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Hangin' Drywall For Beginners
Mon 10/15/07 11:11:53 am
by James Gzemski

If you have ever taken the time to watch a skilled tradesman hang drywall, you marvel at how fast and easy it seems to be for them. I have seen friends in the trade use nothing more than a tape measure and a utility knife to make all the necessary cuts and cut-outs. For the average homeowner who may want to save a few bucks on a home construction project by doing it himself or with a helper, hanging drywall can be very intimidating, especially if you have never done it before.

There is real physical labor involved here, especially if you are by yourself. I just remodeled my own bathroom recently which wasn't bad since it was only 8 feet x 8 feet. What about a larger room such as a new family room in the basement? I have good news for you. It can be done by yourself or with a helper with a little patience and instruction. The goal of this article is to help those who may be just starting out or who are a novice. It will cover the basics of drywalling.

The experienced veterans and tradesman have their own way of doing things and have developed their own techniques, shortcuts and trade secrets. If you are just starting out, I would suggest buying an extra sheet or two of drywall when estimating your job. You will make mistakes and there is no better teacher than experience. If you have a friend who is skilled at drywall, I suggest you by him a case of his favorite beer and have him come over and give you some pointers as you work.

Lets start out by looking at what tools and supplies you will need to complete your job. First thing on the list is the drywall. we need to understand that with drywalling, there is a certain amount of waist involved. We always want to use the largest pieces possible to create the least amount of seams. The less seams there are to tape and spackle the better off you will be and the smoother your walls will look. For instance, if I am building a 10 feet x 10 foott room in my basement, if at all possible I want to purchase 12 foot drywall boards. Sure you lose two feet to waist but imagine how many more seams there would be if you used 8 foot boards.

Next we need a good cordless drill/driver along with at least 2 or 3 batteries. I also like to have two chargers so I always have one battery charging and one battery at full charge. My personal preference is an 18 volt cordless drill. Some people prefer 14.4 volt for this project. I have found that a good 18 volt variable speed cordless drill can take care of just about any job around the house, big or small. You can find anything you need in regards to a cordless drill at justcordlessdrills.com.

A good supply of magnetic screw gun bits are needed also. With 1/2 inch sheetrock, I like to use 1 1/2 or 1 5/8 sheetrock screws. I also like to glue my boards to the studs, especially the ceiling so a couple of tubes of adhesive such as Liquid Nails and a caulking gun is needed. For the beginner, invest in a 4 foot sheetrock square. This tool will prove invaluable in making your cut-outs for electrical boxes, exhaust fans, etc. Other items that you will need are a tape measure, a utility knife, some carpenter's pencils, a hand held drywall saw, a ladder that will be long enough to get you to the ceiling and if you can get one, rent one, or borrow one: a sheetrock lift or jack. This tool is not necessary but will make your job so much easier when doing ceilings. It is especially useful and almost essential if you are alone and have a high ceiling.

The last thing that you need to make you job easier is a good set of saw horses to lay you drywall boards on when measuring and making cuts. Lets assume that your room is studded and all the rough electrical, plumbling and duct work is in place. Your room is ready for drywall. When installing drywall, always start with the ceiling first. This allows the drywall used for your walls to butt up against the perimeter of the ceiling drywall to help support it. Make sure that the perimeter of your ceiling area has enough stud showing to secure drywall all around. If not, you need to install what are called "nailers" around the ceiling perimeter to allow the edges of your ceiling drywall to be secured with drywall screws. A nailer is a board that allows you to attach the drywall board edges when a stud or choice is not present.

When doing the ceiling, we need to go perpendicular to the ceiling joists and make sure the ends of the drywall around the ceiling perimeter always land on a ceiling joist or nailer. Also we need to stagger our ceiling joints as much as possible. If you have a 14 foot x 14 foot ceiling and are using 12 foot drywall boards, you are going to need one 12 foot board and a 2 foot piece to cover the 14 foot span. A drywall board is 4 foot wide so when you install the next 14 foot span of drywall, install the 2 foot board first and then the 12 foot board so that the 2 foot boards are on the opposite end from each other. Always make sure that the end of a drywall board that is going to be continued ends in the middle of a joist, stud or nailer.

Now measure the diameter of the recessed light. The diameter is length across the light. Divide the diameter by 2 and use this measurement to draw a circle equal distance from your centerpoint. Use your drywall saw to caught out the circle on the drywall board so when you install the board the cut-out will line up with the recessed light. On both length-wise sides of the drywall board, you will see a slight bevel. Make sure you butt your next drywall boards bevel to bevel whenever possible. Now that you have the cut-outs for your drywall board in place, it is time to hang the drywall board. Use your caulking gun to line all the ceiling joists with adhesive where the board will be plalced. If you have a drywall lift, place the board on it and lift it into place.The lift will hold it there so you can start securing it with drywall screws. If you don't have a lift, I recommend having a helper to do the ceiling.

