Cutting Walls for Drywall Delivery
If you don't have sufficient access to doors or large windows, you may have to remove siding and sheathing to get your new wallboard indoors.
I recently bought a home to flip and am having the drywall replaced. For the drywall delivery, they cut out a section of the wall on the second floor without my prior knowledge. I was told there wasn’t room to get the drywall to the second floor through a window or up the stairs, and that this is the normal way to deal with that situation. Is that true?
—James via email
Drywall specialist Myron Ferguson replies: Getting long, heavy sheets of drywall into a house can be tricky, and there are lots of things that can mess up the delivery. Some of these are outside the house—things like fresh utility ditches and low-slung power lines. Others may relate to the state of the house or a lack of planning.
A boom-truck delivery through a window or door is usually the best way to go. This is especially true with multistory houses, not just because carrying a truckload of drywall up the stairs is hard work, but because there is often a tight turn at the top of the stairs that long sheets of drywall can’t make.
On most new builds, it’s relatively easy to leave an opening for the drywall to be delivered through. Sometimes, though, you have to make one. I have done this many times over the years. In your case, removing some siding and sheathing may have been the only way to get the drywall inside—it’s not unusual.
Though not as drastic, I recall one job where we could only get the drywall into the first floor (the siding had already been installed), and we removed plywood from the upper floor and handed the drywall up between the floor joists. When it comes to drywall delivery, planning is paramount. I once turned down a large job because the general contractor did not plan for access, and I didn’t want to carry that much drywall up the stairs. On the flip side, I drywalled an upstairs bonus room a few years ago in which the drywall had been stacked and waiting for 10 years. Now that is planning ahead.
From Fine Homebuilding #289