Dry wall made of a paper liner wrapped around a thin slab of gypsum plaster, as a replacement for lath and plaster, has been around since the 1880s. We are going to use plaster on all the inside of the outside walls, but we are going with the labor-saving option for the walls that define rooms.
You don’t have to be that skilled to put up a few pieces of drywall. Many of us have had a go at hanging dry wall in home improvement projects. Doug and I have done our share, and learned how to shape it by slicing through the paper on one side with a razor knife and snapping wonderfully straight breaks.
But as I watched Sanchez Drywall’s team cover all the wildly irregularly edged surfaces of Underhill House in two days, I was dazzled. The knifes, saws, tape measures, screw guns and routers were like extensions of their arms, and the way they whipped those big bulky pieces into place and set them was almost like ballet.
I have learned that up to 17% of drywall is wasted during the manufacturing and installation process. Sometimes it can be recycled, but mostly it is landfilled. Watching the Sanchez crew work, I suspect they were using just about every bit of each piece they could. They were extremely efficient and left very little lying on the floor.
They have to be not only skillful and fast, but very strong. A drywaller hoists and places about 2 tons of drywall every day.
I was really glad to see that our builder was using Sheetrock UltraLight panels that came on the market in August 2010. This stuff, according to their website is up to 30% lighter and stronger, pound for pound.
Pat Carrasco, a drywall hanger, who lives in Montana, says:
1. Emerging ergonomic standards—the state of Washington is working toward implementing ergonomic rules that will affect the drywall trade. It will be a long time before the entire industry feels this impact, but the writing is on the wall: The weight carried by one man needs to be lowered.
2. Work force longevity—Lighter board will bring about a longer productive life for those who hang drywall.
3. Production—We can hang more footage with lighter board.
4. And of course, let’s not forget about the trucks.
Yes. Let’s not forget about the trucks. The less weight they haul, the less gas they burn.
So that’s win/win. The lighter drywall is easier on those who hang it, and it takes less gas to haul it to the site.
I’m loving the drywall stage of our building.