How To Prepare Walls for Drywall Installation

Drywall, also called plasterboard, gypsum board or sheetrock, is one of the most popular materials used to finish building interiors. Because it is relatively easy to install (compared to plaster for example), a person who is relatively experienced with do-it-yourself home projects will likely be able to undertake this project during one free day. Do know that before you install the drywall, it’s very important that the walls be prepared first; this will ensure a smoother, more even and more seamless finish. Here are some of the guidelines to remember to properly prepare walls for drywall installation.

  • Check your local building codes. This will help guide you in your decisions about how to prepare your walls before you install the drywall.
  • Make sure that all the windows and doors are already installed.
  • Install all the necessary wiring. Remember: once you have the drywall installed it will be very hard to go back again to do this step. This will include the wiring for your cable, telephone, and other electrical wires. You should also make sure that the electrical outlets and light switches are all in their proper places.
  • Install the drywall studs. These studs are what will support and secure the drywall. It’s good to use metal drywall studs, because they are very durable, and do not rot nor warp. Make sure that all the drywall studs and joists are properly aligned; otherwise the walls themselves may not be aligned properly. You can ensure that the studs are aligned by hanging a string downwards and checking if the studs are aligned to it. Also, make sure that the studs are at proper intervals (remember that the longest length that a drywall can go unsupported is 2 feet), so that the walls may be better secured. There should be nailers positioned at every corner, as well.
  • Install the vapor barrier. Vapor barriers are used to prevent moisture from condensing in the walls. Also, they can effectively reduce heating costs, and increase your home’s energy efficiency. These vapor barriers should be installed before the drywalls. In warmer climates, the vapor barriers should go between the sheathing and the insulation, while in colder climates, this barrier should be placed between the insulation and the drywall. Apart from this vapor barrier, you should also ensure that your walls are properly soundproofed before installing the drywall.
  • Know where to install metal protective plates. Take out a map of the electrical wiring and the piping that goes inside the walls. At areas where you will need to put in the studs and where the wires or piping go through, you will need to install metal protective plate so that the screws and nails will not puncture the wires/ pipes.

There you have it! These are some of the important things to remember when you are preparing your walls prior to drywall installation. Remember, most of the work comes with the preparation, to ensure that the rest of the job goes smoothly and without a hitch. After you’ve finished preparing your walls for drywall installation, you can read this article about drywall installation, and another article for fastening drywall. Good luck, and hope this helped!


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