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Installing Drywall

Drywall installation is not difficult, but it does require the correct tools and an understanding of how to proceed. Installing drywall goes relatively quickly, although it's important to allow drywall compound time to dry.

Ceiling Drywall Installation

If drywall sheets won't span the entire ceiling, you must measure and cut drywall so the sheet ends in the center of a solid piece of framework, such as a joist or strapping piece.

You need at least one assistant to hold the drywall up while you screw it in place. The drywall edges should be tight against the wall. Find the ceiling joist in the middle of the drywall and drive in five screws along the drywall's width. Work outward from the middle, driving five screws into each joist as you go. Continue installing drywall until you reach the opposite wall.

Most rooms have a ceiling fixture. Measure where this fixture will be on your drywall sheet and use a rotary saw to cut a hole for the fixture. You'll do the same thing for electric outlets and switches along the walls.

Installing Drywall on Walls

Before installing drywall on walls, mark the location of studs on the ceiling sheets. Cut drywall so the first wall panel lands in the center of a stud. As with the ceiling, drive five screws into each stud behind the drywall, working from the middle stud to the ends of the drywall.

Do not line up the edge of a sheet or drywall with a door or window. Instead, bridge the opening with a sheet of drywall and cut out the opening with a saw.

Finishing Drywall Installation

Once drywall is attached to the wall, make a thin mixture of drywall compound. Apply to the joints with a putty knife and use the wet compound to attach strips of mesh tape. Allow the drywall compound to dry completely.

Apply three more thin coats of drywall compound over the mesh tape, allowing each coat to dry between applications. Wearing a facemask and goggles, lightly sand the final coat of compound. The drywall can then be primed and painted.

Drywall Anchors

Drywall anchors are special screws that allow people to hang pictures, shelves and other fixtures on finished drywall. Without drywall anchors, a picture hook or shelf screw is likely to pull out of the drywall. The best drywall anchors are special screws designed to cut into drywall without causing splitting or cracking in the surrounding sheetrock.

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