Secrets to Smoother Drywall
Dead-flat walls aren’t just about taping; they start with careful planning, smart staging, and solid installation strategies.
Synopsis: Professional drywaller Myron Ferguson explains the best ways to prepare for installation and to install drywall. He begins with planning best practices and tips for estimating and ordering material, as well as guidelines for avoiding trouble spots. He then moves on to delivery and staging, including checking for fit and optimal stacking methods. He also describes the most efficient ways to hang drywall. The article includes a section on essential extras, including screws, tape, and compound.
Homeowners aren’t likely to be bowled over by a great drywall job like they might be by cabinetry or flooring. Everybody expects flat walls.
Because drywall covers about 80% of the visible surface in most American homes, it demands a quality installation, and because there’s so much of it, there are lots of ways it can go wrong. Some of these mistakes happen before the first panel is hung.
When the right materials are used, and properly installed and finished, drywall can add real beauty to a home. A successful drywall job depends on the work you do before the delivery truck shows up, as well as the efficiency and care of the installation. It doesn’t take a lot of experience or special tools to hang drywall, but doing it well takes a load off of the taping crew, who might charge extra to hide mistakes. Largely, a good hanging job comes down to planning.
I like to measure for materials as soon as the house is framed. Seeing the structure helps me visualize things that could cause trouble—for example, horizontal framing in some of the tall walls in this house—as well as simple details, such as the actual lengths and heights of ceilings and walls and locations of doors and windows, any of which can be off from the plans.