Basics for installing drywall

There are screws and nails made solely for installing drywall. The nails need to be driven in just lower than the sheet’s surface, but not deep enough to break the paper. That’s one of the secrets for how to put up drywall.
It’s easier to cover the nail heads that way. It requires a special hammer as shown in the illustration below. If you choose to use sheetrock screws, make sure that you don’t screw them in too deep.

drywall hammer

There is a special bit for sheetrock that prevents the screw from going in too far. Sheetrock can be cut with a utility knife as shown below.

cutting drywall

It only needs to be scribed enough to cut the paper and then it will break apart. You will need to cut out all the holes for outlets, switches, and light boxes.

This gets a little tricky because there is no easy way of doing it. The best way is to measure how far up and over the box is and then write the measurements on the floor.

A close fit is really important around the electrical boxes because the face plates to the boxes will only cover up small gaps in the sheetrock, not really big ones.

Sheetrock is very inexpensive, though, and so you can make a few mistakes and still not break the bank.

When putting up the sheetrock, you might be tempted to use bits and pieces to save money, but it will be difficult to tape and mud a little later on. Sheetrock is cheap and you should use as big of pieces as you can.


As far as which way to run the sheetrock on the walls, I prefer to run the sheets horizontally so I have a horizontal seam 4 feet up the wall. That makes it easier to tape and mud. The best way to hang sheetrock will leave as few seams as possible.

hanging drywall

Some people find it easier to install the ceiling sheets with the use of a dead man. You can make one really easily.

hanging sheetrock on ceiling

A T-square can help make perfect cuts for straight pieces as shown below, but a chalk line is usually the best tool for tricky cuts.

how to hang sheetrock

At first, installing drywall takes a little practice, but it’s also a very “common sense” kind of thing. The important thing to remember is to make the taping job easier by using big pieces and getting the sheets to fit together without uneven joints.

Next, making corners with drywall

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