Plan panel installation

It’s smart to plan an installation sequence when there are a number of walls to finish with drywall. Determining which walls to cover first, and how panel layout will work, saves time and aggravation. Here are some tips to help you plan the installation sequence for walls:

HANG PANELS HORIZONTALLY. By installing 12-ft. panels horizontally, you greatly reduce the number of joints in a wall. The top panels

should be hung first. Don’t worry if the bot-


tom panel doesn’t extend all the way to the subfloor; this small gap will be covered by the baseboard trim. For rooms with 9-ft.-high walls, use 54-in.-wide drywall panels instead of the standard 48-in.-wide panels.

START ON CLOSETS FIRST. Check to see whether there are any closets that must be drywalled before working on long walls. Sometimes it’s easier to get large drywall pieces into a closet through a wall rather than through the closet door. Don’t bother cutting and installing small pieces of drywall to com­pletely cover a closet. You can do that later



with scrap pieces cut from the long sheets. At this stage, you just want to have an easier time getting big pieces into the closets.

WORK FROM THE OUTSIDE IN. I like to drywall exterior walls before interior walls. Leaving the interior wall framing open when you start gives you greater freedom to maneuver the panels. To maximize this freedom, drywall the interior hallways last.

PAY ATTENTION TO BACKING AT WALL INTER­SECTIONS. As shown in the top illustration at right, backing can sometimes determine which wall should be covered with drywall first. When 2x6s have been used for backing where 2×4 walls intersect, there will be only a 1-in.-wide nailing surface for attaching dry – wall. In this situation, always install the inter­secting walls drywall after the other wall has been covered. Butt the intersecting wall’s panel tightly against the adjoining wall panel to make a solid corner.

Install the panels

As mentioned earlier, the top panels should be installed first. It’s important to butt the top edge of each wall panel snugly against the ceil­ing drywall. To make installation easier, you can start a few nails near the top of a sheet before you raise the panel into position.

Although I drive a few nails just to hold a panel in place, I like to use screws in the rest of the sheet on both ceilings and walls. Screws hold better, resist popping when framing lum­ber shrinks, and can be installed quickly once you get into the rhythm of using a screw gun.

If you use nails in the middle of a panel, code may require that the panels be double-nailed (see the bottom illustration at right).




Уг in.


Plan panel installation





You’d only have a V2-in.-wide nailing surface if you install drywall on the intersecting wall first.



If you install drywall on the exterior wall first, you will have a 1-in.-wide nailing surface.


Intersecting wall




Plan panel installation

Подпись: Tool Talk MAKING A DRYWALL-PANEL LIFTERПодпись:Подпись: bottom course of drywall Подпись: Helping HandПодпись: Check for covered wall outlets. When installing drywall, it's easy to overlook electrical outlets and fasten a panel right over these small boxes. As you're installing panels, look in the usual places to make sure the outlets haven't been covered. Check for receptacles every 6 ft. or so along walls near the floor and above kitchen counter- tops. Also check for light switches near doorways.

panels. By wedging the beveled edge of the tool under a bottom panel and stepping on the outboard end, you can lever the bottom panel against the bottom edge of the top panel and hold it there until you drive a few fasteners. Although you can buy a panel lifter, it’s easy to make one. Cut a piece of 1×4 about 16 in. long, then cut a taper on the flat face at one end. If the drywall must be lifted more than % in., add a piece of 1×2 to the bottom of the lifter.

When fastening a panel, work from the center to the outside edges. If you do use nails, drive the first set, then go back later and drive the second set, making sure the drywall is tight against the wall framing. When driving nails, it’s always advisable to push the panels tightly against the wall.

When hanging the bottom row of drywall, stagger the end or butt joints, just as you did on the ceiling. The bottom panels can be placed against the wall, then raised and held in place against the top sheet with a drywall lifter, allowing you to concentrate on fastening the sheet (see the sidebar above). Long sheets can be raised with a drywall lifter at each end.

Try to keep butt joints away from the cen­ter of the wall so that the joints will be less obvious. Also, have a sheet break over a door or window rather than right at the edge of a king stud or trimmer. A joint at the edge of a
door or window increases the likelihood of a crack in the drywall as the wood dries. Run panels all the way across doors and windows when you can, then cut them out later with a saw or router. You can also run a panel past an outside corner, then cut it flush with a utility knife after the panel has been fastened in place. This eliminates the need to measure and mark the panel.

Install 3-bead

Window trimmers and headers are often wrapped in drywall. The same is true of trim­mers and headers in closets where bifold or bypass doors will be installed. In these loca­tions, drywall can replace the wood jamb as the finished surface. This is a good place to use up some of the scrap you’ve created. I try to select straight factory edges to go against the window frame. But other builders install vinyl J-bead trim where the drywall meets the window frame (see the illustration on the fac­ing page). Nail the J-bead to the trimmer, then slip the drywall into the J-channel. This is an easy way to obtain a clean, straight, durable drywall edge.

I also install drywall about 2 in. up the attic access hole and cap it with J-bead. This leaves a trim surface on which the lid can rest. The lid can be made from a piece of drywall with several layers of rigid-foam board glued to the back for insulation.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>