Anything but Sheetrock
Written by Milan Jara on 24th Aug 2011
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about owning your own home is getting involved in projects that can improve its appearance or function — you’re not only possibly increasing its value, but it can be such a great feeling to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Maybe that’s why vegetables grown in your own garden always seem to taste better than those bought in a store.
Just about all DIY projects can leave you dirty, covered in sweat, and with muscles that ache for several days, but some jobs just aren’t much fun — although it depends on the person doing the work. I personally don’t mind installing hardwood or carpeting, but have friends with bad backs who avoid those tasks whenever possible. I also know homeowners who enjoy installing ceramic tile because they can constantly see what they’ve accomplished, while others would prefer to leave it to the professionals.
However, I can honestly say that I’ve never met anyone who truly enjoyed hanging and finishing sheetrock. I know people who like framing and placing the mechanicals in the walls before the sheetrock goes on and others who have a great time painting or wallpapering after the sheetrock has been finished and sanded, but no one who likes the necessary tasks in-between — and that includes me.
If you’re adding on to your home or finishing a room in the attic or basement, installing sheetrock means lugging the heavy boards into the room, cutting them to fit, and screwing them on the walls and ceiling. One person can do the job if they have the proper tools and experience, but in most cases it takes at least two. Once the sheetrock is in place, you’re ready to begin finishing — most projects require taping, a block coat of drywall mud, and a final skim coat.
That might not sound too difficult, but when you’re finishing the ceiling, as much mud can fall on your face and head as ends up on the boards. And that’s not even the fun part — when the skim coat is dry, the whole room needs to be sanded. Imagine taking a small plastic figure, wetting it, and then dropping it into a bag of flour. When you’re done sanding, you may look exactly like that toy when it’s removed from the bag — the only parts of your body not covered in dust will be your eyes.
I have hung and finished the sheetrock in many rooms over the years, but I don’t see that job happening again in my future. If I need to add finishes to a room, I’ll be installing a drop-in decorative ceiling tile ceiling and putting paneling on the walls. If you ever have the opportunity, watch someone install and finish a sheetrock ceiling and you’ll soon think decorative ceiling tiles are a pretty good option for you as well.