Time to tape and float


Old 02-05-06, 08:00 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4
Time to tape and float

First off let me say this forum is great. and my hat is off to Mudslinger for his great attitude in helping people and rooting them on. Alot of pros in these forums take pot shots at DIYers. But you're a class act.

Our home is around 2800 ft with 9 ft and a few 12 ceilings.
Any estimation on time to finish it. My wife is questioning me and I have no clue. At my job I hired a contractor. It took his one man about 8 days to finish about 2400 ft, but it was all 8 foot ceilings. We have scaffolding and plan to use the fiberglass tape (already purchased). I've read up a little on using the quick setting mud on fiberglass. I plan to use the metal backed paper tape for all the inside corners and thought about vinyl for the outsides. I know ther are many variables, but would anyone care to take a guess for me?
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Old 02-06-06, 03:03 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 334

I agree with you that this forum is great. Thank you for your compliment as well. I am humbled by it. At the same time I think that there are many on this board that also have a lot of great information, advice, etc. that also deserve a massive amount of credit due to thier tireless input and desire to help.

I think that I am somewhat long winded at times, but for the most part, I stay here and don't go to the other forums often. Marksr spends a lot of time helping others, and although his posts may not be as long as mine, he has given over 2800 pieces of advice to others, for which he deserves a big "hats off". There are many others as well, but he is an "easy" example because of both his advice and willingness to be a moderator of the site.

In regard to those who come here to throw stones at people who are asking for help, it is very easy to go to a hospital psychiatric unit if your intention is to find people to call crazy, only to make yourself feel important. But those who went there seeking help are not benefitted by it, nor is that helpful to those who are working there in order to help people solve thier problems.

Now onto your question...

The easy answer for your question is that it takes me an average of 2-1/2 hours to apply a 5 gallon bucket of joint compound when I am hand taping seems angles, corners, and corner bead. On average, 5 gallons will cover about 5 sheets of drywall including an average amount of corner bead too. Your 9' and 12' ceilings are going to require significantly more time.

Thinking back to when I was new to this world, it probably took me 5 hours to apply 5 gallons of mud, or about an hour per sheet. (don't ask me about my first patch though... )

Given your situation, I think it would take you about 4-5 weeks to do the finishing.

Although I like to inspire people to feel confident about themselves, I would not feel at ease with myself if I did not add the following:

The finishing of drywall is the last thing on the wall before the paint. A good joint compound job is really "where the buck stops", as paint hides very little. I think that others on this board would echo my feelings in that we want you to have a nice home, and not regret decisions that were made in building it, be it in costs, or time.

The job that you will be taking on is enormous so I want to give you a few unsolicited comments that you may consider before you start.

1. Mesh tape is easy to apply, but cracks also come through. In new construction, houses settle quite a bit in thier first year as the lumber continues to dry. Paper tape limits the amount of cracks that become visible.

2. If you are set, for whatever the reason, on finishing it yourself; I would recommend that you hire a finisher to come in and teach you how to do the work. It will save you a massive amount of headaches. The day or two they help you will save you weeks in the long run; and you will have a "friend" in the business who understands your situation from the beginning, and will be more willing to run over and give you advice if you have a specific question. An advocate such as that is precious.

3. If I was building a new home (and wasn't in the business already of course) I would consider having a finisher at least put the tape on the walls. Bad taping bubbles need to be cut out and fixed for the finishing to occur. They usually use a Banjo box, or a Bazooka to apply it, and the whole house would be taped in a day or two.

4. I would start by doing one bedroom and closet and see how that goes, and then evaluate if you want to do the rest of the house. Finishers rarely like finishing 6 "half projects" as they usually sweep through a house and don't deal with "this wall is taped, this seam has 2 coats, this one wall only needs to be sanded"...you get the idea. (Think of food... what would you do if you were a baker, and someone brought in a cake and wanted help finishing it; then they said... this part is eaten, this part is decorated, this part only needs icing, this part still needs to be baked, and I mispelled "Hapy Birfday"... YIKES!!!)

5. If your budget permits having a finisher come in and do it, I would strongly recommend that you evaluate that route. It will probably take them 5 days (mostly because of drying time of the joint compound), and if you feel the need to contribute your efforts into the project, or you are working within a budget, perhaps you can do the painting instead. If the paint gets messed up, one can usually fix it easier than fixing drywall problems.

I know this is long-winded, and I hope this helps. I would greatly appreciate others input on this thread as well, so dman60 has as much information as possible with which to use.

Good luck, and congratulations on your new home!


Last edited by MudSlinger; 02-06-06 at 03:41 AM.
Old 02-06-06, 08:49 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,813
I pretty much agree with mudslinger although a little by his praise. Most members try to help or get help here. There are a few [as in all walks of life] that just don't like to play nice. When necesarry they are reprimanded, suspended or banned but I like to think mostly they are recognized for what they are.

Drywall finishing is hard work and although basically easy, a whole house can be overwhelming to a novice. I would strongly suggest considering hiring a pro for this big of a job. If saving money or wanting the pride of being able to say I did it myself is important you might consider hiring out the main living area and doing the rest yourself. IE:2nd floor, bed rms etc.

Having a nice home can be a good source of pride and as mudslinger pointed out a bad finish job will always be apparent. Wish you luck with your new home.

BTW I might be as long winded as mudslinger if my typing fingers worked as good as my mouth
Old 02-06-06, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 79
It takes me, a novice DIY drywaller (I've done three bedrooms, 8' ceilings, 150-200 sq ft) on average about 4-5 hours per coat of compound per room. The first coat takes a bit longer of course, but once you get a bit of practice applying tape, it will go faster.

Be prepared for sore shoulders and back, I'm usually very stiff after applying mud for three days straight
Old 02-06-06, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 334
Thanks for your input Bradleyfitz! See, you're giving better info than Marksr or I can on this one!

(Your input really is appreciated )

Thanks again,
Old 02-07-06, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 79
Thanks! I like to chime in with my experiences when I can.

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