Building a Home – Drywall
After the insulation had been blown into the walls, the next step was to hang the drywall. Drywall sheets come in various sizes and compositions, but all of ours were 10′ x 4′ white board. The thickness varied depending on the application: ceiling panels were 5/8″ and vertical walls were 1/2″ (ceiling panels were thicker to prevent sagging). It took the drywall crew less than a day to hang all the drywall. It seems the most useful tool for hanging and finishing drywall are leg stilts. These allow the drywallers to operate at an elevated height without constantly coming on and off a ladder or other stationary platform. Video of drywaller getting onto stilts.
The crew returned the next day to apply joint compound to the drywall. Joint compound (aka plaster, mud) is used to fill gaps, joints, nail holes and otherwise create a smooth surface over the drywall. When going over a joint (where two or more edges of drywall come together) or inside corner, the crew would use a dense, fibrous paper called tape. When the joint eventually moves, the tape helps to reduce or eliminate cracking in the dry joint compound. The crew brought two specialty tools that helped them expedite the mudding process. The first, an automatic drywall taper, looked like one of those water cannon squirt guns that you see kids play with, except this device was made of metal and had a drywall tape holder at the end. Though I didn’t see it in action, it lays down a thin layer of mud over which it also lays tape. Another worker can then followup with any number of other tools to remove the excess mud. Video or automatic drywall taper in action. The second device was an inside corner mud applicator. This device greatly reduces application time by allowing both sides of a corner to be finished at once. Video of inside corner mud applicator in action.
The outside corners of the walls were finished with rounded corners. Corners are traditionally done at a 90 degree sharp edge. Advances in technology have allowed rounded corner molds (called “corner bead”) to be made relatively cheap. The advantage of a round corner is that they are less prone to visible dings and dents. Video of round corner bead being installed.