Over the years, I have reluctantly undertaken many drywall projects. Not by choice, but simply out of necessity. When money has been tight, rather than hiring a qualified dry wall contractor who actually knows what he is doing, I have often gotten in over my head with what turned out to be a remodeling fiasco. And if there is one thing I have learned as a result of my experience, it is that finishing drywall should be left to the pros. Like me, maybe you too have fallen prey to the how hard can it be school of thought. This mentality has frequently gotten me into trouble, but the frustration I have had when trying to finish drywall has been some of the greatest trouble of all.
On one such occasion, I had the ambitious idea of building a room in our two car garage to house a large model railroad layout. At first I had planned to simply build a wall with a small pre-hung door in it to separate the two bays from one another. But as often is the case with me, that basic design ended up being way too simple to fit my taste. Thus I proceeded to hang drywall on three of the four walls so that the painted landscape would look right in the background. My thought being that it would be cool to have lots of picturesque mountains, blue sky, and little painted trees surrounding the trains. In retrospect, just connecting a painted panel border to the table would have probably worked just as well. But that would have been far too easy. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I had to finish out the entire room to achieve the effect I was looking for.
That being said, I have never had much trouble hanging drywall. Cutting the boards to the right dimensions and then zipping a few screws in to the studs is the easy part. The fun starts when I get the finishing tape and a mud knife in my hands. That is when all hell breaks loose and the swearing commences. I do not know about you, but I have the kind of personality that usually resonates with the philosophy that if a little is good, than more must be better. But in the case of drywall mud, this is just not the case. After countless hours of slapping on a thick coat of mud, followed by furious sanding, followed by more mud, and then more sanding, I usually end up with a floor to ceiling speed bump where the seam used to be. Not to mention that the room I am working in is now covered in about two inches of powdery white dust second only to the surface of the moon. As I shake the thick residue from hair and wipe the dust out of my eyes, now bloodshot and as dry as the Sahara, I behold the end result of my labor. Generally, it really looks like crap! Why did I not hire a good drywall contractor to do this?
If you have ever watched a dry wall contractor finish drywall, it is truly a sight to behold. Delicate little skim coats fly on like paint from the brush of Divinci. A flick of the wrist and that screw head disappears. The tape clings to the seam like it was begging to be there all along. And sanding? Who needs sanding? It is like they could complete an entire house in about ten minutes. Who are these people? Is there some clandestine training facility tucked away in the Himalayas where they sit for years under the tutelage of an aged drywall Guru? How did they learn to do this? And more importantly, what kind of mental retardation am I suffering from?
If you are currently thinking about undertaking a drywall finishing project, take it from me, think again. Good drywall contractors are worth their weight in gold. The headaches you will avoid will far surpass any money you might save. If you currently need help finding one in your area, there is a link to a detailed directory listed below.