As with learning anything new, starting out in drywall can lead to some common mistakes. Learn about these 5 drywall beginner mistakes and how to avoid them!
1. The Problem: Putting sheets too close together
A tight fit when it comes to drywall can be too tight. Joints that are too tight can eventually crack.
The Fix: Place the drywall sheets comfortably beside each other.
It's better to have more space than not enough between drywall sheets. For small gaps in-between two sheets, fill them with joint compound and continue with your regular taping and finishing process.
2. The Problem: Hanging drywall edges
This can lead to cracks over time and weak, unsupported walls.
The Fix: Cut drywall sheets that extend over a stud by a few inches. For short pieces, attach another piece of wood to the nearby stud.
To help with this you’ll need a utility knife, a 2x4, and nails. Score drywall that is too long from the back with your utility knife, fold along your scored edge by pushing outward, and then trim the excess through the paper face. For drywall sheets that are too short to reach the stud, nail another beside the first so that the drywall can be fixed to the new stud.
3. The Problem: Driving fasteners too far
Overdriving your screws can break the paper face of your drywall sheet. Once that happens the holding power of the screw decreases.
The Fix: Instead, only drive fasteners in as much as you need to create a small divet in the surface of the drywall.
Use a screw gun like the DeWalt DCF620B MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless Drywall Screw Gun with the ability to regulate the depth to achieve this. Set the depth on the screw gun, and it will ensure the screws only go as far as they need to.
4. The Problem: Fastening before cutting around wires
This could result in cut wires and unnecessary repairs.
The Fix: Protect wires by putting in a barrier.
You’ll need a metal sheet as you go along or in electrical boxes, try the Buddy Tools Mark N Guard - Professional Drywall Electrical Box Locator Tool, and a RotoZip SS355-10 RotoSaw Spiral Saw. Place the metal sheet behind the drywall when cutting. Put the Buddy Tool Mark N Guard in the electrical box and rest assured when you cut it out with the RotoSaw, the wires will be intact. The Mark N Guard also prevents misaligned holes as it will pierce through the drywall sheet when you press the drywall against it.
5. The Problem: Putting joints near door and window frames
Joints near a door or window’s edge make for weaker walls. Over time, cracks may occur.
The Fix: Cut the opening for doors and windows out from whole sheets of drywall.
To do this you’ll need a drywall saw, and a utility knife. A drywall saw is ideal for cutting openings as it will not damage studs if you hit them. Cut the sides of the door or window opening with the drywall saw, then score the top from the back with your blade, fold, and cut through the paper from the front.
Stay tuned for more beginner; next, we'll be covering mistakes to avoid when taping and finishing!
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