Learn how to install drywall in the trickiest, most difficult spaces.
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For ceilings that are higher than standard, it becomes even more difficult to position drywall panels and secure them in place. Drywall lifts (Image 1) provide a mechanical advantage to raising drywall to the ceiling. Drywall benches and tall scaffolding are alternatives to get you closer to the ceiling.
Drywall lifts allow you to overcome the awkwardness and difficulty of placing drywall on a ceiling. You load the drywall sheet on it, then crank it up to the ceiling (Image 2). It holds the sheet in place while you nail or screw it to the joists. Lifts are available for rent.
A drywall bench provides a stable surface for working on the higher parts of walls and ceilings. Some, such as the one shown here (Image 3), are height adjustable.
Lifting panels in place is another job where you will need an extra pair of hands. Some DIYers opt to use a prybar to lift panels in place on a wall. There is also a special tool available called a drywall panel lifter. This allows you to adjust the height of the panel on the wall with your foot, freeing your hands to tackle the job of screwing the panel in place. Simply insert the panel lifter under the drywall and step onto it to tilt the panel upward. The small gap created at the bottom of the wall will be covered by baseboard.
Insert the lifter under the drywall and step on it to tilt the panel upward. When it is positioned correctly, fasten the drywall in place.
Although drywall panels are flat, it is possible to cover archways and other curves with the material by bending it into shape. Manufacturers make a specific type of drywall to accommodate this need. It is called flexible drywall, and is available in 1/4" thicknesses. It has a heavy paper face and strong liner that makes it easier to bend without being susceptible to cracking. To cover tighter curves, you may need to wet the drywall before attempting to attach it to the wall. To blend into surrounding wall surfaces that have a thicker drywall, you may need to apply two or more sheets.
Either use flexible drywall or bend it to cover archways and curves. To bend drywall, damp one side of the panel with a sponge.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009