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Axhammer 01-22-2011 10:42 AM

First-timer drywall install-LONG-
My house renovations are nearing completion, a drywall project in my family room is the next hurdle...

My family room started life as a two car garage, but it was converted to a family room before I bought the house. The family room is on a slab, the rest of my house is elevated about 2 feet (has a crawl space), with a finished room above the family room (FROG).

Last fall and winter I replaced all of the flooring upstairs. I removed particle board subfloor, and installed plywood so I could put in 5/8" hardwood floors (1000'). Then I removed more particle board subfloor and installed plywood so I could put in porcelin tile in the kitchen, laundryroom and office (another 400'). Last summer I build a stickbuilt carport. I have completed a lot of work to this house in the last year or so. This family room/hallway project is the last major project that requires a lot of work on my part.

The family room has old paneling on three walls, the fourth wall is a brick fireplace, the whole wall is brick. Family room wall 1 has two windows, wall 2 has nothing other than a thermostat and outlets, wall 3 has two doors and a wet bar. Wall 3 is actually a load bearing wall that seperates the family room, creating a hallway. This hallway is used as our main entrance. The hallway has panelling on one side and drywall on the other side (with the two doors). The drywall is covered with wallpaper, I can see the drywall under the wallpaper was not taped and finished.

The family room has servicable carpet that I will try to save, and the hallway has glue down vinyl floor squares. The carpet will get replaced if neccessary and the hallway will get porcelin tile. I plan on finishing the walls first, then doing the floors, just like I did upstairs.

My plan is to remove both door frames in wall 3, eliminating one door opening (the door was used for getting firewood to the fireplace). The other door frame I want to enlarge, to allow larger furniture into the room (I barely manuvered my couch into this room earlier and I want the option for a larger couch one day). I will eliminate the wet bar, and put in a bookcase or a shelfing system. I will eventually put a pellet stove insert in the fireplace, no firewood for me. In the end wall three will have one larger door and a bookcase.

I was hoping the paneling had drywall behind it, I pulled a section of the paneling away to see insulation, but no drywall. Should I remove the paneling and replace it with drywall? I am guessing yes, but I was wondering if leaving the paneling in place and covering it with drywall was an option. Since I am removing both doors in wall 3, the added thickness is not a concern, right?

I am in the planning stages here. I have never done drywall, so I am probably not considering everything and I am asking for input.

Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions, this website is awesome!

redmanblackdog 01-22-2011 11:15 AM

You mentioned enlarging one door opening. Are you actually going to put a door back into that opening or is it just going to be an arch? If you just go with an arch, then there shouldn't be a problem. However if you go with a pre hung door then the width of jamb will have to have some influence on what you do with going over the paneling. Meaning you can go with 1/4" sheetrock if the paneling is 1/4", leaving you with 1/2" thickness to accomondate the width of the jamb for lining up trim.

You can use 1/2" sheetrock because it is usually cheaper than 1/4", but then you need to get longer screws for electrical boxes, or extensions, if it is going to be an arch.

As far as the carpet goes, I get large cardboard boxes (at Lowes), open them up, lay them on the floor and duct tape them together. It makes a great working surface, that can be cleaned at the end of the day. And when the project is done you simply pick it up and you have saved your floors from a lot of abuse.

bjbatlanta 01-22-2011 12:09 PM

Agree that 1/4" over the paneling would be the easiest route to go. If you need to do any wiring/plumbing upgrades it might be to your benefit to tear out the paneling and replace with 1/2" drywall....

Axhammer 01-27-2011 07:47 PM

I'm going to remove the paneling, and install 1/2" drywall. This way I can assure there is insulation installed, and in place not sagging or missing. The doors are 32" wide, can I get a door/frame that is wider? maybe 34" or 36"? The only reason for a wider door is to get a larger couch into the opening, just trying to plan ahead...

What about the gap around the windows the thicker 1/2" drywall is going to create in the window jamb? Can I just put some 1/4" strips in the gap, and then cover it with trim?

boman47k 01-28-2011 06:44 AM

I'm glad you decided to remove the paneling. 1/4" paneling topped by 1/4" dw just does not equal a 1/2" substrate to me. Maybe if they were glued together to make it more solid so the two layers can work together. I guess the spacing of the studs would play a part too. Not saying it would not work, just saying it seems a little odd to me. That being said, I have never hung any 1/4" dw.

Why not go with 3/8 dw for the walls. Again, the spacing of the studs may play a role as to what thickness dw you can use. If I am thinking right, this would only leave a 1/8" gap at the window jams that a good caulk might take care of. Just throwing something out there.

Do the windows have stools on them or are they just picture framed on all 4 sides?

You can buy jam packages and make make them any width you need. The packages I have bought from the big box store were the cut to go with walls with 3/8" dw on both sides. 3/8" is what I see for the most part on walls (studs 16" oc) down here.

bjbatlanta 01-28-2011 08:39 AM

If laminating 1/4" to paneling, plaster, or another layer of drywall glue should definitely be used. It should be used when attaching to framing members also. !/2" is the industry standard for residential applications. I have run across a few houses built in the 50's that were hung with 3/8". Now days, 3/8" is used more in the manufactured housing (trailer) industry and in some cases for going over plaster. One downside to 3/8" is it is (to my knowledge) only available in 8' lengths. 1/2" comes in various lengths (8',9' 10'12', & 14') allowing you to minimize the number of joint, thus less finishing. Even 1/4" is available in 8' and 12' lengths (12' only from a drywall supply yard). Yes, you can use jamb extensions (1/4" strips) on the windows. You can add a 36" door (34" is not a standard size), but you will have to re-frame the opening. 32" is a normal interior door size...

Axhammer 01-28-2011 05:36 PM

Today after work I bought a 36" door and 17, 8' sheets of 1/2" drywall. I also picked up some 1/4" x 1 1/2" trim to use as shim stock. I have someone coming over to help me tomorrow morning, hopefully we'll make some good progress, Thanks for the help everyone! I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow...

Axhammer 01-30-2011 08:56 AM

My buddy came over early and we put in 12 hours yesterday. We made good progress, as we stumbed, fumbled and rumbled our way through...

We removed all the paneling. The wall with 2 windows had 1/2" drywall under the paneling, it needs to be taped and finished. The wall with only a thermostat and outlets got new 1/2" drywall yesterday. The little sink in the wet bar was removed. I still need to get under the house and cap the lines that fed the sink, so I can get rid of the valves and pipes. I'm going to put in shelves, creating a bookcase where the wet bar was. The wall with the two doors got both door frames removed. We opened up one frame to 38" for a 36" door, this required moving a switch. I'm going to frame in the other door opening and hang drywall on that wall today. After that it all needs taped, sanded, and eventually painted. After the family room is painted, I'll have to remove a sink, and a couple shelf's in the hallway berfore I can hang drywall there. I figure I'll finish the family room before starting the hallway...

Thanks for all the help everyone!

Axhammer 04-17-2011 09:02 AM

The drywall is finished, and needs a final coat of paint. It was a lot of work and made a mess but its all behind me now. I layed the tile in the hallway yesterday. Today I'm grouting the tile, and installing a new threshhold, and trimming the door. Then all I need to do is put the trim on, plumb the sink and have carpet installed...

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