Drywall Lift Comparisons?

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Old 11-13-08, 04:14 AM
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Drywall Lift Comparisons?

In my never-ending quest to remodel/rebuild my fixer-upper, I'm now to the point that I plan to "laminate" my ceilings with a new coat of drywall. I don't know if what I have up there is original to my 50 year-old house, but it shows numerous repairs, some water damage from previous leaks and cracks along some seams from settling (and likely a couple of earthquakes), so I'm just going to throw another layer under the old and then do a couple of walls for good measure.

And, because I'm very piecemeal with my work and I don't really want to move that fast, I'm strongly considering buying a drywall lift instead of renting.

The Tel-Pro appears to be commercial grade and I'm not finding any negative reviews, but the price for such quality is simply too steep for something that I'll just use for a couple of months.

That brings me to the "knock-offs" and though I'm finding that all of them get good reviews as a labor-saver and something you can't live without, I'm also finding that a couple might have issues with jerking while raising (once you get used to it, it's supposedly fine), comparatively flimsy construction and the third, I'm finding a lot of used models available online, but almost no reviews or any explanation for why it's $75 higher (new, when you include shipping) than the other two brands.

Does anyone have any experience or opinions about the lower-priced drywall hoists manufactured by "Troy", "Platinum Tool" or "Red Line"?

Basically, I need something that's easy for one person to load, which can do walls and ceilings and though I'll continually caution him not to stand under the thing, I need something that I'd feel comfortable using with a three year-old in the room or that I might theoretically load, press against the ceiling and finish securing that particular sheet of drywall, later.

Any opinions or tales from experience would be appreciated. As I said, they all get great reviews for labor-saving and they all seem like a good investment for my needs, but I'm mostly just trying to wrap my head around the window in price and I don't want to buy something that'll frighten the wife.


IOW: I'm willing to pay more for better quality or if one has greater advantages than the others, but I just don't want to assume that the higher-priced unit is somewhat better because right now, it's the one about which I can find less information and fewer reviews.


Thanks in Advance.
 

Last edited by TryAgain; 11-13-08 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 11-13-08, 05:23 AM
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Get the commercial grade, keep the child in a different room, use it and sell it to a local contractor for a discount price when you do get through with the project. The cheaper ones I have seen just do not measure up to the safety standards I would expect from a tool such as this.
 
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Old 11-13-08, 05:30 AM
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.... or what many of us have done it the past is just to make one out of 2x's. basically you take a flat 2x4 less than 4' long and then nail a 2x to it that is ceiling height. You then prop up 1 end of the drywall while you secure the other end.

I agree that a room where you are hanging drywall shouldn't have young children in it!
 
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Old 11-13-08, 09:38 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions and of course I'll do everything possible to keep the child away, but it'll just be me and him at home (or awake) when I use it and most of the rooms are quite large, so insisting that he stay at the other end or peeking through the doorways would be a lot easier and I'm mostly just trying to anticipate situations.

I've seen the stuff about the 2x4 Ts, when I was searching the forum, but it also seems kind of ricketier than the lowest cost lift, plus I gather that I'd have to load the sheets by lifting them to 8', first. And questions about the quality of construction was one of the things that prompted this post, but the least expensive model has more than eighty positive reviews on Amazon, while they don't sell the higher-priced, low-cost unit (Red Line) and that's apparently one of the reasons, I'm not finding any real-life user reviews.

As for a resale after I'm done, I'm thinking that it might be easier to offload a cheaper unit because I'm in a small town surrounded by desert. There's really only one "contractor" and a couple of "handymen", plus one or two slumlords, so there's really not a lot of opportunity for a resale unless I'm willing to advertise and transport it more than a hundred miles (to the larger town) and even then, I don't know that we're talking about anything approaching a large market. Something that I could reasonably offload at $200-$250 would be a lot easier than something that I'd have to get two to three times as much for, if I were to save anything over renting the Tel-Pro from the Home Depot, a hundred miles away.

Of course, I could rent a Tel-Pro for two weeks for the same price as the higher-cost, low-priced unit, but then I'd have to get it all done in two weeks and my plans of finishing a room (walls, ceilings, trim, floors, fixture replacement and duct installation) would have to go out the window. Plus, my experience has been that I don't move that fast because life seems to get in the way, I have a half-dozen other projects that I'm doing at the same time and in this old hand-built house, you really can't be sure, what you'll find.
 
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Old 11-13-08, 03:36 PM
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If you get concentrated, you can hang a ceiling in a day and be done with it. I would opt to rent one for a week and get busy concentrating only on the ceiling. That way all the other projects can be put off until this important part is done.
Just don't do as I read about once.....use an 8' ladder as a resting place for one end of the sheetrock. The guy quickly realized once the job was done, he couldn't get the ladder to close up and remove it. He had to remove a piece, remove the ladder and then replace the piece of rock he had to remove. Lessons learned....
 
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Old 11-14-08, 06:52 PM
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The op and all who responded to this thread should take a look at what one handyman did.
He built his own lift for about $60.00 or less in materials and hardware. And it can be disassembled easily and stored. Its made just for ceilings. The designer handyman says it needed a few tweaks to make it better and now he is happy with it.

Hope the moderators don't mind I recommend another DIY forum to see this thread. Go to:
can you build your own drywall lift?....done! - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum
 
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Old 11-15-08, 08:13 AM
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TryAgain,
Glad to see you like it. I am sure a lot of small contractors and diy's would be interested in this drywall lift. Even though one person can put up a ceiling using a step ladder and a homemade wedge, its better and safer to use two men. But with this invention, it makes it a whole lot easier for one man to do it. Diy's and contractors will save a substantial sum in rental fees and labor costs.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 10:10 AM
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Update: Though the plans that rjordan linked looked promising, I decided that I just had too many things on my plate and had set myself too short of a timeframe to build my own lift. Therefore, I broke down and special ordered one of the less expensive models through my local building supply house and though it'll be another week or two before I put it to the test, I'll try to post a review for anyone interested in the future.

All told, my local (non-box) store had a higher list price than the online outlets, but because they didn't charge shipping, it actually came out cheaper in the end.
 
 

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