Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes about drywall application.


Place your drywall next to the studs where it is to be nailed. Once you have the board in place you may find that some of the studs behind the wallboard are difficult to find. You could take the easy way out by marking the floor and ceiling for their location and using a chalk-line to mark the wallboard.

Personally, I would rather "eyeball" the nail placement. After hammering so many drywall nails, I have become proficient at pounding nails directly into the stud without the aid of a chalk-line. However, this does not always work. There is a mysterious force behind drywall that likes to play tricks with your mind. Sometimes it will move studs to wherever you have not yet tried a nail.

The solution to this mystical problem is not uncommonly solved by a magic wand (in the form of a measuring tape) extended from a side of the board to the sixteen-inch mark.

Not marking the floor and ceiling to keep track of studs can create a nail hole problem. A bigger hole may result if you do not take care when drawing out the dimensions of a board to be cut.

When we drywalled the master bedroom, Robin took measurements while I readied the drywall. We worked well in tandem until we got to the last piece of wallboard.

"How tall is it?" I asked.

Robin flicked the measuring tape as if she were a bank robber pistol whipping a frightened teller. "92 and three-quarter inches."

I scratched a line on the back side of the wallboard. The gray paper showed white foot prints where I had just walked over it. I was only half paying attention to Robin because I was impatient to finish; I wanted to see the room absent of all that bulging insulation.


Robin spanned the tape over the gap between two wallboards. "Thirty-two inches."

I made my marks, scored and vigorously head-butted the final piece.

"We've got an outlet," my wife informed me.

"Which side?"


She gave me the exact location, and I deftly cut the small square with a keyhole saw. I rubbed my back and made myself bend over to lift the prostrate piece of drywall.

Robin helped me drag it to the appointed wall.

Height - good.

Width - good.

Outlet hole - bad.

Robin furrowed her brows. "I thought I told you the outlet was on the left side of the board."

I took a step back to get a better look at the wall. "I did cut it from the left," I protested.

"Left side of the back!" she observed perceptively.

Indeed, I had cut the board so that it would only fit backward. It was the last full piece. There was no way to get another whole sheet up the stairs.

I could have cut a new hole where the outlet was supposed to be and patched the error. I could have brought up a new sheet of drywall in pieces. What did I do? Daring soul that I am, I nailed it up backward.

Later, the drywall inspector laughed when she saw my blunder. However, she did not make me tear it down. She and I both knew, with a little drywall mud and some paint no one would ever notice the difference.

Next Page

Scabbing On
Drywall Transport
Scoring and Karate
Dimples and Mudding

Drywall How To Manual

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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