I love working with drywall. That’s not normally the sentiment you hear because, let’s face it, hanging drywall is hard, dusty work. But there are ways to make it easier.
A good finished look starts with properly hung panels, which reduces the work of taping, mudding, and sanding. I try to use the biggest sheets possible to limit the number of seams I have to cover. If I’m working by myself, I can use 4-ft. by 12-ft. sheets. When I have a helper, I use 16-ft.-long sheets, if they are available at the supply store.
After I finish hanging the ceiling in a room (see Handling Big Sheets of Drywall from Fine Homebuilding issue #106), I hang the walls. I start where I can hang a full sheet without cutting it. Then I move to abutting walls where smaller pieces are required. This method limits the number of seams, which saves time and reduces waste. If my fastener misses a stud and finds nothing but air while I’m securing a sheet, I remove the fastener right then so there is no chance it will create a blemish on the finished wall.
Even if you are hanging just a few sheets, invest in a heavy-duty T-square to guide your cuts and a stiff-bladed keyhole saw to cut holes for outlet boxes and plumbing penetrations. Also, I use a fixed-blade utility knife called the Rasp-N-Knife that has a useful rasp built into the handle (www.warnertool.com).