Author Topic: Ask me anything about drywall  (Read 2557 times)

thesvenster

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Ask me anything about drywall
« on: May 15, 2017, 12:04:02 PM »
My dad and I just finished drywalling a whole house. I'm not a pro but I learned a lot of little tricks for the DITYer.

For the project we had to had to hang all the sheet rock, then tape, mud and texture. It looks really nice now.

So ask me questions and maybe I can answer.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 12:22:42 PM »
I do not have a question but commentary.  I just wanted to say kudos to you for learning how to drywall.  I have been watching my husband install it in my art studio for the last week.  A few days ago I thought to myself that I could easily cover up the joints but I ended up making a big mess much to hubs chagrin. This is coming from someone that knows her way around a palette knife.  Drywall is a complete different animal.  It is a useful skill in life. Congrats.

thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 12:33:14 PM »
I do not have a question but commentary.  I just wanted to say kudos to you for learning how to drywall.  I have been watching my husband install it in my art studio for the last week.  A few days ago I thought to myself that I could easily cover up the joints but I ended up making a big mess much to hubs chagrin. This is coming from someone that knows her way around a palette knife.  Drywall is a complete different animal.  It is a useful skill in life. Congrats.

Thanks. Yes, it is very time consuming and sometimes monotonous, but man the savings! I bet it would have cost thousands and thousands to have the house done by contractors.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 02:02:57 AM »
Did you texture the walls or ceiling? I have some popcorn texture that I am planning to remove, which I understand to be a fairly straightforward but very messy job.

I am more curious if you learned anything in particular about painting the bare sheet rock with a primer or regular paint (with/without primer included with the paint). I have read conflicting stories from professional contractors about which approach provides the better looking paint job when it is all finished. Which may matter less when using a flat paint as a finish coat but becomes more important when using a satin or semi-gloss where imperfections of the base paint coat and sheetrock finishing job can shine through...even if the wall is painted with 3 or 4 finish coats.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 06:56:46 AM »
oh man, what are your tricks for actually 'spackling' or laying down the mud or whatever you want to call it? I did some walls and ceilings when I bought my house in 2005. Actually cutting and hanging the boards was no problem for me, but I was TERRIBLE at filling in the joints. They have all these bubbles and inconsistencies. I put it on way too thick but couldn't see how to do it any differently. To this day when I walk into that room I hang my head at the terrible job I did.

I've given up and decided it's something I have to hire out, but I'd be interested in hearing tips and tricks
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dcozad999

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 09:54:14 AM »
I'm planning on doing the framing and drywall on the unfinished area in my new house in the next year or two, but I'm heavily leaning toward contracting out the taping and mudding.

I've heard from many friends that if you want the taping and mudding to look professional, then you need to hire a professional to do it. Unless I can be convinced otherwise, that's probably the route I'll take.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 10:02:31 AM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help.
What is the price for DIY vs. hiring a contractor?

thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 10:10:27 AM »
I'm just now beginning the paint job. I bought a nifty Wagner brand paint sprayer at Lowes. I just started priming the closet last night. Honestly I've never heard of not priming before you put on the finish coat. That's the way my dad does it and he's been at this a while.

And yes we did texture but not the ceilings. I think textured ceilings make things feel too low.

PS the little paint sprayers work great.

Did you texture the walls or ceiling? I have some popcorn texture that I am planning to remove, which I understand to be a fairly straightforward but very messy job.

I am more curious if you learned anything in particular about painting the bare sheet rock with a primer or regular paint (with/without primer included with the paint). I have read conflicting stories from professional contractors about which approach provides the better looking paint job when it is all finished. Which may matter less when using a flat paint as a finish coat but becomes more important when using a satin or semi-gloss where imperfections of the base paint coat and sheetrock finishing job can shine through...even if the wall is painted with 3 or 4 finish coats.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 10:21:25 AM by thesvenster »

thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 10:17:15 AM »
oh man, what are your tricks for actually 'spackling' or laying down the mud or whatever you want to call it? I did some walls and ceilings when I bought my house in 2005. Actually cutting and hanging the boards was no problem for me, but I was TERRIBLE at filling in the joints. They have all these bubbles and inconsistencies. I put it on way too thick but couldn't see how to do it any differently. To this day when I walk into that room I hang my head at the terrible job I did.

