Drywalling an unfinished basement


Old 09-05-00, 10:37 AM
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I am building a new home and to save money, I am finishing the basement alone. I have patched drywall several times in the past, but have never started from scratch. I have a couple questions: I have a 4th bedroom that I'm going to sheetrock all 4 walls and the ceiling. I have a large rec. room that is 40' long x 18' wide that I am going to do all 4 walls and the cieling in drywall. I have a laundry room that I am doing the 4 walls only, it will have a drop ceiling, and finally a 3rd bathroom that I am doing the 4 walls and it will have a drop ceiling. I have ran all the electric, t.v. and phone lines in the wooden studs. i will be insulating next. Should I use 1/2" or 5/8" drywall? Is it a matter of Code or what's the difference? What size drywall screws do you reccomend for the walls and ceiling? What type of tape should I buy, the solid rolls, or the new perforated self adhesive type? What type of mud should I buy? Do I start with the ceiling and then go to the walls? When doing the walls do I start at the top or bottom? Should I use 4 x8 or 4x 12 sheets and why? I was told to buy a 5",8" and 10" mud blade for doing my joints, is this neccessary or is someone trying to sell me some tools? Finally, is their a bulding code for drywalling and if so what does it cover? Any help you could give is appreciated. Any additional suggestions are also appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-05-00, 04:49 PM
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I do not know the code in your area, but 5/8" drywall is standard for comercial and 1/2 for residental, using 1 1/4" drywall screws for 1/2" rock.

My sugestion for tape would be regular paper drywall tape, I do not like the mesh type, as a matter of fact some architects will require you to use quik setting type joint compound if mesh tape is used. The previous owners of my house used it, and I am going to have to re-tape every joint due to cracking(many years old). I use regular drywall joint coumpound (mud). Don't use Lonestar, I have had bad experiences with there products.

You will want to start the rock on the ceiling, going across the joists(not with) and stagger your rock joints. Placing screws about 7" apart, sinking them slightly below the surface. Useing bigger rock than 8' will be heavier but you will have less butt joints to tape, when hanging the walls, the strongest method is to lay the rock on the side and butt up to ceiling first then laying the bottom pieces(to 5/8" from floor) being sure to stagger them. You will have butt joints to finish(which is more difficult than factory joints) If your ceiling is taller than 8' then you may want to hang bigger rock upright to the ceiling. You will need a tape measure, drywall knife, drywall saw, chalkline(to mark your nailers), a wrasp (to smooth rough breaks) and a screwgun and a helper.

When it comes to taping and bedding, I use a 6" for the taping, 10" for the first bed and a 12" for the final bed and of course the 12" mud pan. If you are not expirienced with this, I would sugest hiring a mudman, it is really easy to screw it up and make a mess of your walls. If you start, find out you can't do it, then hire a mudman, he will charge more to fix it.

There is more to it, this is just general tips to let you know what you are getting into, hope this helps.

Old 09-05-00, 07:46 PM
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I give a nod to Chipfo for his info. I agree with everything he said, but I also can relate to the home do-it-yourselfer a little better perhaps. I would recommend the self-adhesive tape, its easier for a novice to put up. I would also say, you should use 5/8 rock on the cieling. I don't know if its code or not, but its possible you could end up with sags otherwise. I would say stick to the 10 inch knife, you don't really NEED a 12 inch. Stick with 8 foot rock, the 12 foot does have fewer joints but its not so easy to work with. Textures! My specialty, I would recommend a mud-dobber for ease of use and nice results. It can be found in the links section of this site, and I think its only available on-line.
The only other thing I would add is that you CAN do it yourself. Don't be affraid to apply a goodly amount of mud, you can wipe off the excess while its still wet and too little mud was always my problem when I was just learning to mud.
Good Luck!

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