A nifty little device that you can make is a "T" out of 2x4s. Make the top part of the "T" about 4 feet long, the width of the drywall board. The length should long enough for someone to stand the "T" upright from the floor to the drywall board at the ceiling You can make two or three "T''s" to help support the drywall board while you start fastening it with drywall screws.

Fasten the board on all ceiling joists with drywall screws using your cordless drill. Make sure you fasten the drywall board around the perimeter of the ceiling either to the ceiling joists or nailers that you installed. I usually install my drywall screws about 6 inches apart on the length of the joist. Repeat this process until you have the whole ceiling done.

Before we start the walls, let's talk about cutting a piece of drywall to length. Suppose that you need to cut your 8 foot drywall to 7 feet. Mark the front of the board at 7 feet.Use your drywall square to draw a straight line.Now take your utility knife and score the line that was drawn. I like to get about halfway through the board with my score. Next bend the board away from the score. This will leave the paper on the back of the drywall board to cut through. Go to the back of the board and cut through the paper. Your cut is complete.

When hanging the walls, you want to start at the ceiling and work your way down. You also want to hang the drywall horizontally. This will give you a beveled edge that butts up against the ceiling and the next piece of drywall that is placed under it. Remember to use the longest piece that you can to create the least amount of seams. Also make sure that you butt the drywall as tight as you can to the drywall on the ceiling.

Use your caulking gun to place some adhesive on the studs. This is not necessary but it helps hold the board in place. If your board is not long enough to cover the enitre length of the wall, make sure the end of the drywall board on the continuation side ends in the middle of a stud. Secure the ends of the board while your helper holds it in place. Once the board is secure and won't move, insert drywall screws about six inches apart over all the studs that are covered.

Cut-outs for electrical boxes are done similiar to the ceiling. For example, lets take a 2 inch receptacle box. We need to measure the height of the box (top and bottom)from the floor and the width (both sides) from the corner where the board will start. Mark the measurements on the drywall board. Use your drywall square to draw straight lines until they intersect and make the outline of the box. Use your drywall saw and cut out the box so when you hang the board it will line up with the receptacle box.

Repeat this process untill all the walls are covered. You ae now ready for spackle and tape but that's another lesson and this is about cordless drill projects. I hope that this article gives you some insight and helpful hints to help you hang drywall and effectively make use of your cordless drill.

About the Author

James Gzemski has been involved in industrial maintenance for the past 20 years. His insight and knowledge has been an asset to companies that strive to stay on the cutting edge of power and hand tool technology. His hobbies include Harley-Davidson motorcycles, home improvement & the outdoors. He currently operates a hand & power tool information website called www.tooltalkwithjim.com as well as two ecommerce websites: www.justcordlessdrills

 


The Manual for
Manufactured Home Repair & Upgrade

"Every winter my roof leaked...   We even had a couple manufactured home repairmen out to seal it.    Nothing worked and this went on for 5 years," said Maureen of Elko, Nevada.     "Then last summer I ordered The Manual and it suggested I use neoprene to seal the leak.    Since then I've had no leaks at all!"

Maureen is referring to The Manual for Manufactured/Mobile Home Repair and Upgrade by Mark Bower.    Most just dub it The Manual.    Bower owns and operates Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair in Aberdeen, South Dakota.   

Maureen isn't alone.    Hundreds of others have written to Bower sharing similar stories of how The Manual has solved their problems.    Esther of St.   Louis, Missouri, writes,  "We had squeaky floors in the living room and without The Manual, I would have had my husband tear out the floors and put in new ones.    What a lifesaver!"

Bower enjoys the letters he receives regarding his manual.   "I wrote this manual from experience," says Bower.   "I'm not just some guy with his feet up on the desk - I'm out in the field every day doing what I write.  "

Tom of Lansing, Michigan, followed the simple instructions on installing a shut-off valve and saved $75 on a service call.    Mary of Churdan, Iowa, writes to say she uses the manual to keep the repair guys she hires honest, "When I had my home releveled, I sent two different contractors packing because I knew they weren't doing the job right.    This manual has literally saved me hundreds of dollars!" 

Bower has updated his manual.    More information was added regarding additions and porches.    "We added details on attaching porches so they don't leak even if they shift with the seasons.  " says Bower.    With high energy prices now upon us, Bower says he's also included a section on building a solar heating panel.    "Find an old sliding glass door and you can build one for under $100," says Bower who built two panels for his own 1800 square foot manufactured home.    "You'd be surprised at how much heat they create when the sun is shining.  "

David of Lake McConaughy, Nebraska, says The Manual should be called, The Mobile Home Bible.   Dave writes, "I wish I had your manual when we had our 1965 Star.    It would have saved me WEEKS of work!" 

