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The Art and Science of Drywall

Drywall is one of the skills every reputable construction crew has to master—and we have great respect for it. While we can still plaster walls the old fashioned way, that takes a long time and the result is an acquired taste. Ready-made drywall—also called plasterboard, gypsum board, wallboard, or Sheetrock®, after one very well-known brand—improves both efficiency and control over the final product.

But just because drywall makes life easier, that doesn’t mean it is easy to use. Every step in hanging drywall requires knowledge and attention to detail, not to mention physical strength.

The WORKS team drywalls a Manchester home—careful measuring is essential.

Drywall consists of a layer of gypsum plaster (calcium sulfate dihydrate) between two layers of paper, sometimes with the addition of fibers and other products to make it fire resistant and stronger. Drywall comes in various standard thicknesses; the thicker the drywall, the more sound proof. It also comes in various standard lengths so that it can be hung with the fewest seams possible.

The first step in dry walling is to protect electrical and plumbing lines in the wall to prevent anyone from inadvertently driving a nail through a utility. After that, adhesive is applied to the studs and the first sheet is hung in a corner close to the ceiling, held in place with nails.

When amateurs—or bad contractors—hang drywall, they often overlook the importance of:

  1. Carrying the weight of drywall. You need an installer who can carry and maneuver thick, large pieces to give you the level of sound- and fire-proofing you want and the most uniform surface.

  2. Measuring and cutting cleanly. An even finish requires perfectly measured, smooth cuts when smaller pieces are needed to complete a wall or when working around electrical outlets.

  3. Using the right equipment; for example, ring drywall nails and screws for a tight hold.

  4. Covering nail and screw heads with joint compound for an even finish.

  5. Leaving just enough space for expansion—and not enough for unsightly seams and dents.

  6. Centering drywall around doors and windows (rather than aligning with a corner) to reduce the chance of cracks when the house settles or the temperature changes.

  7. Using the right mesh tape and the right joint compound to cover seams.

  8. Using multiple coats of joint compound—including a skim coat and sanding—to create a strong, smooth finish ready for priming and painting.

The WORKS team is experts in hanging drywall, from selection and preparation to final coat of paint. Whether you are undertaking a renovation or new build, please contact us to create beautiful walls.

#construction #drywall

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