Drywall Installation: Surviving Your Kitchen Remodel
Week #4 and I can finally start seeing what my new open concept kitchen will look like. Work this week included adding new insulation to the walls, moving up the kitchen window to accommodate the taller counter tops and starting the dry wall process. You can see the mother of all beams in the picture above. The hole cut in the side of the house to get the beam into the house was also fixed.
Luckily the drywall sub contractor was able to move things around on his schedule. So there was no need to delay the drywall portion of the project. It helps to be a squeaky wheel and get attention on your remodeling project.
The drywall process if done correctly takes a lot longer than you think. First a crew came in and began covering all the windows, doors, lighting and electrical outlets. It is important to seal everything properly to avoid damage to fixtures and dust from floating into other parts of the house. The drywall is put in place. Depending on the size of your room it could take a day or two to get all the boards up. Next comes taping the joints and adding mud to the joints. Then dry time. Then sanding. More mud, more drying, more sanding. Repeat. Several bumps and imperfections in other parts of the room where also corrected at this time. The secret to a good drywall job starts with the mud. Get enough to cover the tape, but not so much that you will be sanding forever. It requires practice and patience to get those lines smooth.
As I was going through my check list I discovered that cabinet hardware has a longer lead time than I thought. This required me to drop everything and get to the hardware store to get my order placed.
Four tips to help you survive your kitchen remodel and drywall installation
1. Your project checklist is your best friend. I seriously don’t know how anyone makes it through a remodel without a detailed list of items to be ordered. Be clear with your contractor on who is ordering what. Communicate often on the status of each item.
2. Don’t be afraid to change your mind on your selections. You have to live with your kitchen for years, so make sure you love everything. If you need more time to decide, take the time. I switched the brand of cabinet hardware at the last-minute so that I could get a dishwasher handle to match. In the process I discovered this is a lot cheaper than ordering a custom handle from the dishwasher manufacturer. $12.00 versus $149.00.
3. Go to a professional hardware store for the best selections and better brands. The sales personnel are knowledgeable about their products and can guide you through the selection process. They see all the common mistakes and can advise you on any pitfalls. Ask if they will extend your contractor’s discount.
4. If possible, during the drywall installation process, walk the room at the completion of each work day to ensure that all your questions and concerns are addressed. If something seems crooked or uneven, say something. Expect a good drywall installation to take one week from start to finish (texture is up).