Hanging drywall in your home can be a daunting task if you head into it blindly. Most times it is planned out well in advance and still a home owner finds they are caught up in too much work to finish by themselves. Don’t take it the wrong way, but hanging drywall is not for sissies. It is however something you can do with the help of a friend who’s strong and ready for a days worth of work. Maybe two friends. Oh yeah, and get the drywall delivered to your home, not many friends are nice enough to bring their 12 foot long flatbed trucks.
Sheet rock is a very heavy, flimsy, 12 foot piece of back breaking material you balance above your head and with one hand set nails and screws, and the other hand balances the board that feel like 2000 lbs. But don’t fret, there is help for the Do-it-yourselfers out their. At many tool rental companies, you can rent a sheetrock lift. This cranking monstrosity of steel and cables doesn’t look like much when you first see it. Then you put on a sheet of drywall onto its dragon fly jaw looking lifts and then crank it to the ceiling with one hand. It rolls on wheels to put it in the right place. Then it locks in place and you and your strong buddy screw it into place. Always do the ceilings first and make the joints as tight as possible when hanging ceilings. You’ll thank yourself later when you finish the drywall or have some one else do it. It’s difficult to finish on the ceiling with joint compound flying in your face, so the less amount of seams, the less amount of joint compound flying into your face. Simple equation. Use a Dremel or roto-zip to cut out around outlets. Some people use the Dremel after the sheet is hung, but for a beginner I would suggest you cut out for outlets first, measuring twice and from left to right.
Hanging the rest of the sheetrock is where the hard part is just about to begin. Hang the rest of the seriously hefty sheets from the ceiling down, left to right of a wall. Making the seam at the top tight is really important, remember the equation. It helps if you bring the ceiling lift up as close to the wall as you can with a board on it instead of dragging all that dead weight from pile to room can really wear your strong friend out quick, and you don’t want to do that just yet. Once you get around the top portion of a wall the really hard part is finally over. Sort of.
Begin by getting your strong friend to finish the small sheets while you drive off to the store to buy a special tool. It’s a great way to get out of work, and it’s a great tool you’ll need to finish the last steps of the job. It’s called a sheetrock wedge. It’s found at most large home improvement centers. Basically it’s a wedge with a rocker type lever underneath of it to lift a piece of sheet rock up with out getting your fingers pinched under that really heavy piece of sheetrock. Go back with the tool and some water to give your really strong friend. Drag the heavy piece of sheet rock over to the wall and stick the sheetrock wedge underneath the center of the piece. Have your strong friend push down on the wedge while you nail it or screw it. If you’re nailing it, you’re smart enough to have bought a drywall hammer in advance of this project. It’s a special hammer with a waffle head for indenting the nail just the right amount into the sheetrock and not ripping the paper. If your screwing it, you’re also smart enough to counter sink the screw into the sheetrock just enough to imbed the screw into the sheetrock without ripping the paper and not shallow enough the finisher hangs up his knife on it and curses you a blue streak. If you have more than 8 foot walls, you’ll need to cut a piece in the center and avoid going to get the wedge. You’ll have to find a more creative way to get out of work. Cut and rip a piece in the center with a long straight edge. It’s best if one edge is at least a factory edge. Let the other sheet hit the ground. Let your other strong friend finish the little pieces and go and buy them a 12 pack of beer for helping you.