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Old 02-24-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


How do YOU do it?

rent/buy a drywall lift? Or do you have some craftier method that you can tell me about? Am I foolish to think that I can accomplish this task by my lonesome?

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Old 02-24-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


Usually have a partner, and use poles to make it easier.

On your own, you can do it but...personally i'd rent a drywall lift to make it a bit easier on yourself. Last time I checked here it was under 30 maybe 20 dollars to rent one for the entire day.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


Thanks for the reply. I think I'll have to rent a lift if I can't wrangle one of my friends in to help me. Good to know they're not too expensive for the day.

I've never drywalled a full ceiling before, and I thought it would be more or less the same as a wall but overhead. But I've just read somewhere that recommends fastening 1x2 or 1x3 furring strips along the ceiling perpendicular to the joists and then fastening your drywall to them. Does this make sense? Can I not just fasten directly to the joists as I would to the studs if I were doing a normal wall?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


Drywall lift is much cheaper than a back injury. They do sell holding clips you might look into in addition to the jack. You want safe ladders for you and a helper or too.

Obviously, make sure the batteries for the screw gun are all charged and that you have plenty of screws handy. Make your layouts and cuts in the sheets before you even put the jack in place.

Have fun! Always respect the weight of the drywall sheets.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #5
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


I have no intention of insulting you, but I am going to assume you know nothing about doing this.

As you have been told, the first thing you do is do is go rent a lift. And it needs to be one that tilts. Believe it or not, some places will rent you a lift that does not tilt. Locking wheels sometimes help, too.

Get a friend to help. The chances are GREAT that as a novice, you will either damage boards, or hurt your back... or both, trying to lift these things by yourself.

Sweep the floor. TWICE. Nothing is more aggravating than to hit a piece of trash when trying to roll one of these things. And KEEP the floor clean as you work.

Before you put up the first run, make a chalk line on the joists about 48 1/4" off your wall. When that first run goes up, follow that chalk line, NOT the wall. You only have to do this on the first run of sheets. After that the installed sheets will help keep the rest lined up straight.

Of course, on either ceilings or walls, you stagger the sheets so that the ends are at least two joist's distance apart from each other.

And, yes, it is preferable to hang perpendicular to the boards you are fastening to... whether that will be trusses, joists, or the extra "stripping" you asked about.

Is the "stripping" necessary? No, but it does make a better job if you understand why you are installing the stripping and do it correctly. Admittedly, it IS a lot of extra work, and most people don't bother with it these days. In the "old days", it was just standard that all ceilings were stripped. But the old guys were true craftsmen, not just people called "pros".

Hang the ceiling BEFORE you hang the walls. The reason for this is that you are NOT going to screw the edges of the ceiling sheets where they abut any walls. The wall sheets will hold up (support) these unfastened edges, and in so doing, will give you a MUCH straighter wall-to-ceiling line.... as well as helping to eliminate joint cracks later on from building movement. (This occurs from both settling and from seasonal climate effects on lumber.)

You have already been told to lay-out your screw lines and complete any holes necessary to cut for lights and A/C vents, etc. But I will add one more thing..... Before you do any hanging, go around all your rooms and put some sort of markings on the floor directly under any ceiling wires or vents, etc. (This is also a smart thing to do for each wall, too)
This will ensure that you do not cover up anything that needed to have a cut-out. Don't laugh. It happens to pros all the time.

That's about it. Except that you will have a tendency to want to put in fewer fasteners than necessary. Don't skimp. Put in more if there is the slightest doubt. Never, ever, put your screws farther apart than your local code calls for. And check local codes about the screw spacing on the ends of the boards, too. The ends often have a different layout spacing required. And make sure to use screws plenty long enough.... well over an inch. I prefer coarse threaded screws for ceilings, but I don't think there's any code on that. (not sure of that point)

I have not mentioned BUTT BOARDS. I use them all the time where the Building Department has no problem with then. They make your finishing much, much easier and better looking. You can search the forum or use Google to check out BUTT BOARDS.
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Last edited by Willie T; 02-24-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


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Originally Posted by demandrew View Post
Thanks for the reply. I think I'll have to rent a lift if I can't wrangle one of my friends in to help me. Good to know they're not too expensive for the day.

I've never drywalled a full ceiling before, and I thought it would be more or less the same as a wall but overhead. But I've just read somewhere that recommends fastening 1x2 or 1x3 furring strips along the ceiling perpendicular to the joists and then fastening your drywall to them. Does this make sense? Can I not just fasten directly to the joists as I would to the studs if I were doing a normal wall?

To me it would depend how true (how strait and flat) your ceiling is-if it is pretty good, screw to the joists. If it is a bit wonky, furring strips could help with creating an even surface.

I'd just run string lines across the joists before starting, gives you an idea of what is going on and what you need to do. Strapping isn't a bad idea, but not always necessary, IMO.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #7
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


Ok, here goes.....lol
No, you don't really need a drywall lift, nor do you need any help.

What I did for my ceiling, because I am crazy.....lol is cut the drywall sheet into 3 equal pieces (because that was all that I could lift) and screw onto your joists. Then you will realize that you have a lot of seams to mud, so I did a textured ceiling instead.