I've given up and decided it's something I have to hire out, but I'd be interested in hearing tips and tricks

Well first off, did you tape in between the joints? Second, you want to avoid putting on super thick mud all at once. Do one coat to cover the tape/screws, then a sand to knock the edges off, then a second coat to finish everything off. Sand again, and then lightly touch up small spots you may have missed with mud. When you try to glop too much mud on at once it dries and cracks.

You may notice that the long side of sheetrock is slightly less thick. The intention is to keep those edges as much as possible next to eachother to create a sort of groove for the tape line that makes mudding go a lot faster.

Always do cielings first, and always do the walls starting from the top. Always make your wall sheets long ways parralell to the floor. Avoid 4 corners of Sheetrock meeting in the same place, it makes for tricky mudding.

thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 10:20:05 AM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help.
What is the price for DIY vs. hiring a contractor?

What kind of rooms are they? You might want different types of sheetrock for bathrooms and kitchens? Also how many windows and doors do you have to work around?

I'm going to guess you"ll need about 55 sheets of sheetrock, plus about $35 of screws, a roll of sheetrock tape, and  5 boxes of mud.

I'm gonna say $1100ish for all your supplies. Let me know if that comes out about right! :)

As far as DIY vs contractor, I haven't checked much but I know my friend had the ceiling of his house, really a cabin, done, and it was about $2000, and it was a lot smaller than what you're talking about.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 10:30:28 AM by thesvenster »

thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 10:35:31 AM »
I'm planning on doing the framing and drywall on the unfinished area in my new house in the next year or two, but I'm heavily leaning toward contracting out the taping and mudding.

I've heard from many friends that if you want the taping and mudding to look professional, then you need to hire a professional to do it. Unless I can be convinced otherwise, that's probably the route I'll take.

Hmmm I would think that most people could figure it out with a few Youtube videos if they didn't have anyone to show them. Is the part of your house you need done very tricky?

I think the key, like many beginner DIY projects, is to go slowly. Pro drywallers can do the work very fast, you might just have to take your time and be judicious with your sanding.

gardeningandgreen

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 12:05:09 PM »
We are going to drywall our house hopefully soon. We are currently taking out old plaster. That is a huge job in itself. One thing that I learned from my dad doing drywall was that he would take a damp sponge and go over the places he had mudded. It would smooth everything out without creating huge amounts of dust. I think he would do this right before it was completely dry.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 12:31:10 PM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help.
What is the price for DIY vs. hiring a contractor?

What kind of rooms are they? You might want different types of sheetrock for bathrooms and kitchens? Also how many windows and doors do you have to work around?

I'm going to guess you"ll need about 55 sheets of sheetrock, plus about $35 of screws, a roll of sheetrock tape, and  5 boxes of mud.

I'm gonna say $1100ish for all your supplies. Let me know if that comes out about right! :)

As far as DIY vs contractor, I haven't checked much but I know my friend had the ceiling of his house, really a cabin, done, and it was about $2000, and it was a lot smaller than what you're talking about.
There's a bedroom, living room, and kitchen. Do you have to work around windows and doors even if you're doing ceilings? Dumb question maybe.

thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 12:40:55 PM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help.
What is the price for DIY vs. hiring a contractor?

What kind of rooms are they? You might want different types of sheetrock for bathrooms and kitchens? Also how many windows and doors do you have to work around?

I'm going to guess you"ll need about 55 sheets of sheetrock, plus about $35 of screws, a roll of sheetrock tape, and  5 boxes of mud.

I'm gonna say $1100ish for all your supplies. Let me know if that comes out about right! :)

As far as DIY vs contractor, I haven't checked much but I know my friend had the ceiling of his house, really a cabin, done, and it was about $2000, and it was a lot smaller than what you're talking about.
There's a bedroom, living room, and kitchen. Do you have to work around windows and doors even if you're doing ceilings? Dumb question maybe.

Ok for that kitchen you'll want the green sheet rock or some other moisture resistant type for when you're cooking things and making lots of steam you don't ruin the walls. So that might make things a little more expensive.

Not sure what you mean about ceilings and windows and doors?

When you sheet rock, you'll end up with a good bit of waste, and as a mustachian you'll wish you could piece the scraps together, but that is very ill advised. It will severely complicate the mud job, and probably make things look ugly. Generally use the biggest sheets possible.

dcozad999

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 01:38:20 PM »
While we're on the discussion of drywall, are there any better alternatives to a basement ceiling than drywall and suspended/drop ceilings?  Seems like there should be easier and cheaper alternatives.

