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Installing drywall

The hardest part of hanging drywall is in stalling it on the ceiling. The panels are heavy and unwieldy, so be sure to line up some help for this job. If you have to work alone, rent a drywall lift from a tool rental store. It costs about $40--$50 a day, and itís hard to find a better bargain. Once the ceiling is done, you can also use the lift to install the top row of panels on the wall. Remember, you can install these panels either vertically or horizontally. But the latter makes finishing the joints much easier.

Step 1. Hang the panels on the ceiling first; then start the walls. Measure the length of the first panel from the corner to the middle of a stud, and transfer this measurement to the panel. Make a mark; then hold a drywall square against the panel, and score the paper using a sharp utility knife.


Step 2. Once the paper is scored, hold the board on one side of the cut; then snap the board on the other side of the cut. The panel should break cleanly. If it doesnít, move behind the panel; put your knee behind the cut line; and pull the board against your knee. Cut through the backing paper using a utility knife and separate the pieces.


Step 3. To improve the joint between the panels and the framing members, use construction adhesive. Apply it to the edge of the studs and ceiling joists using a caulk gun. Then install the panel. This adhesive is very sticky and has a way of getting on every tool in sight, so apply it carefully.


Step 5. Drywall screws hold better than nails, and they are easy to install if you have a cordless drill/driver. Just drive the screws until the head stops just below the surface of the paper. Nails should be spaced about 6 in. apart, and screws should be installed S in. apart.


Step 4. Get some help to lift the panel; tip it in place at the top of the wall; and press its top edge against the ceiling to get the tightest joint possible. Attach the panel using drywall nails or screws.


Step 6. After the top row of panels has been installed, start with tile bottom sheets. Stagger the butt joints, and keep the long tapered joints tight. An inexpensive panel lifter helps raise tile sheets off the floor You can do the same thing with a simple fulcrum and lever made of two pieces of scrap lumber.



  If screws chew through drywall paper, you may have trouble covering them with joint compound. That can happen if you overdrive the screw or use the wrong bit. The screw should leave a smooth, shallow dimple, shown below. Drywall screw guns (and some standard drills) have a torque setting that stops the screw at the right point.




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