Drywall Handling could be challenging sometimes for DIY Homeowners. Here are some tips and techniques on handling Drywall projects. This article is an excerpt form book called “DRYWALL ” by “W. ROGER HARRIS“.


Drywall sheets must be handled carefully to avoid damage.  They should always be stored flat in a dry area.  Drywall may be installed with nails, screws, or adhesives.  A variety of trim is available for finishing drywall edges.


Proper handling of all gypsum board materials is essential to obtaining an acceptable finished product.  Damage to drywall sheets occurring during the delivery and stocking process makes hanging more difficult and time-consuming.  It also increases the time and effort required for the tapers during the taping and finishing operations.  This procedure should be followed when handling drywall sheets:

  • Handle all drywall sheets as though they are fragile.
  • Be sure that the face side and edges of each sheet are not dented, scarred, or otherwise damaged.
  • Do not open the two-sheet bundles until ready to hang.

     The drywall hanger’s involvement in the stocking process is usually limited.  Drywall sheets must be unloaded from the delivery truck, moved into the building, and placed at predetermined locations convenient for the drywall hangers.  This service is usually provided by the material supplier or an independent stocking agent.  Occasionally, drywall hangers and apprentices or trainees are asked to assist with stocking drywall, but normally this work is performed by construction laborers.

     The nature of the job may not allow the stacks of drywall sheets to be scattered throughout the building.  When this condition exists.  Apprentices may move the drywall sheets from a central stocking area to the specific project location as they are needed by the dry wall hangers.

     In addition to following the proper lifting and carrying practices, these rules must be followed when stocking drywall:

  • Never overload a drywall cart in order to reduce the number of trips.
  • Do not roll drywall carts over extension cords or air hoses.
  • Stack drywall sheets flat on boards on the floor.
  • Do not stock drywall sheets by leaning them against a wall or other vertical surface.
  • Use caution when working near forklifts or other mechanical lifts.
  • Be aware of overhead power lines or other obstructions.
  • Use only nylon web slings designed and rated for hoisting drywall.
  1. Inspect slings daily to be sure that they are not cut or excessively worn.
  • Landing platforms must be properly anchored to the structure and must have safety rails and toe boards.

     When drywall sheets are stored, even if for only short periods, they must be kept flat and dry.  See Figure 4-1.  If the supports placed under drywall stacks are spaced too far apart, the drywall sheets sag between the supports and become rippled or bowed.  This greatly increases the effort required to hang and finish the drywall sheets.  Stacks of drywall sheets must be located away from high-traffic areas.  This reduces the possibility of damage from moving carts and other sources.  Drywall stacks must not be used as workbenches.

     Be sure drywall stacks are located within the building in such a manner that they do not overload the building structure.  Drywall stacks must be placed directly over main structural beams or bearing walls.  A representative of the general contractor should be contacted before the stocking operation begins.

     Timing is an important consideration when arranging for stocking and storing drywall on the job site.  Job progress must be carefully monitored to be sure that the dry-wall sheets are placed inside the building while there is adequate access.  If all exterior construction is finished and the building has been completely closed in, the access needed for stocking drywall sheets may be eliminated.  In some buildings it is necessary to stock drywall sheets through access holes provided in the walls, floor, or roof.  Failure to stock the job at the proper time may result in the loss of access.  However, stocking drywall sheets too early can increase the potential for damage.

     When drywall sheets must be stored outside the building, be sure that they are stacked flat and off they are stacked flat and off the ground.  The stacks should not be placed in low-lying areas wherewater can accumulate.  The stacks must be covered on top and on all exposed sides with water-resistant sheet material.  Drywall sheets readily absorb moisture and must be protected from the elements at all times.  It is preferred that drywall sheets not be stored outside the building for long periods of time.


     Prior to the placement of material orders, the estimator and supervisor meet in a preplanning conference.  They review the various contract documents including the subcontract, project schedule, plans and specifications, etc. Upon arriving at the site, the supervisor conducts a thorough inspection of the project and specific work areas to determine if the job is ready for drywall.  Smaller projects may not warrant an on-site supervisor and the framer or drywall hanger must make the inspection.  A checklist should be followed when making on-site inspection.

     If damaged or carelessly installed materials which can affect the productivity or performance of the other systems in the structure are observed, the items should be reported to their immediate supervisor or appropriate representative of the general contractor.  Examples of such items include:  broken or protruding plumbing pipes, loose or damaged electrical wiring, improperly installed braces, insulation bats that are missing or improperly installed, walls containing crooked studs, or walls with misaligned studs, etc.

Local building codes require that the building permit be displayed on the job site in a location where it can be easily seen.  The building permit lists all of the construction items which must be inspected and approved as the job progresses.  Trades involved in applying covering materials such as insulation, drywall, lath and plaster, roofing, etc., which conceals the work of others.  Shall not proceed with their work until the work that is covered has been completed, inspected, and signed off be the building inspector.

     Only a portion of work listed on the building permit concerns the drywall worker.  Framing, Rough Electrical, Rough Plumbing, Insulation, and Heating and Air Conditioning Ducts must be signed off before drywall hanging may begin.  The following items should be completed before hanging drywall:


  • The structure should contain all required plates, studs, joists, and backing.
  1. All framing members should be securely anchored.
  • Braces should be properly installed and should not protrude beyond the face of the walls or ceiling.
  • Studs and joists should not be badly bowed or twisted.

Rough Electrical

  • Wires should not be disconnected from electrical boxes.
  • Pigtails and other lengths of exposed wire used for connection appliances should be properly located.
  • Wires should not be cut or nicked.
  1. All boxes should be securely fastened.

Rough plumbing:

  • Stub-outs for fixtures and appliances which are installed after the drywall has been completed should be the only pipes protruding beyond the wall surface.
  1. All stub-outs must be properly anchored.


  1. All insulation batts should be in place.
  1. All vapour barriers should be in place.

Heating and Air Conditioning ducts:

  • Duct work for grills or registers must not protrude past the wall or ceiling face.
  1. All ductwork which is covered must be firmly secured.

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