Before & After Photos: Hanging Sheetrock/Drywall in the Basement


The basement in June 2015; it was creepy and dirty. John had jack hammered the 4″ concrete pad–circa 1954–in preparation for digging out the French drain.


After installing the French drain, John painted the hideous yellow walls with Kilz mold-resistant paint. He then erected the 2×4 walls with a pressure treated bottom plate. (Anything in contact with a concrete floor must be pressure-treated for potential water issues–which we won’t have because we installed a French drain!) The 2×4 wall allowed for insulation, electric and water outlets.


A marked improvement…


Nice and cozy…


Boy, do I love insulation!!! It was suddenly warm and soundproof in the house.


As of yesterday– the sheetrock is up on the east wall and ceiling, so bright and cheerful; it’s a complete transformation. I can’t wait for the painting phase.


Nice and clean and new-looking!

Prior to hanging the sheetrock and water resistant greenboard, John marked the location of all studs and ceiling joists. He  also marked the floor as a reference to where the studs are vertically.

John used a WAL-Board Drywall Utility Saw to saw the sheetrock. He likes the grip on the handle and the super sharp offset teeth.


John used 1 1/4″ coarse thread sheet rock screws which bite into the sheetrock. I helped install the sheetrock on the ceiling by standing on a 2′ ladder. I held the boards up while John drilled; my arms burned until I used my head to hold the board up.


When cutting the sheetrock to length, John measured the sheetrock so that the cut edge lands half way on the 2×4 for attachment. At seams, screws have to be 8″ apart and 12″ in the field. The seams are sealed with mold resistant flex tape which were spackled last night (around 11pm).


Everything must be thought of ahead of time: electric, plumbing, gas, water–which is all on the east wall in the basement. You need to accurately measure twice and cut once. Otherwise, you’ll have holes in your sheetrock, which will need repair, and will double your work.


The east wall will be the laundry area with counter space along the entire wall. The basement will be home to my soon-to-be home-based floral business/studio

To read my DIY piece on “How to Tile a Bathroom Floor” on Huffington Post, click here.

NEXT: Spackling the drywall.


17 thoughts on “Before & After Photos: Hanging Sheetrock/Drywall in the Basement

        1. Vapor barriers aren’t obsolete, one just needs to know where and how to use them. Below grade (in a basement) there are many more factors to consider than above grade…how old the concrete is, humidity levels, climate, etc. Concrete walls will release moisture from curing for years, and it needs a way to dry out, generally to the inside since below grade should be waterproofed on the outside. In our case, we won’t use any vapor barrier over the basement insulation; our basement is incredibly dry even during heavy rains and the poured concrete walls and floor are now 50 years old.

  1. I love that you are helping, but in the trades, we don’t spackle the drywall, we “mud” it using taping compound. I’ve been following you from day 1 and I’m loving every bit of this story!

    1. I know trade people call it “mud” but for blog purposes I wrote spackle. We had plenty of trade people come over and give us high quotes over $10,000.

  2. Have you considered what you are going to do with that post in the middle?

    There is a company that makes columns in both columns and split columns that can be used to hide such posts. The base and caps are also in two pieces so they can be slid on from both sides, then the seam sealed, painted and they look like a solid column. Mine are Toscan columns. I used four of the regular columns to cover the posts of my pergola in the back yard so it looks like it is resting on four Toscan columns. I love it. They come in different diameters too. Paintable, termite proof, won’t rot. The whole works. They could even be load bearing although mine aren’t.

  3. So amazing how the house is coming along, with the basement looking bright and cheerful! Can’t believe how much your husband knows how to do! I’m sure you’re really excited about it being finished!! Thanks for sharing your blog with us!

  4. Oh! Jez! Put the ceiling drywall up first. That way the wall panels will help support it in addition to the screws.
    Make removable support blocks to help hold the drywall panels. I have put up hundreds of sheets of drywall by myself using temporary blocks to hold one side until I screw it off.
    Two blocks screwed over the last ceiling sheet will hold one side. (Tapered relief ) Blocks screwed to the wall studs hold a sheet up till screwed. Fade a quarter, start some screws, lift and screw.
    If you don’t like taping corners, cut and start with a fractional sheet to get rid of all tapers. Tape all the seams and then use a good latex caulk in the corners. This will also get the seams away from the electrical boxes. Taping corners in closets is a real pain in the .
    A 14 inch cement trowel is a great drywall taping tool. And work ‘clean’ to eliminate most sanding. Inspect with a light held along the wall. It will show every defect.
    Run butt joints with the ball of a ball peen hammer before taping them. Push the edges below the surface.
    Strips of antiskid ( stair ) tape on the sides of the mud pan make it much easier to hold.

    1. Karl,
      Thank you for all the drywall tips; I will pass it along to John. Since he’s doing the entire house, he’ll appreciate your pro tips!

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