Drywall is one of the most commonly used building materials in both homes and commercial establishments. It is called many names: sheetrock, plasterboard, wallboard and gypsum wallboard, among others. Professionals who are knowledgeable about the material are likely to handle and install it fairly easily.
However, with the material becoming more widely accessible, more people are attempting to try their hand at working with drywall themselves. Unfortunately, while the basics of putting up drywall are fairly easy, mistakes can be a pain to repair and remedy. This is why one must observe proper preparation and installation methods from the get-go. In this article, we’ll take a look at the common drywall installation mistakes to avoid.
1.Not considering insulation, ventilation, wiring and moisture control
If drywall is installed without also carefully considering insulation, ventilation wiring and moisture control during the design and planning phase, you might need to take it down to perform necessary adjustments. Unfortunately, once drywall is installed and fastened in place, it could be difficult, if not impossible, to remove it without damaging the material. This will mean a waste of both resources and energy.
2. Thinking that all drywall is the same
When selecting drywall and related installation products for your home, you need to carefully weigh your options before settling on anything. Many DIYers think that all drywall is the same and thus do not bother much with specifications–going instead for the cheapest kind. As you might already know, cheap isn’t always the best when it comes to building and home improvement products.
Remember that drywall comes in many different types, each offering distinctive features, including moisture and mold resistance. Take the time to learn about your options, so you can get the most cost-efficient products that meet your specific needs.
3. Using excessively long drywall screws
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding drywall installation is that the longer the drywall screws used, the better. Let us disabuse you of that notion. Excessively long drywall screws will not improve your home’s strength nor will it improve the drywall’s attachment to the framing. What’s worse, these long screws can even increase the chance of damaging wiring and plumbing hidden behind the drywall.
Furthermore, keep in mind that not all drywall screws are the same. Screws to be used for driving into metal have a fine thread, while those used in wood have a coarse thread.
4. Covering gaps in the drywall with tape
Because of lack of sufficient drywall installation knowledge, many DIYers tend to cover mistakes and gaps by taping over them. However, not everything can be remedied by drywall tape. Ideally, gaps and damage should be cut out and replaced. If that is not possible, the damage should first be repaired and filled before covering with drywall tape.
Another note: if you think that it’s okay not to tape drywall on rooms or areas that don’t necessarily need to look nice, such as garage or utility areas, think again. Building codes typically require that drywall is properly taped and covered by drywall compound.
5. Holding the drywall knife the same way
Here’s something DIYers may not be aware of. There are several ways to hold the drywall knife, with each grip distributing force on the knife in different ways, therefore yielding different results.
There are three basic drywall knife grips:
- Thumb behind the blade – Gives a steady, even force
- Forefinger to the left of the knife’s center – Shifts the pressure to the left of the knife’s center line
- Forefinger to the right of the knife’s center – Shifts the pressure to the right of the knife’s center line
Drywall Installation: Why Hire a Pro?
For a smoother, worry-free drywall installation, it pays to hire a professional. They have all the tools and equipment required to ensure quality installation. They also have the necessary training and experience to make sure that the work is done safely and efficiently. More often than not, they will offer higher quality materials and install them to quality specifications. Because of their experience and knowledge, they can eliminate the potential for costly mistakes, and they can cover their work with solid warranties.
To make the most of drywall’s benefits, don’t hesitate to consult and hire a trusted, professional home remodeler or building contractor in your area!
About the Author
Rob Yeary is the owner of Universal Roofing. Growing up in Indianapolis, he graduated from North Central High School and played baseball at Butler University in college. He has five children and currently lives in Carmel. When not busy overseeing and handling company management tasks, he writes helpful and informative articles for the company blog and other industry websites.