Be Nice To Your Mudder

There are some things you just shouldn't do yourself. Like your own dental work.  Or giving yourself a tattoo. For me, drywall is one of those things. I wouldn't really have a clue what I'm doing and it's way too easy to do a really bad job. We know our limits or are slowly learning them here at the haus, so we called in the experts for this part of construction. The crew we hired was not the least expensive, but they were fast, professional, tidy, and truly skilled craftsman. 

The way Dallman works, as well as most other installers, is in separate crews that specialize in one phase of the work.  The first crew the "rockers" measure, cut and hang the raw gypsum board. This is {in my mind} the only part someone with no experience could probably handle. Although it's like weight lifting, don't do it alone because you're just not that strong. Gyp. is heavy and requires at least one extra buddy, more likely two. This is not to say hiring this part out wasn't worth it. A good rocker is quick, yet precise, making it easier for the "mudder" to do his/her job. Our crew of five were done with the entire kitchen in about 45min. This would have taken us at least a full weekend plus the work of conning someone to be our extra special buddy.
rocking in the not so free world

The next crew the "mudders" come in next and well . . . mud. They cover all screw holes, make seams disappear and corners actually square. This is the part that seems to require the most talent and the area that determines a good drywall job from a bad one. Mudding our kitchen was a two, half-day job for a crew of two guys.  This is the part worth paying for and I cannot sing their praises enough.  We had this very bizarre {yet for some reason not unusual condition} in our haus where a previous owner decided to put in a new gyp ceiling . . . over the plaster.  WHY!?!  

Time out for Rants in the Pants:  The thing that drives me most crazy about our haus is the fact that previous owners didn't take the time to do things right the first time.  I'm all for home renovation {obviously} and for doing it yourself if you can.  But if you don't know what you're doing, or you're going to be lazy about it, just buy new construction and save the rest of us a lot of heartache.  Please.    

When we took down the plaster on the walls we were left with a 1 1/2" gap where the ceiling hung lower than the walls.  This is hard to explain, so hopefully you can see it in the pictures.  We were certain that we were going to need crown molding to hide this, but our mudders came to the rescue and made the seams absolutely perfect!  Seriously, have I said that I love them yet?  Because I love them!  :)  

mudded and sanded

Next the "sanders" came and smoothed it all out. The highest level of finish in drywall work is a 5.  I didn't specify this in our contract, but I'm pretty sure that's what we got, or pretty close to it. Our walls were so well done that it was well worth the cost.  

Nothing goes perfectly though, and there are a few things people converting from plaster to gyp need to know:

1}  Plaster is thicker than gyp.  This means 
        a.  Your window and door casings will be an issue.  They will stick
        out farther than the drywall now.  This means putting trim on will
        be a bit of an issue later.  This is something we are still trying to
        figure out how to deal with so I will take any suggestions you have.  
        b.  You may need some new flooring around the perimeter because
        your baseboard will no longer be where it was.

2}  1/2" gyp is standard on exterior walls.  You should be using this if you are DIYing it and you should plan locations of your electrical boxes accordingly.  Meaning do not nail them the standard 1/4" out from the face of the stud, but 1/2" so that your new walls will be flush with the boxes.  
*FYI: add an extra 1/8" or so to this if you are putting tile on that brand-spanking new wall of yours.  Otherwise you'll have to be like us and buy box-extenders, and washers, and all kinds of bits and bobs that make your outlets actually accessible.

3} Bring the sheet back out.  You do remember tip number #2 from this post don't you?  Of course you do!

primed time

1 comment:

  1. This title made me laugh yesterday. Today? Still laughing:)