Tips for Hanging Drywall
Although many people leave everything up to the contractor when it comes to home renovations, things like building walls are actually surprisingly easy. Drywall construction is one of the fastest methods to flesh out your already-framed home or complete a brand new renovation. Here are some tips on how to hang drywall.
Remember that there are many ways to hang drywall. While you can definitely go the traditional route and use drywall nails, it's easier to use screws, especially on ceilings.
No matter which method you follow, you'll probably need the following tools: drywall, screws, a tape measure, a pencil, an electric drill, a dimpler drill bit, a circle cutter or keyhole saw and a razor knife. If you're working on ceilings or don't have much help, you may also want a drywall lift or jack.
One common part of all drywall hanging jobs is the initial planning stage. You'll need to use your tape measure and pencil to figure out how much drywall you'll need and where you'll need to make cuts ahead of time because it's almost impossible to modify heavy drywall sections once they're partially hung. Make sure to mark the locations of light fixtures, outlets and switches so that you can pre-cut the appropriate holes and slots with the keyhole saw.
Check to make sure that your walls are square, especially in corners and areas where drywall sheets will meet. The corners may not be perfectly square, but this is fine as long as you adjust your measurements.
Finally, use your pencil to indicate the stud locations on the floor and ceiling so that you'll still be able to see your marks after you place each drywall sheet. This tiny step makes it much easier to figure out where to affix the sheet with screws after it's in place.
Remember this job is safest when at least two people work together, so ask a pal to help. Turn off the circuit breakers that power the switches, outlets and lights you'll be working around to avoid any accidents.
It's usually easiest to start hanging walls and ceilings in corners. If you measured and cut correctly, the edges of each drywall sheet will start and end on one of your stud marks, never between adjacent studs. As you position each piece, hold it still with your friend's help or by using the jack. Check that the sheet is properly aligned before driving the screws in until they make shallow dimples in the drywall. Work your way around the room, placing and securing each section as you go. Once you return to your starting point, you're ready to cover the screws and seams with drywall mud and start painting.
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