I like it. Looks good, and I am proud of having it done all by myself.


Good luck, you can do it.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by demandrew View Post
How do YOU do it?

rent/buy a drywall lift? Or do you have some craftier method that you can tell me about? Am I foolish to think that I can accomplish this task by my lonesome?

the question, can you do it by your lonesome? 8' sheets, possibly? 12' sheets doubtful. unless you have the strength, experience, and knowledge of how to handle the sheets without breaking them?

we always worked in crews of 3 men 2 hanging, and tacking sheets up on benches. 1 man on stilts with hammer/screw gun, and nail bags full of screws/nails. we always measured the ceiling in 3-4 places, checking for straightness, as well as all walls. marking measurements on the floor. once all is measured and marked, 1 of hangers began measuring first sheets to break on joists/studs, marking joists/studs on top plates and floor. 1 man did all the cutting, remembering measurements, doing the math for butt ends if needed? allowing 1/8"+- hanging, we'd tack sheets at joints 12"-24-36" back approximately on every other joist/stud. leaving last joist on each end unnailed, until walls were hung nail/screw man took care of the rest of nails/screws/ once you get a rhythm going, average sheet time is 3-4 minutes per. after ceiling done, hangers split up doing walls themselves 2 men always together on ceiling sheets. drywall is back breaking work and will age you very quickly, until you get used to it. if you ever do!? a good team working together, with a system. they're used to, being paid by the sheet, can make very good money hanging 250-300 sheets per day. though the work is not suited for everyone! you must enjoy the work and team as well as having fun while working. if its fun? it ain't work!

if you can get a couple buddies for a weekend to help? you don't need to rent a lift? just muscle and brawn. if cant get help? but can handle sheets yourself? use a bench not a ladder! it's easier to work from middle of sheet, than from edge with a ladder. tack nail a 2x about 5/8" below ceiling, muscle the sheets up, rest one edge on 2x while nailing/screwing the boards, don't forget glue. keep glue back about 6 inches from edges. once first run is complete, take tacked up 2x's down and build a dead man as a helper for remainder of ceiling, 3 2x4's 2 down posts and 1 across top, cut a strip of drywall about 1 14" wide and nail.screw it to top of 2x4, cut legs to length that will make top snug with sheets already up. make dead man about 1 12 feet-2 feet shorter than sheets, so you can see both ends of shoes are tight to sheets already up. next sheets will slide on top of dead man, continue this till ceiling is all up make sure you don't nail/screw closer that 12 inches from top plates of walls and only to 1 joist back from ends of sheets.

hanging walls, cut lengths to break on studs, glue studs, lean sheets against the wall, start nails in sheet about 4" down from top. not nailing to top plates lets things move without cracking tape. cut around widows and doors to 1/4" of jambs to not push jambs making them bow. cut electrical boxes close as you can, measure from corners and down from top sheets switch plates will cover 1/8" or so on each side of box but try to keep that close. wait till sheets are tacked up before pushing in near boxes, make sure they fit! cut little tabs on top and bottom of sheets with drywall saw or knife, after sure boxes are right, measure twice cut once! make sure all sheets are tight to ceiling, and no more than 1/4" apart on inside wall corners. also outside corners, leave drywall back 1/4" allowing corner beads to fit tightly without pushing.

any nails/screws go completely through paper crushing gypsum? put extra nail/screw in front and behind. above and below on walls, cut paper in small diamond shape that tape will cover, just try to dimple paper with nails/screws, not crush gypsum behind. if you can? get nails out that went through, as they'll be the first to pop through finish mud.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:14 AM   #9
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


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Drywall lift is much cheaper than a back injury.
My back injury cost somewhere around $40K, therefore I agree.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:07 AM   #10
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


Any tips on taping?


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Originally Posted by chrisBC View Post
Usually have a partner, and use poles to make it easier.

On your own, you can do it but...personally i'd rent a drywall lift to make it a bit easier on yourself. Last time I checked here it was under 30 maybe 20 dollars to rent one for the entire day.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:20 AM   #11
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


how much would it cost roughly per sheet if done by contractor? talking about 4x8 on ceiling
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:04 AM   #12
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


ohhh sweet baby jesus yummy mummy!! i deffff give you A+++ for effort. i wouldnt recommend it but this is a diy site and it would work. im impressed you took on that job yourself. this reminds me of a buddy of mine. we had a deal where he'd board his livingroom and 2 bedrooms and i'd mud it for him. and he did basically did what you did and there was a thousand joints in his ceiling. so i did 2 coats on all the joints then i sprayed a popcorn texture on the ceiling with 4" boarder. he loves it and it turned out great
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #13
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


I am sure his ceiling looked great.

Mine was hand textured, using a 4 inch knife, and I managed to repeat the same texture, so it looks all uniform on a 700 square foot space.
My husband kept telling me, just call someone and have them do it, and I would say, now what fun is that........
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:48 AM   #14
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any tips for drywalling a ceiling?


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Any tips on taping?

I prefer using paper tape, and find it best to go with light coats when mudding, don't go heavy or you will be sanding forever and have a pile of dust on the floor. Feather out butted joints a good couple feet (the less butt joints the better when boarding)

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