Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What drywalling is really like

In our case, it's really like a whole lot of fussing around with our not-at-all-square bathroom structure, shimming and shaving and thinking about "planes," before we ever got into the actual drywall. One of the main problems: a ceiling joist that dips down half an inch below the others. We sized it up and decided just to saw a slice off, then sister it with a new joist. (Much easier than taking it out altogether, since all our wall-frame nailers are attached to it. Hindsight is 20-20.) This worked pretty well, not counting all the crazy sawing John had to do with the jigsaw, breaking blades, arms overhead while balancing on our funky little stepladder. Not a pretty cut, but it got the job done. Also, it was harder than we expected to sister the joist since the old one not only dipped down, but also waved left to right. "How is our house even standing?" I sometimes think.

We also had some shimming to do around the edge of the ceiling, chiseling here and there, etc. With all this working overhead, we were both pretty bushed--tired arms and necks--even before we touched the drywall.

Ah, drywall. The stuff of myths. The guy at the hardware store just shook his head when we stopped by on our way in that morning and told him today was drywall day. But it actually wasn't so bad! We started with a big sheet that didn't need anything special, just one cut and the ol' glue and screw. The score-and-snap method of cutting drywall worked quite nicely. We got the sheet in place after gluing liberally, and here comes the hard part--holding it up overhead while screwing it in. It's freaking heavy. (Carrying the full sheets in by twos last night, from the car to the kitchen, nearly killed me. I'm not exaggerating. I was emitting involuntary whimpers as we went.) But we got it done. Good thing one of us is handy with a power screwdriver. (That would be John.)

Next sheet: same deal, plus a hole for our ceiling light. Drywall dust raining down as we trimmed the hole on one side while holding the sheet in place. Third sheet, a little one, slightly off-kilter. And then the piece de resistance, the weird triangle at the doorway. We managed not to break off the little point as we fit it into place.

A ceiling! Woo-hoo. Not a bad job for our first attempt. There are a couple things we wish we'd done differently, but what else is new? This will be just fine. Taping and mudding and sanding still to come. Quitting time.

We have to drywall every ceiling in the house, by the way. But not today.

- Erika

No comments: