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Realistic time expectations for finishing drywall?

Realistic time expectations for finishing drywall?

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  #1  
Old 12-08-16, 07:47 AM
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Realistic time expectations for finishing drywall?

Hi all! I am remodeling part of my basement, which is ~460 square feet. One window and one door, otherwise it's just a long rectangular room. Has 8 outlets but otherwise nothing to cut around. I have a handyman helping with the drywall and it's taken him 2.5 full days (8 hours each day) to just hang the drywall and is saying it will take another 2 full days of billable time to tape and mud everything. This seems like a really long time to me...what's realistic for just the taping/mudding process? And how much time is true labor vs. waiting for it to dry?

Also, I asked if he could teach me how to tape & mud and he gave me a lecture about how it's an artwork and very difficult. I know it is a true skill but am a little frustrated with how expensive this is getting. I'm relatively capable - is this something a novice can learn to do fairly easily? Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-08-16, 08:29 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

I had a 12'x13' room with closet hung in one afternoon by a guy and a helper so 2 1/2 days seems a little long but potentially within reason.

Mudding and taping is a learned skill but we can walk you through it if you want to cut your losses and DIY.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 08:35 AM
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Hanging drywall is a 2 man job BUT there are tools you can buy/rent that make it a 1 man job. I couldn't imagine spending more than a day hanging the drywall but as SS said we haven't seen the layout or framing.

Finishing the drywall is a 3 step process; taping and 3 coats of mud [including tape coat] This is normally a 2-3 day process depending on temp/humidity and the type of mud used.

It sounds to me like your handyman is either lacking in skill or work ethic.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 11:07 AM
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There is a difference between a handyman and a tradesman. The tradesman may have another job to get to so he finishes this one to get on to the next and the next. The handyman may not be in a hurry because he has no where else to be.
You say he is helping you. Who is really helping whom? How much visiting and break time do you have in the job?
Is this four walls and the ceiling?
And how does the handyman value his time? He might be slower but cheaper than a more skilled tradesman and what is your own time worth?
I am not a drywall hanger. I could never make wages at it. This sounds like about my speed.
But the taping, while it has some drying time, that is not billable time. In a basement you might be using 8 goods. That will mean more joints therefore more time than if you use 12' sheets. But if I were doing it I am not man enough to hang more than 8'sheets.
So it seems to me that maybe you are second guessing hiring a person by the hour.
That is another thing a tradesman would know -- how much a job is worth and give you a quote for the amount of the job. Did you get one? Did it seem to high? Now you know why.

As to taping and finishing. If you have a good job hanging this is easily learned. I have not looked but I think there are probably many youtube videos that will show and tell you the steps.
And there is a plethora of posts here about taping and finishing. One thing we can tell you right off the bat is that less mud is better than more and self adhesive mesh tape is not as good as paper tape. Unless you use setting mud to embed the tape and it is harder to sand.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 01:25 PM
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Thank you all for the quick responses, that's helpful! The guy I hired is a friend of a friend situation and he's 70, does normally small jobs on the side, and was the cheap choice. That being said, he does have a lot of experience with drywall. You're right though that I am now understanding why the other contractors were so seemingly expensive!

This is just 4 walls and ceiling - it's a very simple rectangular room with only 3 inside corners. I did watch a youtube video on taping and I think I might try to tackle some tonight to see how it goes. Would you mind just clarifying the process for me? The tape the handyman brought is a paper tape, doesn't have adhesive so that sounds like a good start. I have access to a banjo (not sure if that's the official name) that applies the right amount of compound to the tape automatically so it seems simple enough in theory. I just apply the tape over the seams...any tips? I'm less confident about corners - I will probably leave those for the handyman to do.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 01:41 PM
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I want to start more simply to evaluate your man - did the rock go on the ceiling or walls first? Was the rock on the wall hung horizontally or vertically?
 