For instance, in one house we looked, the guy had installed some type of thin panel directly to the joists. It was awhile ago so I don't remember everything he said, but I believe it came in rolls and I think the installation included only finishing nails or tacks or something. It looked good and was easy to remove if you ever needed to repair something. Seemed like a very cheap altenative that I didn't even notice wasn't textured drywall.


triangle

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 12:10:28 AM »
I'm just now beginning the paint job. I bought a nifty Wagner brand paint sprayer at Lowes. I just started priming the closet last night. Honestly I've never heard of not priming before you put on the finish coat. That's the way my dad does it and he's been at this a while.

And yes we did texture but not the ceilings. I think textured ceilings make things feel too low.

PS the little paint sprayers work great.
I found some of the articles that I was recalling when I asked you about priming and painting. Though I think the question is a lot different when painting over texture versus bare drywall. Just something to consider before starting to paint a newly finished room.


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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 06:11:23 AM »
Did you texture the walls or ceiling? I have some popcorn texture that I am planning to remove, which I understand to be a fairly straightforward but very messy job.

Be careful. If that ceiling is pre 1980, the popcorn may contain asbestos, and the paint may contain lead. If it has either, it is much safer to encapsulate it with fresh paint and live with it.
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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 08:47:18 AM »
While we're on the discussion of drywall, are there any better alternatives to a basement ceiling than drywall and suspended/drop ceilings?  Seems like there should be easier and cheaper alternatives.

For instance, in one house we looked, the guy had installed some type of thin panel directly to the joists. It was awhile ago so I don't remember everything he said, but I believe it came in rolls and I think the installation included only finishing nails or tacks or something. It looked good and was easy to remove if you ever needed to repair something. Seemed like a very cheap altenative that I didn't even notice wasn't textured drywall.

Like you, I'm not  areal fan of drywall or suspended ceilings in basements.  So long as all of the mechanicals and electricals are run neat, straight and orderly, I prefer to just paint the underside of floor deck, wood joists, beams, ductwork, etc. all one color and leave it all exposed.  This makes access for future changes much easier and really doesn't look to bad in my opinion.


thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 10:17:35 AM »
I'm just now beginning the paint job. I bought a nifty Wagner brand paint sprayer at Lowes. I just started priming the closet last night. Honestly I've never heard of not priming before you put on the finish coat. That's the way my dad does it and he's been at this a while.

And yes we did texture but not the ceilings. I think textured ceilings make things feel too low.

PS the little paint sprayers work great.
I found some of the articles that I was recalling when I asked you about priming and painting. Though I think the question is a lot different when painting over texture versus bare drywall. Just something to consider before starting to paint a newly finished room.

Thanks for the links. The nice thing about texturing walls is that it hides a lot of little imperfections.

dcozad999

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 10:25:43 AM »
While we're on the discussion of drywall, are there any better alternatives to a basement ceiling than drywall and suspended/drop ceilings?  Seems like there should be easier and cheaper alternatives.

For instance, in one house we looked, the guy had installed some type of thin panel directly to the joists. It was awhile ago so I don't remember everything he said, but I believe it came in rolls and I think the installation included only finishing nails or tacks or something. It looked good and was easy to remove if you ever needed to repair something. Seemed like a very cheap altenative that I didn't even notice wasn't textured drywall.

Like you, I'm not  areal fan of drywall or suspended ceilings in basements.  So long as all of the mechanicals and electricals are run neat, straight and orderly, I prefer to just paint the underside of floor deck, wood joists, beams, ductwork, etc. all one color and leave it all exposed.  This makes access for future changes much easier and really doesn't look to bad in my opinion.

pics?

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 08:24:45 PM »
Don't laugh, but for taping joints, I found this video series of a couple of kids being coached by their dad in a 4H project very informative.  It's not actually necessary to sand between coats; just knock off the high points with a knife.  I patched a hole from removing a medicine cabinet using their videos as a guide, and I would defy anyone to walk into my bathroom and point and say there was ever anything but solid drywall there.  http://www.drywallinfo.com/drywall-repair-videos.html

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2017, 05:27:17 PM »
At the start of my homebuilding career I hung and taped the first one. The second I hung and subbed the tape. By the third, I called the rockers and told them it was ready to rock,LOL. 

Much admiration for tackling this monstrous DIY job. I know what you have been through, and have no desire to repeat it again. Good luck on the rest of the house.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2017, 11:26:43 AM »
Couple of tips from somebody that used to do home remodeling professionally:

-each size drywall knife has its purpose.  You obviously shouldn't be using the same size drywall knife the whole time.  Using a 2-3 coat method, feather each existing coat out, by using a bigger knife each time.

