How to Hang Drywall on a Gable End
This gypsum job is tougher than most, and not just because of the high ceiling.
Synopsis: Hanging drywall can be a difficult job to start with, but hanging it on a gable end makes the work even tougher. Drywall guru Myron R. Ferguson describes his process for hanging drywall on a gable end. Ferguson says that it’s OK to start at the bottom of the wall; having a layer of drywall at the bottom provides a surface on which to stack subsequent layers. Ferguson advises taking care with seams and screws. He also outlines his techniques for cutting arches and for cutting angles.
Homeowners love large rooms with high cathedral ceilings and lots of windows, but to a drywall contractor like me, tall gable-end walls are a perfect storm of drywall-hanging obstacles. Never mind the 20-ft.- to 30-ft.-tall ceilings—the gable wall alone involves lots of tricky cuts; structural headers, framing transitions, and solid blocking that create bumps and dips; and an increased chance of structural settling. All these things could lead to drywall cracks, visible seams, and popped fasteners.
Of course, no two rooms are exactly the same, but the project shown here is a textbook illustration of the potential problems. Even if your gable-end wall looks different from this one, my general guidelines can still be applied. Just plan thoughtfully, and focus on the common trouble spots.
Fewer seams, fewer problems
Taped seams are more likely to crack than drywall itself. Reduce the amount and the length of seams, and you reduce the chance of future problems.
One way to reduce the length of the horizontal seams is to rip the bottom course of drywall to a height that minimizes or eliminates seams running uninterrupted from one end of the wall to the other. In this way, the windows and doors become termination points, and they break up the length…