How to Install Drywall

How to Install Drywall

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If you are renovating your home and the budget is tight you can save some money by hanging your own drywall. You can easily purchase the drywall needed from your local home improvement store, and either have it delivered or take it home yourself. Here is how you can install it yourself, and take pride in knowing you completed some of your home renovations yourself.

Prepare Your Room

You will need to cover all plumbing and electrical with nail protector plates so that you won’t accidently drill into any utility lines.

Hang the Drywall

Starting at the top apply adhesive to the studs of your wall. This adhesive will help to prevent nails from popping out and to hold the drywall in place.

Start with the first sheet, and hold it horizontally across the ceiling, aligned with one corner of the room. Then align both vertical sides with studs, and then hammer in a couple nails to hold the sheet in place. Make sure that the heads of the nails are below the surface of the drywall; and don’t worry about the indent this creates as you will cover these areas later with a drywall compound used to smooth these out.

Continue to hang sheets in this fashion, and then measure the remaining space when there isn’t enough room for a full sheet. When measuring the remaining space add about ¼” to make installation easier. Make sure to mark where the studs are so you know where to drill in the drywall screws after you have hung all the drywall. When drilling the screws in place you will want to place them about 16” apart from each other along the studs in the wall. Again, make sure the heads of the screws are below the drywall surface, as they will be covered with a compound later on to smooth them out.

If you are working around an area that has electrical, or other, outlets make sure you mark where they will be on the wall so that you can cut them out after you hang that sheet of drywall. Make sure to turn off all the power to the room you are working in, and then you can cut out the shape of the outlet marked on your sheet of drywall using a serrated drywall knife.

When working around a door, or a window, it is advised to hang the top row of drywall and then cut around the door/window with a saw. Then proceed to hang the rows of drywall across the room, cutting out the door/window as you go. You can make a template in your sheet of drywall as you did with the electrical outlet. You also may want to take into consideration hanging the panels around doors and windows so that you don’t create a seam right at the door or window. This will help to prevent cracks and leaks later on.

Cover the Seams

Once all your drywall is hung take mesh tape and cover all the vertical seams, pressing the tape into the seam with a knife. Once all the vertical seams are covered, start on the horizontal ones pressing the tape into the wall with the knife again, but make sure to not overlap the tape and cut off the tape where horizontal seam meets the vertical. Finally, cover all the corners in the same way.

Smooth it Out

After it has been taped you can going to take your drywall compound and smooth it over the walls in the same vertical, then horizontal then corner pattern used for taping.

On the inside corners place a joint compound and press paper tape into place, smoothing it out with a knife but ensuring not to cut the tape. For the outside corners apply compound to either side and then place paper beading, the length of the wall, and press it into place with your fingers then running a knife overtop of it to smooth it out and press out any excess.

Let the first coat dry overnight and then apply a second coat. Let that dry about 24 hours and apply a third coat over the heads of the screws and nails. After it’s completely dry sand down the areas you applied the compound to ensure they blend into the wall seamlessly. After that is completed apply a skim coat, which is a thin coat of mud or compound rolled over the entire wall like paint. Let it dry for 24 hours and lightly sand it again. Finally apply a drywall primer and let it dry.

After the primer is dry you can paint the drywall or hang wallpaper, or decorate in any fashion you wish to. It can take a bit of time and patience to hang your own drywall, but you can save a significant amount of money during your home renovation to do so and you can take pride knowing you completed a big part of your home improvement project.

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