You may think installing drywall is one of the most intimidating DIY projects for homeowners. But you can easily learn all the steps to install and finish drywall yourself. If you follow the steps as described below, you can do the job right like a pro.
1. Proper Measurements & Estimations
At the beginning of your project, taking measurements of the space where you want to install drywall will help you estimate the total number of sheets needed depending on their sizes too. Measure the length and width of the room’s walls and ceiling. Calculate the total square feet and allow for an extra 10-15% of the drywall material you will need to order. It’s also important to know the dimensions of the wood used to construct your walls. Drywall panel manufacturer’s specifications and the best practices must be followed. A gallon of joint compound is usually required for every 100 sq. ft of drywall.
2. Storage and Handling of Materials
If the drywall installation starts in a few days or weeks, lay the sheets on a dry and flat surface like on a floor. That will keep them flat and dry to avoid any potential damage. Keep other materials and tools conveniently close.
3. Hanging Ceilings First
Hanging of the drywall boards should always start at the ceiling. They should be positioned perpendicularly to the ceiling framing in order to avoid issues like sagging. Get a screw gun and the right size of screws, depending on the thickness of your drywall sheets.
Carefully drive the screws barely below the surface to avoid tearing the face paper. Start from the center of each board and then work your way outwards spacing screws apart. That should leave the ceiling board firmly fixed to the framing.
5. Hanging Walls
When it comes to hanging walls, you may choose to position your drywall panels horizontally or vertically. Hang the top sheet tight to the ceiling board and start driving screws from the topmost corner. The fasteners should be spaced from each other by about 16 inches apart. Hang the bottom sheets tight to the upper ones to avoid any unnecessary gaps at the joints. Between the floor and the edge of the bottom board, you can leave a 3/8 inch of space.
6. Cutting & Scoring
If the need to cut a board arises, make sure you take the necessary measurements. Use a t-square to draw a straight line that marks where you need to cut the board. After that you can use a knife to score deep along the line. Now you would need to cleanly snap the board away from the cut, and use your knife to cut from the back paper.
7. Electrical Boxes
Walls normally have electrical boxes that need to be accommodated as you install drywall. In that case you measure from the floor vertically to the bottom of the box, then again measure directly and straight from an adjacent panel up to the side of the box. You then draw out the box margins on your panel and use a keyhole saw to make a cutout from the panel. With accurate measurements the electrical box should exactly fit into the hole cut out on the panel without leaving behind ugly spaces.