How to Hang Drywall in Your Garage

Knowing how to hang drywall is important. If you want some practical advice on how to hang drywall, then this page will meet your needs. You need to know there are different methods used by different people, but most methods share the basics. Before you begin, know that drywall is heavy and it's always a good idea to have some helping hands when it comes to hanging drywall.

garage drywall

Some professionals say that you should begin with your ceiling if you're going to drywall your garage. They say that it makes it easier to do the rest once the ceiling is finished. Hey, these folks know how to hang drywall and I can't argue with them because I'm not a professional. However, I did the walls first in my garage before I started working on the ceiling and I thought it was fairly easy. Whichever way you begin, you'll need some hardware and tools to get started.

Electrical & Plumbing

Safety first…whether you use nails or screws for your garage drywall, take the time to make sure there are no electrical wires or plumbing pipes that will get pierced by the nails or screws. You could shock yourself, or trip a breaker as well as create flood damage to the drywall and studs in your garage.

Screws vs. Nails

Speaking of screws and nails, I only know how to hang drywall with screws. I recommend screws because in my experience, they hold better and they're easier to use for garage drywall installation. If you drive one in too far or not far enough, then simply use a screwdriver to fix it. Nails on the other hand, can't always be easily be removed without scarring the new drywall, and they can back out over time because they're not threaded in. It's also not a bad idea to check your local building codes to make sure the method you choose is acceptable.

Tools for Hanging Garage Drywall

Use a screw gun or drill to drive the screws. I prefer corded over cordless for two reasons. First, they're less expensive, and second, batteries tend to run out just when I need them the most. Of course, you'll need something to cut the drywall with. For long cuts, I like to use a simple utility knife with a fresh blade. I firmly hold down a long level along the cutting line, and then run the knife along the level for a straight cut. Next, I flip the sheet of garage drywall over and fold it apart at the cut. It makes a fairly clean break, and then just cut the remaining paper backing which I also do with the utility knife.

Next, I use a rasp (available at any home improvement center)to clean up the edge. Rasps are cheap, simple, and very effective. For short cuts and notches, I use a basic drywall saw, which is available at any home improvement center. An even faster way is to use a Rotozip, or equivalent drill bit that can cut horizontally... it's very messy, but very fast as well. People who know how to hang drywall know that setting up a couple of sawhorses for cutting large sheets simplifies and speeds up the process. You can make your own sawhorses out of 2x4's, or simply buy some from any hardware store.

You can also run into trouble with your drywall installation if you aren't able to find the studs once the drywall is in place. This happened to me when I was putting up drywall on my garage ceiling. Here's a simple solution, before hanging drywall, use a Sharpie to draw on the ceiling and floor to identify the studs. This way, you won't waste time missing the studs.

Hanging Drywall

While learning how to hang drywall, I concluded it's best to hang the higher pieces on the wall first. This is because it's better to have the very top of the wall flush rather than crooked or gapped, which can be caused by studs and floors that aren't perfectly square. It's also better to have any gaps on the bottom, because that's usually where they'll get covered up by cove base, or some other type of base-board. Drywall is usually available in 4'x8' sheets. This is convenient considering many walls are 8 feet tall. However, home garages are often more than eight feet high, so more drywall and cutting is necessary. You can install the sheets so they're eight feet tall or eight feet wide. I prefer to do it eight feet wide because that's the way I was shown by a professional who knows how to hang drywall efficiently. Once you have the sheet in place, you're ready for the actual drywall installation. If you're using screws, drive one through the drywall and into the stud about every foot or so. Do this until all of the areas where the studs touch the drywall have been fastened.

When the top sheets are finished, begin installing the next row. The top of this row will touch the bottom of the top row. Fasten with screws add described above until the row is finished. In garages, the third row is often the last row. This is the row that meets the floor. Like the second row to the first row, the top of the third row should touch the bottom of the second row. Leaving at least a ½" gap at the bottom will forgive bad cuts and workmanship that aren't perfect (like mine) because it will be covered by the base board material.

You can us small pry bars or screwdrivers as shims between the floor and the drywall to hold up the bottom piece so it's flush with the row above it. You can also use actual wooden shims, or other thin blocks of wood that are all the same size. After you've hung the garage drywall, it's time to install corner bead if necessary. This is basically a thin plastic or aluminum strip that is placed on the outside edges of any corners that meet. To fasten it, you can use the same drywall screws you've been using. They're you have it. Maybe you thought knowing how to hang drywall was going to be painful! Well…it's not. Or at least it doesn't have to be. You should now be able to hang your garage drywall fairly easily.

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