Tips for Installing Insulation and Drywall

The experts from DIY Network's Be Your Own Contractor discuss the various aspects of putting up interior walls.

  • Betty King and John Spracklen chose to use Celbar insulation, an insulating product recycled from newspaper material that uses no formaldehyde. The couple was committed to being environmentally responsible in all aspects of their home's construction, and using "green" eco-friendly materials wherever possible.

  • Michael Buchtel used several styles of insulation. He used batting insulation in the walls and blown-in cellulose insulation above the ceiling, in the home's attic.

  • Insulation work is a job that most of our do-it-yourself contractors took on themselves, since it is a fairly straightforward process and relatively easy to learn. For the most part, however, they all acknowledge that it is a messy and unpleasant job. It produces irritating dust particles and requires the use of protective masks when installing. Particularly when working with fiberglass varieties, proper ventilation control and safety measures are essential to avoid inhalation and exposure to harmful particles.

  • Once the insulation has been installed, work can begin installing interior walls. Most of our do-it-yourselfers utilized drywall, which is the single most common material used for interior walls. According to Lynn Underwood, there are numerous materials you can use for the exterior of your house, but drywall is by far the most common for interior walls.

  • Though it does require some strenuous work and lifting, drywall is relatively simple to install, but some expertise is required for finishing it off with tape and drywall mud. Since most interior walls in your home will be visible, it's important that they be finished properly so that they look clean and presentable. Once again, Alan Sain recommends bringing in the professionals if you lack the expertise or experience necessary for this particular job.

  • Fred Samuels — who did nearly every bit of the construction of his Rockwood, Tenn., home all by himself — recommends renting a mechanical drywall lifter if you want to do this job yourself. This device is simply cranked to lift the drywall up high (such as for ceiling installation), making it easier to get into position to secure it. If you don't have access to this type of equipment, at least have plenty of ladders on hand — along with several sets of helping hands.

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