Vicki of Ocala, Florida, bought Bower's manual because it had instructions for installing a metal roofover.    "My son and husband had the roof up in 2 days from start to finish," says Vicki.   "The 4 inch overhang is awesome - no more water running down the siding.   Great roof, great instructions, I love it!"

The Manual also helped Pam from Duluth, Minnesota, replace her skirting and repair her underbelly.   "It gave me the courage to tackle these projects," writes Pam.   " I saved a lot of money by being able to do it myself.  "

Bower says many manufactured home owners are do-it-yourselfers, and he's glad to be able to provide them a tool, The Manual, to help them do more.  

,
Get The Manual Now!



Manufactured Housing Repair On-Line

The MH Parts Store On-Line   MH Parts may not be very pretty... but when you need them you just can't do with out them. Don't run all over town to assemble the things you need for that home renovation or repair. Order from our on-line parts store. Everything you need is here from doors, windows, screens, plumbing and electric parts, bath and kitchen fixtures, roof and ceiling components, and more.... even set-up materials, The Part Store's Owner/Managers, keep it simple, they just provide you with the best possible products available.

The Manual for Manufactured Home Repair & Upgrade   If your looking for a book that covers all facets of manufactured home repair, you've found it! This is the only book of its type, available to the public, that we have been able to find. As you would expect from the title, The repair and upgrade techniques described in this manual are specific to manufactured homes. This book will answer almost every question on manufactured home repair that we have ever heard. Not only does this book show you how to repair and maintain your home, but also great methods for upgrading it.

The Manufactured Home Repair & Renovation Forum   An open discussion group where all are welcome to participate. No registration necessary! Discussion threads covering a wide range of questions, answers, and relating of personal experiences involving MH Repairs. Moderated by Tracy L. Mason of MB-Quality Contractors, from Greeley, CO. Ask our experienced manufactured home repair and renovation contractor about your home repair needs! Basic home fix-it techniques to trade secrets.

Advanced Foundation Systems   Designed and engineered for manufactued homes, These foundation systems add a high level of strutural stability and have proven most cost-effective for the manufactured home, buyer. Advanced Foundation Systems meet or exceed industry standards, and have been proven safer under adverse conditions. Advanced Foundation Systems offer you the best foundation technology available for your manufactured home...plus added safety and stability...at a lower cost.

Finance Your MH Renovation/Repair   There are many loan programs available to MH Owners. Secure the money you need to renovate, upgrade, or even expand your MH. One stop shopping. select your loan preferences and we will forward your request for loan information to as many as a dozen participating manufactured housing finance offices.

Skirting For The 21 Century Manufactured Home   System-1 is what skirting should be- 100% solid concrete. System-1 is not an imitation or a look alike – it is the original concrete skirting system that resists the elements from the summer heat of Texas to the harsh winters of Minnesota. System-1 is built to last and is designed to stay put for years of dependable service. Stop chasing your skirting down the street and look at just some of the benefits System-1 concrete skirting provides you.

5 Part Site Preparation & Home Installation Video Series   We are proud to offer the most effective way ever to learn about the step by step process involved in properly installing a manufactured home; A new five-part video series with George Porter, the industry's most respected installation specialist. After viewing all five videos you will have what it takes to tackle your site preparation with confidence and peace of mind. Even if you're not planning on doing the work yourself, this information will help you understand the entire process. This will give you an edge when choosing sub-contractors and help you make sure the site preparation is done properly.

Manufactured Housing Yellow Pages / SERVICE COMPANIES   The Yellow Pages is an ever expanding data base that is growing into one of the richest resources in the world for locating and contacting companies that participate in, or offer services to, the manufactured housing industry.

The Mobile Home Expert   The business of installing and servicing manufactured homes is rapidly moving away from the world of the one pick-up, one jack, local set up and repair guys and into the world of certified tradesmen, and licensed contractors. The modern manufactured home is greeted with stiff compliance codes regulating construction, warranty and installation. As more and more local agencies get involved in the inspection of installations it gets more and more difficult to know what the rules of the game are, especially if your operating in more than one jurisdiction. Consult with R.T. Bonney, who has participated in all phases of the industry over the past 30 Years He can provide solutions for the modern problems of operating most types of manufactured housing business.

Floor Repair Info Kit   includes a 25 minute VHS video about repairing the floor underneath your toilet, and a booklet on floor repair. Price:$25.95 - Shipping & Handling:$3.90

Painting and Texturing Paneled Walls   By following the steps in this 20 minute video, your paneled walls will look darn near like textured sheetrock. Works on both wood paneling and vinyl-covered paneling or sheetrock. Price:$19.95 Shipping & Handling:$3.90 


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