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Hanging Drywall Instructions

  • Installing Drywall

    To finish a framed wall, you’ll need to hang drywall to cover the electrical wiring, plumbing and ductwork. Hanging drywall will also provide insulation and noise reduction.

  • Overview

    There are four basics steps in hanging drywall. You will need to prepare for the project by first checking for obstructions. Next, measure and cut the drywall and then hang and fasten the drywall. Finally, you will need to cut out openings for outlets, fixtures, and other obstacles.

  • Preparing the Area

    Before installing drywall on your walls you should have finished installing drywall on your ceiling. After which, you need to prepare for your dry walling project. Before you begin the project you need to first check for any warped, non-true wall studs. Using a 4 foot level, check the wall studs for any warped boards and replace any you find. After you have confirmed that your studs are true, check the area for obstructions like protruding pipe or ductwork. For smaller items like pipe, you will need to install furring strips to the framing to extend the wall so the drywall will hang flat. For larger items like ductwork, you may need to build a frame built with 2”x4”s. You can think of it as building another wall foundation so that the drywall has a larger area which will allow it to hang flat. Next, you will need to next mark the location of your studs along the floor and ceiling so that you can securely attach the drywall to the framework of your room.

  • Cutting the Wallboard

    When cutting the drywall laterally, first measure and mark your cut line, lay the T-square along the line, and cut through the paper face with the knife. You might need to make a couple of passes with your knife. Alternately, if you need to make a longer cut, use a snapped chalk line to make your straight line and then cut along that line. Next, tip the panel slightly up off the floor or worktable and snap it downward to break through the core. Finally turn the panel over and slice through the paper backing.

  • Hanging the Top Sheet

    You should install the sheets on the top part of the wall before hanging bottom sheets. Although it is possible to hang drywall by yourself, it is much more simple if you recruit a friend to help out. When hanging the top sheet on the wall by yourself, hammer nails about an inch into the studs about 50” inches from the top of the wall. This will allow you to lift the sheet and rest it on the nails. Hang the first sheet flush with a corner and be sure that the edge of the drywall ends in the center of a stud. Continue hanging the top portion of the wall before hanging the bottom.

  • Installing the Drywall

    Referring to the marks you made on the floor and ceiling, drive screws into the studs so that their heads dimple the surface but do not break through the paper facing. Drive the screws 3/8 inch from all edges and space them 7” inches apart. Increase spacing to 12 inches for intermediate studs. If you miss a stud, pull the nail or screw out and try again. You can fill the hole with joint compound when you tape the seams and corners.

  • Hanging Subsequent Sheets

    When hanging subsequent sheets, be sure that the tapered edges should always butt together directly over a stud. The tapered edges are to accommodate for your drywall tape and patch as explained in the drywall taping tutorial. When hanging the bottom portion of the walls, you should stagger the seams of the drywall for stability. Therefore, start the second row with a half sheet of drywall and continue on with full sheets to complete the row. To raise each panel into place, set the panel on two foot levers and lift it into position while you drive the first screws or nails. You do not need to make sure that the drywall reaches the bottom of the wall as your base molding will cover any gap at the bottom.

  • Cutting for Outlets

    For panels that cover an outlet, vent or light fixture, do not completely fasten the board. By only partly fastening the board, the protruding object will form a “hump” which will help you locate the box. Although you can use a drywall saw, a rotary saw is extremely helpful for large jobs. The saw has a long, thin bit that spins extremely fast and works like a knife through butter. Use the tip of the rotary drill to place a hole on the inside of the box. Slide the head of the drill to the sides of the box and cut out around the border of the obstacle. Then finish fastening the board.

  • Cutting for Windows and Doors

    For panels that will cover a window or door, completely fasten the drywall around the edge of the window and then cut out using a rotary drill or drywall saw the same as you would for an outlet or other obstruction. Following these basic rules, finish drywalling the walls. You will find that after hanging the first few sheets of drywall, your technique will improve. Although a good taper can hide most hanging mistakes, you should take your time and work as carefully as possible to prevent visible seams or mistakes.


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