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Published: October 2, 2020

Hanging Drywall Part 1: Intro and Planning

If there is anything more controversial in the construction industry hanging drywall I do not know what it is. On the whole, there is always someone doing it a little bit different. As a carpenter, I have to work with drywall about as often as I have to work with wood. This is because the two pretty much go hand-in-hand and is crucial to being a good carpenter. Please remember that the way that I’m describing how to hang drywall is not an appropriate substitution for the manufacturers recommendations or any other personal research. Without delay, double check with your local inspector or alderman about codes and regulations. This post covers the basics of how to hang and finish drywall in a way that will ensure you have a longer lasting product.

The Planning Process

Choosing what size and type of sheetrock that will be used is probably the most crucial step. This is because if your drywall is too thin then you will have cracks and failing drywall and if the size of the sheetrock isn’t appropriate then you will have too many joints making more work than necessary. If you plan poorly and make it harder on yourself you will be quickly discouraged with all of the extra work required.

Five Simple Rules for Every Project

  1. Using 5/8″ sheetrock on the ceiling is always a safe choice. Only use 1/2″ if your joists are no more than 16″ on the center.
  2. Invest in drywall adhesive. This will prevent nail and screw pops as well as help with insulation and some of the cracking issues that might occur. You should average about 1 tube per 4 X 8 sheet of drywall or about 46.5 tubes per 1500 square feet. Go ahead and try out this adhesive: Liquid Nails DWP-24 28-Ounce Drywall Adhesive.
  3. Never use only 4′ X 8′ sheets of drywall. Drywall can be ordered in sizes up to 16′ in length. If you can get away with a 16′ sheet of drywall then do so. That is 1 less seam that you need to cover and that means less time. My rule of thumb is that each seam that needs to be mudded is at least 30 minutes of additional work and those 1/2 hours add up quickly.
  4. Use moisture or mold resistant drywall in areas that have the potential to get wet and stay wet. This included bathrooms, kitchens, and possibly basements. A good fan installed in the bathroom will keep up with humidity control so you don’t need mold resistant drywall on ceilings.  Greenboard is a great way to stay up to code with little expense per square foot but there isn’t a need to go overboard. Only use what you need.
  5. Hang drywall horizontally on 8′ ceilings and hang vertically on 9′ and up ceilings. Remember that drywall comes in different sizes so if you have a 10′ ceiling order 10′ drywall.

Basic Tools Needed

Drywall projects cannot be completed without the right hardware. Here is a basic tool and fastener list to perform this project:

In general, hanging drywall requires having a buddy. Having help will help reduce the amount of time needed for this type of project. Ultimately, two heads are better than one.

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