How to Install Drywall

How to Install Drywall

So you are thinking of putting up drywall. You have come to the right place. Here is an easy tutorial on how to install drywall. Let's get started!

Materials & Tools

For tools, you will need saw horses, sheet sanders, power drills, tape measures, air sanders, knife sets, safety goggles, drywall taping tools, hand saws, safety glasses, and drywall cutting tools. 

For materials, you will need drywall sheets and drywall screws.


Measuring the Wall

Measuring the Wall

  • Using a tape measure, determine the wall's width and cut the drywall sheet so it is about a quarter-inch shorter than your measurement.
  • Have someone help you position the drywall upright and snug against the ceiling. If you can't find help, you can rent a drywall lift.


Driving Drywall Screws into the Drywall Sheets

Driving Drywall Screws into the Drywall Sheets

  • Drive drywall screws into the middle of the drywall sheets at a convenient height. 
  • After the first screws are in place, continue with the rest, working your way from the center of the panel towards the outside.
  • Drive the screws 16 inches apart through all of the studs.


 Additional Panels

Add Additional Sheets of Drywall

Hanging drywall horizontally can benefit your project as it can decrease the volume of taping required. Place the seam at a convenient height. A longer wall may need more than one sheet of drywall. Using a drywall lift can make this step easier.

  • Start by attaching a full sheet as before. 
  • Pin it in place, and then drive drywall screws every 16 inches and into the studs.


Planning for Fixtures

Plan for Fixtures

If the sheet covers a window that isn't installed yet:

  • Cover the window with a drywall panel and implant a few screws to mark the future window's corners. 
  • If you have a drywall router, drive the router into the window's approximate center and cut sideways and vertically until you find the edges. If you don't have a router, use a handsaw. 


If the window is in place:

  • Remove the window trim and cut the window opening in the drywall sheet before you hang it. 
  • Prepare the cut by positioning the sheet along the floor and marking where it meets the bottom side of the window. 
  • Measure from the ceiling to the window top to lay out the top edge of the cut. 


To cut around a door:

  • Prepare for a door cut the same way as a window. 
  • Detach the trim. Lean the piece of drywall against the opening, mark the studs' location, and draw a line for the top of the door opening. 
  • Make cuts for both doors and windows with a router or drywall saw and screw the panels in place with drywall screws. 


For cutting outlets or other wall fixtures:

  • Use a spiral saw. 
  • Note the outlet box's height or fixture and draw lines on the floor to show its location. 
  • Remove the wires, screw the drywall in place, cover the box, and drive just enough screws to keep the drywall in place. 
  • Find the inside edge of the box or fixture. Then, plunge the spiral saw into the box and cut sideways to the edges in a counter-clockwise direction. 


Pro Tip:

  • If you are using a hand saw, mark the outlet box's edges with a dry-erase marker and put the drywall panel in place in front of it with two screws for positioning.
  • Rub along the front of the panel where the outlet box is.
  • Remove the panel and cut along the marks on the back of the panel.
  • Reattach the panel and add drywall screws as necessary.


Installing the last drywall panel

Final Sheet of Drywall

  • Cut a section of drywall 1/4-inch short to fit between the corner and the last installed panel. 
  • Screw the drywall in place. 


Floor and Frame Outside Corners

Floor and Frame Outside Corners

  • Start the bottom section with a short-width piece so that the seam in the top section will not be directly above the seam in the bottom section. 
  • Position the drywall piece, lift it with a drywall lift or a helper, and screw it in place. When the small portion is in place, install the longer portion. 


When framing outside corners:

  • Cut a portion of drywall long so that it hangs over the corner. 
  • Trim the portion with a spiral saw after it's placed. 
  • Hang the adjoining panel, leaving it long. Trim the adjoining panel to create a tight, well-fitted corner. 
  • Protect the edge of the corners with a metal corner bead. A bead that is too long is weak, so make short sections, leaving it about 1/2-inch short. Press the bead snug against the ceiling. Screws will bend the bead, so fasten it in place, spacing the nails every 9 inches.


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