Looking for those with experience using a drywall lift. I need to do my
garage ceiling. The garage is 28x32 and the ceiling is about 9'6" high.
Will the lift make this a 1 man project? Worst thing I see so far is
measuring then dropping the garage door rails and opener.
Should I get help? I'm the type that can manage to do a lot of 2 man
jobs by myself, but I often end up busting my ass and wishing I would
have got help.
Anything I should look for in a good rental lift?
Should I go with 8' or 12' sheets?
1/2" or 5/8" (I should probably ask my fire insurance company because
if you remember, there are NO building codes where I live.) I don't
think weight isn't an issue, the attic trusses are 2x12's for the garage
The roof no, the garage ceiling, the attic ceiling and the attic floor
were supposed to handle the garage being finished with drywall and the
attic room to be finished and carry a live load... or something like
that. I'll dig out the blueprints.
I think I have the right blueprints here, I had other bids for the
trusses. Anyway the one in front of me reads:
BCLL 40.0 Applied only to the room (attic)
And in the notes it lists additional loads with the same names (lot of
other loads but I'll wait to see if I have the proper blueprints before
going any further. These are 12/12 pitch, 30' wide sitting on block
walls 28' across with a 16' wide attic room.
I just looked it up and see that 5/8 drywall only weighs about 2.3
lbs/square foot, so I think I'm safe.
It's not attached but I'll probably go 5/8 to make the insurance company
happy. The only time I ever hung 12' by myself was on the walls of my
old garage and it wasn't easy at all!! What I'm asking is how *easy*
does using a lift make the job. My last garage it took one pro and two
dummies (I was one) to do the ceiling with 12', but again I never used a
lift and don't know how well they work.
I just did my 1200 sf basement ceiling (and walls) last Summer.
By all means. I used my wife to hold the lift from rolling away and a
neighbor to help lift the 12 footers and place them on the lift.
Then two of us shimmied the lift/boards tightly into place.
Did 1200 sf of ceiling in one long day.
The REAL drywall suppliers have better product for ceilings (and no more
$$)than Big Box stores and they deliver RIGHT INTO THE ROOM you'll be
hanging it in. See http://www.winroc.com/ I cant recommend them highly
I'd never try to lift 12 footers into place (on the lift) by myself..the
8's are bad enough
That high and with material that heavy, you want a second person, at
least for the initial hanging- you can maybe fill in the field screws by
yourself later, once enough are in so it won't fall down. Even if a
no-code area, if you are storing anything in the attic you care about,
or some future owner may try to make it into guest quarters or
something, go with the 5/8 fire-stop rated rock, and treat all the
joints as if it were a code area. Makes property easier to sell, and if
new owners insurance or mortgage company happens to do a site visit,
they will be happier. Pick the size of the sheets based on what you can
store and handle without killing yourself- you'll be cutting them anyway
to get staggered joints. As recent threads on here have pointed out, you
want the long dimension on the sheets to be at right angles to the joists.
As to the lift- if you foresee this project taking awhile, look on
CraigsList for a lift you can buy and resell, versus paying rental and
being in a hurry to get the panels hung. You make more mistakes when you
are tired and your back is sore. If you don't have a screw shooter, get
one. Nailing over your head is a young man's game. And for the garage
door rails- most people around here mount them on 2x4 blocking lagged to
the joists (if they aren't already), and rock around them. A layer of
drywall is not a good thing to have in the hardpoints for something that
vibrates and flexes several times a day. Drywall turns back into dust,
the whole mess starts floating, and the door jams when you least expect it.
Now, having said all that, and being crappy at hanging rock, and seeing
how easy a crew of young guys that do it every day makes it look, I'd
hire it done. They will be in and out in a day. Crunch the numbers for
you doing it, and get one of the free walk-through estimates from a
freelance or moonlighting guy, and make your own decision. Tell them you
will have the rock and the screws waiting, all you want is their expert
labor and tools.
aem sends, needing to have the half-ass job previous owner did in my
garage, at least partially redone....
This is almost certainly one of those occasions. In fact it's one of
those things where, even with help, you'll probably still wish you had
hired it out.
One of these:
...but you're not likely to find it in a rental place. With the loader
attachment you only need to lift the sheet a few inches rather than all
the way up to the cradle (~36")
I've always done my own drywall. It's not at all a difficult job, but it is
one that can be frustrating to beginners until you get the hang of it.
Unlike a lot of other jobs, there is a definite art to it, especially as if
you do a bad job it looks like it, and it's right smack dab in the middle of
the wall for all to see.
One of the tricks is to use a lightweight topping compound for your second
and third feathering; that stuff is a dream to apply.
I built my own lift - clumsy but very labor saving. That was back in
the early 80s sometime and it has been borrowed outmany times since.
Yes, they will handle 12' sheets.
Yes, you can do it alone but 12' are a problem getting them on
If you haven't taped before, you will kill to save 2' of joint to tape
so by all means go with 12'
If youdon't have one, get a panel carrying handle. They are cheap and
make a clumsy job of carrying sheets into and easy on. Wouldn't be
I bought my drwall lift from www.MaxTool.com P/N:RLP9000. It has been
several years now, but I seem to recall it was about $250 including
shipping. I have been very happy with it and wish I had bought it years
I have often done ceilings with a homemade lift and 4 x 8s . One
need to go slow,
but you could build a pyramid given time to think it through....
The extra 25 pounds that a 12' sheet weighs would be a lot more
than the small advantage it may give in taping,
If you are going to make a bedroom, you may be required to usse
5/8 for the local
fire code. However, again, it is more trouble, and would serve no
a garage. By all means call your fire insurance company, and they may
you that your entire house needs to be 5/8, and may cancel your
until you do...... Unless it is specifically spelled out in your
policy, I wouldn't
worry about it, tho. It's usually a SAFETY issue (from a building
and not a LIABILITY issue (from an insurance standpoint). And I
personally think that the SAFETY code is that important for a garage,
is no second story sleeping room overhead.....
I built my lift with an old car bumper jack, the bottom stand of
chair (with rollers), some pipe, and a couple 2X4s. Worked well
and I still have the pieces to use for my next invention..... Think it
and you will see how it is done.
Good luck. Just remember to go slow, and you will do fine.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
Thanks for all the replies. I think however there is some
miscommunication. I've hung drywall before, but not professionally.
I've done walls by myself a few times. 8 foot wasn't too bad, 12 foot
was difficult by myself. I did a garage ceiling with 3 people.
However I've never used a drywall lift and that is what I'm most
concerned about. How well they work and if I can do it by myself, or
will I be a helper to a friend who is a carpenter, or will I just need a
OK, that was fast! Thanks again everyone! I found one on Craigslist
and am trying to get the make and model. I see some of them you only
have to lift the drywall about 8 inches. That would make a 1 man
operation very doable but still a 2nd man would probably make things go
*more* that twice as fast as a 1 man operation.
Amazon has them for under $200 including shipping so don't pay too
much on craigs list. I rented one for a prior small job where I
wanted to use 12' wallboard. But I bought one for our garage/
additional job. The other poster is right, once you use a lift you'll
never consider doing it any other way. Especially on ceilings.
Work just fine if you have open space and the floor is solid. It will
hold the sheet up near the ceiling but it will not get it snug against
the ceiling uniformly to "simply add screws" if that's what you're
I'd say it's possible to manage alone w/ 8-ft'ers; outside-possible w/
10's and not worth the effort to even think of 12's.
All in all, buy a case of beer or two and crank up the barbie and get a
couple of guys over and you could hang a relatively sizable plain garage
ceiling in a very short day comfortably while you'd be fighting a
weekend alone at best...
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