Wall prep and hand drywall sheets or sheetrock

Learning how to work with drywall takes practice, but it’s important that the wall studs are properly prepped. Now this is where the inside of the house really starts to take shape and you will get a whole new feeling about the building project.

This is where our brain switches into finish work mode from rough-in work mode. Everything from this point on will be done with the knowledge that it has to look good because it won’t be covered up.

By this time, first-time home builders are getting pretty good with measurements and cutting. Things are a little more precise than when you started. There is probably less waste and hopefully a few less smashed fingers.

This is where we put up the sheetrock. Sheetrock or Gypsum board, as it’s sometimes called, is kind of heavy so this is a good place to get some help.

The standard thickness in residential sheetrock is ½-inch. Before we start to put up any sheetrock, we’ll need to make sure that the wall studs are straight and square.

You can take a tape measure and check the inside walls to make sure the sheetrock will be on center to a wall stud. Remember, where two sheets are joined, there needs to be enough room on the stud to nail both sheets.

drywall preparation

You will probably want to get some 1 or 2-inch boards, lathe, or furring strips to nail along side the wall studs where there isn’t enough nailing room. These are called “nailers.” Nailers help support the sheetrock in corners.

Drywall hangers use nailers a lot because of the time they save. You can just nail, screw, or even apply them with adhesive.

The sheetrock needs to be secured to the wall studs or joists. Sheetrock comes in many different lengths, but is typically four feet wide. The most common size of sheetrock for walls is 4X8. Walls are either on 16” or 24” centers.

Sometimes the walls are warped or out of square. That will throw off the measurements so the sheetrock won’t line up on the studs to be nailed.

Furring strips or nailers really help out in this situation. For first time home builders still learning how to drywall these furring strips will be very handy.

nailing drywall

The illustration below shows a wall that is shimmed with a furring strip so there is adequate nailing room on the wall stud. The picture next to it shows the different kinds of nails and screws.

drywall screws

Once you learn a little more about how properly work with drywall you will realize that proper wall preparation saves a lot of time and sanding. Nobody likes to sand drywall.

Next, basics for hanging drywall

Back to drywall main page

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