Drywall, gypsum, or sheetrock. No matter what you call it, it all refers back to the same, versatile product that covers the interior wall surfaces in most residential and commercial buildings. Drywall is the overwhelming choice of most homeowners and homebuilders alike when it comes to creating vertical interior wall surfaces. Unfortunately, drywall can be somewhat fragile in comparison to other wall surfaces such as plaster, and can easily become cracked or damaged with time. The good news is that drywall can be easily installed by most homeowners as a do it yourself project with a minimal number of tools and know-how.
The first step is to gather the tools you will need in order to properly convert a standard 4×8 sheet of drywall into the size and shape you will need for your application. A standard drywall project will require you to have the following tools in place:
§ Tape measure
§ Razor knife
§ 4×8 sheet of drywall
§ Drywall screws
Before starting any large drywall project, it is important to elicit the help of a good friend or two as you will need help carrying and holding the drywall sheets in place as you install them. Drywall panels are too clumsy and heavy to try to install yourself.
The walls in your home are simply wooden framing covered by drywall. The framing provides a surface that you can use to hold your drywall in place. When placing your drywall panels against the framing of your wall, make sure that both sides of the drywall overlap the wooden studs by at least 2 inches on either side to give you ample room for attaching the panel to the framework.
Press the board firmly against the frame, but be careful not to crack or damage the drywall and run a drywall screw through the board and into the wooden stud. Repeat this process every 6 inches or so on either side of the panel so that it is firmly affixed to the wall. Countersink the screws just barely below the surface.
Slide the next panel in place beside the panel you just installed, making sure that the panel is butted as closely to the already attached panel and attach it to the frame in the same manner. Continue attaching boards in this same manner until the entire area of the wall has been covered.
Most walls will require you to cut a few drywall panels to. This is accomplished by using a t-square and a razor knife. Mark the piece of drywall with the dimensions you need. Place the straight edge of the t-square along the plot points and draw a cut line down the board. Without removing the t-square, score the board with the razor knife by running it along the cut line with just enough pressure to make a visible indention. Stand the panel up, place your knee in the center area of the cut line and then snap the board backward against your knee. It should break cleanly along the cut line. Then run the razor knife along the paper still holding the panel together. This technique may require a little practice, but offers the best way to make a clean, straight cut.
The drywall will still need to be finished, however, before the project is complete.