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Is it time to install that dreaded drywall? Dread not. In this article, we will cover all the basics and complex procedures involved in drywall installation. For every renovation project, adding drywall is an inevitable step. If you are new to the concept of construction, drywall is a flat panel made of gypsum plaster that is placed in between two sheets of thick paper. It stays attached to metal or wood studs using nails or screws. Now the next big question is “how to hang a drywall”

If you have a contractor, you don’t have to worry about this slightly complicated installation. It may sound more complicated when you have to carve the drywall along outlets, doors, windows and fixtures. But if you have taken up this DIY project, this is the right guide for you.

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Before you hang drywall, you must have all the tools and materials ready. But first, gear up! Before the actual installation, place plastic sheeting at each door leading to other rooms to trap dust. Cover all the precious items that may catch dust. It is advised to switch off the air conditioning and cover the vents so dust doesn’t go inside the duct and spread in your house. You should also wear a safety mask and

Tools You Need

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Chalk line
  • Cordless drill
  • Drywall saw or handsaw
  • Hammer
  • Eye glasses
  • Level
  • Pry bar
  • Safety glasses
  • Screw gun
  • Stepladder
  • T-square
  • Tape measure
  • Taping knife
  • Utility knife
  • Mask to cover your face

Materials You Need

  • 1-1/4-in. drywall screws
  • 1-5/8-in. drywall screws
  • 2 x 2 (for optional crutch)
  • Drywall
  • Drywall nails

Whether you are new to installation, this drywall installation guide will help you with every step of the installation procedure along with material considerations that you can make to get the best from your efforts.

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Steps to Install a Drywall

Here is a step by step guide for installing drywall.

Measuring the Drywall

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  • Calculate the width of the wall using a tape measure and cut the drywall sheet a quarter-inch shorter than your measurement.
  • Using assistance, prop the drywall up and place it tight against the ceiling.

Note: For accurate measurements, use a drywall calculator. To position the sheet properly, use a drywall lift.

Driving Drywall Screws

  • Start from the middle of the drywall sheet and choose a convenient height for driving drywall screws.
  • Once the first screws are in place, start from the centre of the panel drive toward the outside.
  • Drive the screws 16 inches apart from each other and into all of the studs.
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Additional Sheets of Drywall

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If you want to reduce tapping, hang the wall horizontally. Do this with a drywall lift. Hang the full sheet and tack it in spaces with drywall screws put every 16 inches and into the studs.

Carving Drywall Along Windows, Doors, Outlets and Other Fixtures

  • In case the drywall covers window space but windows are not installed yet, put up a drywall by cover the window with a drywall panel and insert a few screws along the edge of the space where the window will fit in. This is to mark the space for windows. Use a drywall router and plunge it into the centre of the window space. Cut sideways and vertically until you reach the marked edges. You can also use a handsaw but be extremely careful while using both these tools.
  • If the window is already installed, remove the window trim and cut the window opening in the drywall sheet before it is installed. Position the sheet along the floor and layout the cut while marking the bottom edge of the window on it. Layout the top edge of the cut by measuring from the ceiling to the window top.
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  • If you are cutting it around the door, you can follow the same steps as you would for a window. You can remove the trim and put the drywall piece against the open to mark the edge of the door. Make sure to mark the position of the studs and draw a line for the top of the door opening. Once the cuts are made, screw the panels with drywall screws.
  • To cut for outlets or other wall fixtures, you can use a spiral saw. Ensure that the height of the outlet box or fixture and draw marks are shown accurately. Make sure to remove the wires before your fix the drywall. You can find the inside edge of a box or a fixture by plunging the spiral saw into the box and cutting sideways along the edges in a counterclockwise direction.

Note: If you are using a handsaw to carve the drywall, rub the edges of the outlet box with a pencil, easy-erase marker or chalk and position the drywall panel in place in front of it with two screws. Rub along the front of the panel, along the outlet box and remove the panel by cutting along the marks on the back. Reattach the panel and add using drywall screws.

Installing Final Sheet of Drywall

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  • Cut a piece of drywall 1/4-inch short to fit between the corner and the last installed panel.
  • Screw the drywall in place.
  • Where the panels meet, cut a V-groove into the short non-tapered ends with a utility knife, as this will make hiding the joint easier when you’re taping.

Installing Drywall to Reach the Floor

  • For installing drywall to reach the floor, start on the bottom row with a shorter piece. This will ensure that the seam in the top row does not stand directly above the seam in the bottom row.
  • Place the piece properly and use the drywall lift to lift it. Once the small piece is installed, install the longer piece.
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Framing the Corners

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  • Cut a piece of drywall in a way that it hangs over the corner.
  • Once it is in place, trim it using a spiral saw.
  • Create a well-fitted corner by hanging the abutting panel leaving it long.
  • Cover the corners with a metal corner bead. Ensure that the bead is not too long or it will kink upon fastening it. You must cut the bead with tin snips and cut it so it is 1/2-inch. Press the bead tight against the ceiling and screw it in place by giving a 9-inch space between every inch. Ensure that the nails don’t distort the bead.

Note: Ensure that there is a slight gap between the floor and the drywall. This avoids any instance where the drywall is jam against bumps in the floor. Don’t worry about how it looks, the baseboard will cover the gap once the installation is complete. You can leave up to half an inch of a gap to avoid this problem.

Material Considerations to Make:

There are three basic types and thicknesses of drywall and you will require each of these depending on the kind of drywalling you are doing. If you are framing spans of 16 inches or less, you will need drywall of half-inch in thickness. You need five-eighths inch spans for up to 24 inches on the ceiling. This type of drywall is called Type x and is fire-resistant. It is specifically used in areas that require a firewall. This could be between a house, in a garage or in the basement where your gas tank is placed. For the humid areas of your home, you need a half-inch drywall. Ensure that you buy the one that is water-resistant. This material should not be used for ceilings or tiled shower enclosures. For your basement, go for mold-resistant variety to ensure the durability of your drywall. If you are finishing the ceiling of your basement or the walls of your home office, it is good to go for the sound-proof variety of drywall. The standard variety is good for finishing basements or for finishing your ceilings.

Many homeowners attempt on installing the drywall themselves. While DIY drywall installation is possible, it requires a lot of patience and the right tools. Since drywall needs to be sturdy, you should always get the exact tools and materials instead of going for alternatives or makeshifts. Along with tools and materials, you also need some assistance. Hanging the drywall alone can be difficult and time-consuming.

Hanging the drywall is just one part of the job, you must also tape the drywall to solidify the structure.

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Here are some golden rules to follow while installing the drywall on your own:

  • Patience is a virtue.
  • Practice is also a virtue.
  • Always keep safety as a priority.
  • If you are allergic to any material, give the job to a professional.
  • Always calculate and do not guesstimate.
  • If your drywall is way too damaged, always replace it instead of repairing it.
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Along with getting the right tools and drywall, you should also consider getting the right help. Drywalls can be tricky, especially if you have an old home. If you are having trouble installing drywall, call a professional and get the job done easily and efficiently.

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