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Many times, home improvement projects include the replacement or repair of dry wall, especially in older homes where old plaster cracks and falls apart. Just keep in mind that if you are doing a full drywall project, you will need to have an inspection done to ensure the insulation and mechanical work is up to building code. If you were just repairing drywall, then this step would not be necessary.

Keep in mind that both temperature and humidity will affect the way in which drywall comes together. Before you start work on your drywall project, make sure the house is at least 55 degrees for two solid days before you being. If you live in an area where there is little humidity, you will need proper ventilation.

Be sure the studs and joists are nice and straight and secure. They should also be spaced appropriately and the nailing should face flush. Be sure that there are nailers at every corner and that there are no edges of drywall unsupported more than two feet. Make sure that before you cover the walls up that you have the right insulation and vapor barriers in place. If there are any wires or pipes running through a hole, and the hole is within one and one-quarter inch of the edge of the wood, you want to place a one-sixteenth inch metal plate for protection along the edge of the wood to prevent the drywall screws and nails from puncturing the wire of pipe.

To determine the number of drywall sheets you need, you will need to know the total square footage of both ceiling and walls. Do not subtract the windows or doors and then you will need to add 10% to allow for waste. The total square footage should be divided by 32 when using 4 x 8-feet sheets and by 30 for 4 x 10-feet sheets. Then round the number up for the number of sheets that you will use. The following is an excellent guideline:
  • For every 1,000 square feet of drywall, the following will need to be ordered:
  • 140 pounds of ready-mix joint compound
  • 370 feet of joint tape
  • 700 screws
  • 700 nails
When working with drywall, it is important that you take some safety precautions. The gypsum dust that comes from drywall can actually cause respiratory irritation and eye problems so be sure to always wear eye protection and a mask for your lungs. You also want to use sharp tools that will do the job right. Just be careful when you work with any type of ladders, scaffolding, or saw horses.
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