How important is drywall work?
By Myron Ferguson
I read about , talk about, study, post on Instagram, give clinics, post on this blog and make my living with drywall. My book is a best seller at Taunton Press and My clinics at trade shows are very well attended. Most of the time I really enjoy what I have chosen to do for a living.. Recently I had someone post on this blog that “I am boring”. I felt kind of bad and deleted the post. But I do know that I am a little boring to some people. I recently started posting more on Instagram and I am following a lot of drywall contractors who often post a photo of some recently finished walls and ceilings. They post this because they are proud of what they do and they know that us drywall contractors will appreciate how they feel. Yesterday I had a whole house full of drywall delivered. The guys loading the drywall were very professional and actually seemed to enjoy what they do. I spent some time visiting with them and walked around making a punch list for the contractor to do before I start hanging next week. The homeowner stopped in and took some photos of the boom truck and we talked a little about schedule, corner beads and paint finishes. I had a pretty good day.
Most homes have drywall in them and the majority of building projects use a lot of drywall in their interiors. I recently drywalled my brothers new home in Eagle Colorado. There are two drywall yards in Eagle and they are both very busy. My brother helped me hang the drywall and even helped a little with the taping. He is in the excavating business and really does not like drywall work. He was gad I did his drywall work but had a hard time understanding why I like drywall work so much. After lifting the heavy panels, attaching over 1200 ft of corner beads and then doing all that sanding it was hard to explain. But after doing some decorative plaster work and helping him paint we stood back and were both very happy with how things turned out. It looks really nice and I am proud of the work I did
I suppose that if you are a member of a union then you would have your own designated field that you work in. For example an electrician would not get involved in drywall at all and neither would the plumber. But for many contractors they’re exposed to drywall work and often have to actually do some hanging or taping from time to time. So even though many of us are exposed to drywall work I sometimes wonder if drywall work in general is taken seriously enough. The drywall surfaces are typically just painted and kind of in the background. It is decorated with window and door casings, pictures, and partially concealed with furniture and cabinets.
The following scenario has happened to me a number of times throughout the years. A kitchen or bathroom remodeling company decides to do their own drywall work on a project. The job is done and all the things they are experts at look great but the drywall work is poor and the customer is not satisfied with the remodel. So what happens then? I am called in to make the drywall look good.
Sometimes I think that maybe I take myself to seriously, but don’t we all. If you install crown you really believe that the crown makes the job. The same for the cabinet contractor, siding or roofing contractor. But as far as interior work goes I think I have a case because the drywall coverage in most buildings is the highest of visible surfaces, often 80% of the wall and ceiling areas
Hurry up!! I guess most trades can have this complaint. But because when the drywall work is being competed there is not much room for other trades to be working, so I have often felt rushed and sometimes at the expense of quality.
I always have said that if my work goes unnoticed then I did a good job. A flaw on a ceiling or wall can be very noticeable especially under certain lighting conditions, so I am more likely to get a complaint than a compliment. Even in my own house people often compliment the kitchen but not the drywall work, unless it is a surface where I have a decorative paint or plaster finish.
There will always be someone who just wants a low price and is even willing to put up with an inferior job. These are the contractors who typically will spend the money on some upgrades that quickly catch a person’s eye.
I remember a Seinfeld episode when George questioned the relevance of a skin doctor compared to other doctors. George was making fun because he didn’t consider a dermatologist as a lifesaving doctor. After making a fool of himself he remembers that they help cure skin cancer. So don’t let those smooth drywall surfaces fool you, they are not easy to obtain and also have some hidden benefits. Drywall has more to offer than just surfaces: fire resistance, mold and moisture resistance, benefits for sound control, and drywall also provides an excellent air barrier just to name a few.
Turns out I am right when I say, “Drywall is the most important part of the job”. I think we can all agree on that!!
How important is drywall work?