-the experienced pro's spread it so smooth, that it goes on and dries smooth like glass, then they can sand it in only a few minutes. 

-longer faster mudding strokes typically produces a smoother finish then quicker short strokes.

-There are different types of drywall muds.  Such as a lightweight, heavyweight, all purpose, etc.  Some muds are thicker and harder and are better for say tape joints (initial coat) so your tape embeds in a solid base.  Some of the light weight muds, spread a lot smoother, and also then sand much easier.  Almost never will you see an experienced drywaller use a heavyweight mud on his final "skim coat".

-many of the pros actually buy the bag mud (possibly the box'd mud referenced previously that Im unfamiliar with" and then they use a drywall mixer to mix up the mud to the consistency of their liking.  This method also eliminates a lot of the little air bubbles that some other DIY'rs mentioned. 

-I too have also seen many times drywallers take a wet sponge (they even sell a drywall sponge designed for wet sanding) and go back over the wall after they are done to clean the dry dust of as well as the water helps smooth out the tiniest imperfections.

-my last job supervisor I worked under would ALWAYS have a flashlight in hand or a headlamp when sanding.  Many times issues with drywall mud / sanding are not readily noticeable due to poor lighting or dust in the imperfections.  Shining a light on the walls can show some of the flaws now, prior to them coming out after painting.

-ALWAYS use a dedicated primer to any new drywall sheets or mud / spackle on walls.  The HD / Lowes "paint and primer" are ok, but not effective like regular primers.  The new drywall / mud will just absorb the paint like a sponge, and needs a good primer base coat to look great. 

-in my own house, I do like to buy the mold / mildew resistant drywall as well.  The piece of mind knowing the drywall is a little bit more resistant to soaking up moisture like a sponge, is well worth a few extra dollars, in any room..


Drywalling is definitely a skill.  It can take a lot of time to master.  I'm still learning tricks myself and improving every time I drywall.  I'm a very avid DIY'er and hopefully some of these tips will also help someone else along the way.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2017, 10:04:22 AM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help...
... I'm gonna say $1100ish for all your supplies. Let me know if that comes out about right! :)

Congrats on the project, and on a really informative thread.  Based on the above, is it fair to estimate $1.50 - $2.00 cost per SqFt?  Trying to translate this to making plans for my own space :)

Thanks in advance!
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thesvenster

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2017, 10:36:33 AM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help...
... I'm gonna say $1100ish for all your supplies. Let me know if that comes out about right! :)

Congrats on the project, and on a really informative thread.  Based on the above, is it fair to estimate $1.50 - $2.00 cost per SqFt?  Trying to translate this to making plans for my own space :)

Thanks in advance!

That seems about right, depending on where you are at. Might be cheaper for someone elsewhere because Alaska is expensive. Whatever your estimate is, add 15% to it. That's how these things go :)

Just make sure to take your time on everything for a pro quality job. And I highly recommend texturing to make things look nice if you can't make really good seams with the mud.

paddedhat

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2017, 10:58:36 AM »
Regarding a few comments about having no love for sheetrock on basement ceilings. One REALLY good reason to hate it is that most create a huge number of code violations. The reason is access. EVERYTHING that needs any potential service or repair, and is covered by drywall, must have an access panel. This included electrical junction boxes, plumbing valves, HVAC duct dampers, motorized dampers, tub drains, sewer cleanouts, and so on. Legitimate access hatches are expensive, look terrible, and are rarely used in residential construction. So, when your shopping for a used house, with a finished basement, and you look at a sheetrocked ceiling, ask yourself, should it be one continuous plane of unbroken sheetrock, and how many important things did the homeowner cover up? (When he did the job without permits, LOL)

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2017, 11:08:40 AM »
Have plaster all over my current 3 family. We needed to knock out some sections of ceiling to deal with some plumbing problems in two of the bathrooms. So I patched with the moisture resistant sheetrock and then mudded even to the original plaster. Looks surprisingly good. Tonight I'm going to clean, sand, and maybe prime the ceiling in one of the bathrooms. This is my first go around. When I get to the second bathroom (ours so it might be a while), I'll post some pics of the progress.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2017, 12:11:46 PM »
Regarding a few comments about having no love for sheetrock on basement ceilings. One REALLY good reason to hate it is that most create a huge number of code violations. The reason is access. EVERYTHING that needs any potential service or repair, and is covered by drywall, must have an access panel. This included electrical junction boxes, plumbing valves, HVAC duct dampers, motorized dampers, tub drains, sewer cleanouts, and so on. Legitimate access hatches are expensive, look terrible, and are rarely used in residential construction. So, when your shopping for a used house, with a finished basement, and you look at a sheetrocked ceiling, ask yourself, should it be one continuous plane of unbroken sheetrock, and how many important things did the homeowner cover up? (When he did the job without permits, LOL)


