material. I would not recommend welding anything thinner than 18 gage 
I have used designs with 18+ gage material in commercial construction, but have no solution for your 20 gage header.  I might suggest you do a mock-up the header test with the various suggestions already posted, this may give you a clue as to the actual behavior of the web.
AISI is an excellent document, but when dealing with "long/wide" flat webs or elements, behavior is sometimes controlled by other portions of the design. For example in standing seam metal roofing, AISI procedures will give you your section properties, but design will generally be controlled by clip/side-joint interaction strength.
I have found when get exceed the limits suggested within the AISI documents, testing is the best alternate.
Good Luck,
David M. Boyer, P.E.