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Old 12-08-16, 01:43 PM
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I've never used a banjo although I have seen pro finishers use them. I'm a painter not a drywall guy but I do repairs to facilitate a paint job or small drywall jobs for myself or friends/relatives. It helps to thin the mud a little as it will flow better that way, just don't over thin the mud or it will loose some of it's adhesive properties. Always make sure the tape coat is good and dry before adding more mud! Corners aren't that difficult, the paper tape has a crease which you fold for the corner.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 03:15 PM
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stickshift - I'm doing a drop ceiling so it was walls only. They were hung vertically, standard 8x4 size. Hopefully that's the right answer?

Thanks marksr - I'm going to try a couple of seams and see how it goes!
 
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Old 12-08-16, 03:37 PM
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So you have 22 sheets of drywall to hang, tape and mud, finishing to accept paint. I'm 68 and hate drywall almost as much as I do painting, but I can do it. I agree that it is a 2 person job, especially with his age factored in. You can hang a sheet in less than 5 minutes with a couple of minutes for cut outs for receptacles. I don't know how you do a rectangular room with only 3 inside corners but I'll let it be.

Finishing the drywall can take up to 3 days, so give in on that. I just question 2 1/2 days installing it.
 
  #10  
Old 12-08-16, 03:37 PM
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To clarify,apply the tape with the banjo. Embed the tape with a 4" taping knife. Don't squeeze out all of the mud. You need enough to stick the tape. Wipe off any ridges or beads you leave behind on the rock. The neater, better job you do on each coat the better the next coat goes.

Some use an angle tool to do corners and some use the 4" knife first one side of the angle then the other.

Practice on some flats first then you will have a better idea how to do the angles
 
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Old 12-08-16, 07:40 PM
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Thanks everyone! I do think it took way too long to hang it and am frustrated by that but not a lot I can do about it now....I did try out taping myself - completed 6 seams in about 90 minutes. So it is a slow process, though this is my first time and it is definitely a learning curve so I would assume a handyman should be faster at it! It went pretty well (I think). It seems like a very fine line between too much and too little of the compound. How much should be squirting out the edges of the tape? I did try to clean up everything that squirted out.

I had some issues with the banjo...I thought it would make things easier but it seemed to stop applying compound if I pulled the tape too fast, had it at the wrong angle, or when it was less than half full of compound. Is that to be expected? Or any tips on using one?

BTW - the reason for only 3 inside corners is b/c the 4th corner of the room leads to a stairway where there are 2 outside corners. I haven't even started thinking about how outside corners are handled?
 
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Old 12-09-16, 03:10 AM
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You nail up corner bead on the exterior corners. The bead gives the corner more protection than tape would.
Basically you want just enough mud under the tape to 'glue' it to the wall. You do not want the tape and mud to form a hump!
 
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Old 12-09-16, 07:11 AM
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I thought ceilings were involved - knowing they are not makes your man even slower. On top of that, convention is to hang the sheets horizontally as that makes for a stronger wall and easier mudding and taping. That said, again, there could be some reason we don't know since we're not there which makes hanging the rock vertically the right choice.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 10:08 AM
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IMO the biggest reason to hang drywall horizontally is it's easier to tape the length of the wall at 4' than to have to go from ceiling to floor every 4' Also horizontally hung drywall will minimize any discrepancies in the framing [wall will look straighter] - that should be the main reason but my old back says different
 
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Old 12-09-16, 12:26 PM
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Drywall should not be hung vertically except in rare cases. I've replied like this many times.
Reasons -
- wall won't be straight as Mark said
- edge joints are weak, you have screws very near the edge of each sheet, for the full length
- horizontal with joints staggered at the 4' mark provides at least 12' of diagonal wall bracing compared to only 4', which is almost useless
- staggering the end joints makes to hide them better when taping raw edges

My opinion on your original question is the handyman should have given you a set price and not hourly.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 01:14 PM
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I think the convention of hanging it vertically is to have factory tapers against each other making it somewhat neater to mud and tape. I agree with horizontal, but understand vertical.
 
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