@paddledhat - what do you think about beadboard paneling (1/8 or 1/4) as an alternative to sheetrock? Have you ever used it personally?

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2017, 12:48:43 PM »
How much would it cost to drywall ceilings totaling 750 sq. ft? Ballpark numbers help.
What is the price for DIY vs. hiring a contractor?

What kind of rooms are they? You might want different types of sheetrock for bathrooms and kitchens? Also how many windows and doors do you have to work around?

I'm going to guess you"ll need about 55 sheets of sheetrock, plus about $35 of screws, a roll of sheetrock tape, and  5 boxes of mud.

I'm gonna say $1100ish for all your supplies. Let me know if that comes out about right! :)

As far as DIY vs contractor, I haven't checked much but I know my friend had the ceiling of his house, really a cabin, done, and it was about $2000, and it was a lot smaller than what you're talking about.

I actually had drywall installed in our 750 sf basement two weeks ago and the stairwell skim coated. There 5 soffits, 5 windows, and 4 rooms total. It required 59 sheets of drywall, 8 boxes of mud, and a lot of tape/edge nosing. Total for labor and materials was $2300. I would guess materials were around $800 to 900. It took a crew of 6 guys 4 hours to hang it and one finisher about 30 hours. So roughly 55 man hours.

I have skim coated our entire house and hung and finished drywall in our 200 sf kitchen. If you can pay less than $30 per hour for a professional to do the work, I would go that route. 

 

paddedhat

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2017, 03:23:51 PM »
Regarding a few comments about having no love for sheetrock on basement ceilings. One REALLY good reason to hate it is that most create a huge number of code violations. The reason is access. EVERYTHING that needs any potential service or repair, and is covered by drywall, must have an access panel. This included electrical junction boxes, plumbing valves, HVAC duct dampers, motorized dampers, tub drains, sewer cleanouts, and so on. Legitimate access hatches are expensive, look terrible, and are rarely used in residential construction. So, when your shopping for a used house, with a finished basement, and you look at a sheetrocked ceiling, ask yourself, should it be one continuous plane of unbroken sheetrock, and how many important things did the homeowner cover up? (When he did the job without permits, LOL)



@paddledhat - what do you think about beadboard paneling (1/8 or 1/4) as an alternative to sheetrock? Have you ever used it personally?
[/quote

Nope, I never tried it. I would be very concerned about sagging between joists, as the thinner stuff absolutely will, and the thicker most like would. Any big panels create the issue of covering up anything that needs to be serviced, so that would still be an issue. Then you would need some sort of flat trim to cover at least the joints on the 4' edges of the panels. Just a gut feeling, but it's probably more of a PITA than it's worth, overall.

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2017, 07:05:26 AM »
Found this yesterday.  Still not a fan of panels, but at least these don't sacrifice space.

http://acpideas.com/ceiling-max.php

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2017, 12:30:34 PM »
I would be interested in hearing opinions on hot mud and paper vs mesh tape. I consider myself a strong novice on drywall. I just finished a job (several small patches) at the neighbors house that I took at a loss to practice my skills. I used regular joint compound  (with mesh tape) and waited over night for each coat to dry. I've heard that hot mud is harder to use?? But I figure I've got to make the transition... who can wait multiple days. Thoughts?

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Re: Ask me anything about drywall
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2017, 12:42:29 PM »
I would be interested in hearing opinions on hot mud and paper vs mesh tape. I consider myself a strong novice on drywall. I just finished a job (several small patches) at the neighbors house that I took at a loss to practice my skills. I used regular joint compound  (with mesh tape) and waited over night for each coat to dry. I've heard that hot mud is harder to use?? But I figure I've got to make the transition... who can wait multiple days. Thoughts?

I have no experience with the hot mud but I understand it's more of a pro's game. Using that stuff allows them to mud a seam in as little as one go.

Mesh is more user friendly but takes multiple coats.