Drywall Installation , Painting, and Refinishing
Drywall, often called wallboard or plasterboard, is made of a crumbly fire resistant substance called gypsum. It is wrapped in a thick paper coating, is durable and easily cut, trimmed and repaired. Drywall can be used to cover conventional bare stud walls or damaged lath and plaster walls.
Because of its unique construction, drywall can be cut, sawed, drilled, bent, nailed, glued, screwed, painted on and papered over. For cutting around electrical boxes use a keyhole saw. Just punch the tip through the drywall and cut along each side. You can also use a power jig saw for these cuts.
Standard drywall comes in varied thickness–quarter inch, three eighths inch, half-inch and five eighths inch material. Thinner drywall offers the advantages of being lightweight and easy to manage. Thick drywall is stiffer and tends to go up flatter. The most commonly used drywall is 3/8 inches and 5/8 inches thick. Lavitech can check local code for specific requirements of your area.
The standard panel is 4 x 8 feet, although 10′ and 12′ panels are available. Moisture resistant drywall is called greenrock or greenboard and is specially treated for use in bathrooms and other damp areas. The long edges of the panels are tapered to compensate for the thickness of mud and tape used to finish the seams. Drywall panels have one rough and one smooth side. It is the smooth gray surface you want to face outward.
While there is no such thing as a perfect building material, drywall comes pretty close. For one thing, it’s inexpensive, costing about $7 for a 1/2-in.-thick 4 x 8 panel. It’s also DIY friendly—about all you need to work successfully with it is a small bunch of hand tools, some of which you already own. It’s no wonder that, since the 1940s, drywall has steadily replaced lath and plaster.
All electrical and plumbing work (such as installation of new outlets or wall and ceiling fixtures) should be completed prior to installing the drywall. This includes phone and cable TV lines and alarm systems as well. Next we place nail guards over studs to protect wires and pipes.
Dampness in the walls or ceilings due to faulty plumbing or poor ventilation should be corrected. After making the necessary corrections we complete any needed insulation upgrading or installation prior to dry walling. The next step is to mark the location of all wall studs on the ceiling and the floor for your vertical nailing pattern reference.
If we are placing drywall over an existing wall, we remove all the baseboards and note the locations of the nail holes in the wall surface. These nails will usually be in the center of a stud. We check this by drilling a hole (1/8″ drill bit) into the wall above a nail to find the stud.
When we are confident that we have found it, we measure over 16 inches (studs are usually 16″ or sometimes 24″ apart) and drill again until we find the next stud. We mark the stud location on the ceiling and the floor for the vertical nailing pattern reference.
Keep in mind, on a lath and plaster wall, we will need to drill through the plaster and one inch thick lath before we can hit the stud. Your Lavitech project manager will check to see if any studs (or rafters) are badly bowed and would cause the drywall to protrude or bow inward.
This is especially critical around doors and windows where trim will later be applied. We correct these with shims or by chiseling, planning down or even replacing before proceeding.
Call us today for a free in home estimate at 818-232-7385 and see what Lavitech can do for you!