Sunday, March 4, 2012

Drywall Part 1: Getting the Hang of It

Before I get into the monotonous specifics of our weekend of drywall installation, I feel compelled to offer a small bit of gratitude to the legions of Craigslisters out there who help make that site so effective. Another week into this project and we had another week of unloading items to eager recipients on Craigslist. This weekend it was the horde of hollow core doors and frames. I managed to get rid of 3 doors and two sets of sliding doors in only an hour or so; fantastic. So, with two wire racks from Lowes, which Kate assembled and reloaded with our junk, the basement is starting to pass the tipping point from chaos back into order; with that lets talk drywall.

Saturday we went to Home Depot and loaded up on drywall and related materials. We got special purple drywall, treated for wet areas, for the laundry room and regular drywall for everything else. We also got tape, mud and a pan and knife for Kate: she's actually excited to get to mud...silly girl. Last on our list was two pieces of pegboard to go in the laundry area and stoarge room for hand storage of small items. After our shopping spree we went home to finish the task of adding a switch and outlet for the laundry and storage area. Previously this string of lights existed on the same circuit as the lights in the stairway and hall. I had to change the orientation of the circuit (so it would start at my switch), add the switch and outlet and remove the connection to the hallway circuit. Fussing with wire amongst my ever shrinking skeleton of drop ceiling proved to be a bit more annoying than I originally had hoped. I also began incrementally running out of my small store of electrical bits (wire connections, face plates etc.) Kate ended up making two "emergency" runs to Ace to allow me to piece the wiring together and finish that project.

Today it was balls to the dry-wall all day long. I got an early start on installing the drywall which proved fortuitouse becuase it ended up taking the bulk of the day. The installation was actually really smooth, just continuous and taxing over an entire day. While I started at one end of the basement, Kate pulled the remaining paneling off the walls in the TV area on the other side. Through this effort (which I wish we'd done beforehand) we discovered that the prior owners had in fact installed their paneling over drywalled walls! None of the walls we'd encountered to that point hinted that this would be the case. So we were really surprised to find that most of the day's work (or what in the end would have been the 2nd day's work) was already done!. We still will have to tape and mud it, but we now can take several sheets of drywall back to Home Depot saving us a bit of cash.

That fortune aside it was still a long day of cutting, screwing and hauling drywall into the basement. As my blood sugar started to drop over the course of the afternoon I found myself getting a bit sloppy and lazy with my cuts. This lead to a bit more refining and shaving of some of my last pieces but I still managed to get it all done. I even got the corner bead installed so we're entirely ready for mud and tape...my least favorite part of the drywall process! The pictures below show the finished product (at least of this weekend's effort).
Panel removal revealed a hallway of drywall. Kate's patches on the bottom left

New walls: you can no longer look at the washer and dryer.

The new hallway, with our seed starter...already sprouting!

Order emerges from chaos. Above the purple drywall we're going to intall pegboard for additional storage options.

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