Preparing your exisiting walls for drywall!


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Before covering up your walls with drywall, you will need to get an inspection done on your mechanical work and insulation. This is necessary to make sure your work is complying with all building codes. Climate conditions can be a factor in your dry wall job. Temperature and humidity can affect the performance of the joint treatment materials. Your house temperature should be maintained at a minimum 55 degrees for 48 hours before and 48 hours after the completion of the drywall work. And in humid areas, ventilation should be provided. The delivery of drywall panels should coincide with the installation schedule. In new construction, drywall is not applied until after the windows and exterior doors have been installed.

Framing and Nailers:

Make sure that all your studs and joists are straight, secure, and spaced properly. The nailing faces should all be flush and aligned in a level plane. Excessively bowed or crooked studs or joists should not be used. Cross furring should be used to correct surface unevenness in the existing framing. There should be nailers at every corner; on both sides of vertical corners and headers. No edge of drywall should go unsupported for more than two feet. Non-loading walls, and vaulted and trayed ceilings are usually trouble spots for nailers.

Insulation and Vapor Barriers:

Before covering up your walls, you want to be sure that the proper insulation and vapor barriers are in place. If you have "un-faced" insulation batts in your exterior walls make sure that you put a vapor barrier up. This will prevent moisture from condensing inside your walls. In colder climates, the vapor barrier goes on between the insulation and the drywall, in warm climates it goes between the sheathing and the insulation to keep it dry during warm weather.

Nailing in Metal Plates:

If a pipe or wire runs through a hole in a framing member, and the hole is within 1-1/4" of the edge of the wood, place a 1/16" metal protective plate along the edge of the wood. This will prevent drywall screws and nails from puncturing the pipe or cable. This is a code requirement in most areas.

Estimating Materials:

To estimate the number of sheets of drywall you'll need, first determine the total square footage of walls and ceilings. Don't subtract at all for doors and windows. Then add 10% for a waste allowance. Divide the total square footage by 32 if you'll be using 4'x8' sheets (40 for 4'x10' sheets, 48 for 4'x12' sheets). Round up for the number of sheets you'll need. For every 1,000 square feet of drywall ordered, buy: 1- 370 feet of joint tape 2- 140 pounds of ready-mixed joint compound 3- 700 screws 4- 700 nails

Keeping Things Safe:

Gypsum dust can cause eye and respiratory irritation. Protect your eyes and lungs. Wear safety glasses and particle masks when appropriate and provide proper ventilation for the work site. Know your tools and use them only on jobs they were specifically designed to handle. Dull tools are unsafe and can harm the work. Always work with sharp cutting blades. Maintain your tools and always disconnect the power when working on a tool. Use caution when working from saw horses, scaffolding or ladders. Make sure the ladders' feet are secure on the ground. Never attempt to stretch while on a ladder. Keep children away from the work area and power tools as well as harmful materials, adhesives and solvents. Keep a clean work site and don't let debris accumulate. Go to drywall cutting!

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