Hanging sheetrock - horizontal or vertical

I've just finished framing out my basement to double our living space. It's new construction with just a large poured rectangular concrete floor between cinder block foundation walls.
The walls turn out to be just shy of 8' from floor to ceiling. I plan to put in a suspended ceiling later so as to be able to get to all the wiring/plumbing if necessary in the future.
My question is: Should I hang the sheet rock vertically or horizontally? I've been careful to make sure that all the studs are exactly 16" on center. I've heard that horizontally produces fewer joints, but that also produces those nasty hard to hide 4' butt joints. If I hung vertically, every joint would be flush.
Many of the walls are longer than 12', and since it's just me doing the work, I don't think I have the strength to handle sheets that big.
I'm planning on doing the hanging and then bringing in a pro to do the mudwork.
Related question: Should I hang the sheetrock a smidge - maybe a half-inch off the (concrete) floor, just in case of water leakage?
Would horizontally hung sheetrock make for a stronger wall?
Any other tips?
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46erjoe, 6/20/2006, 9:27:09 AM,

This is one reason to hang the sheetrock horizontally. When I went to Mississippi to help with Katrina rebuilding I was taught to hang it that way in case there is more flooding. That way only the bottom wallboard must be replaced.
If you put up chair railing at the four foot seam you can easily hide that joint also.
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46erjoe wrote:

fewest seams. As for the but seams your finish guy will have no issues with that. yes, i would leave a little space at the floor.
I woudl also consider drywalling the ceiling! Here are my reasons.
1) Its cheaper than suspended. 2) It looks a lot nicer 3) it gives you more head room
My counter to the usual reasons someone want to do suspended
Gain access to plumbing and electrical - The reality for most is they will never need to gain access or if they do, its only occasionally. Of course in a drywalled ceiling you will put access panels for your shut-off valves, hvac dampers and such. If you need access somewhere else you cut a hole and then patch it. You are still ahead of the cost game in a significant way.
Faster to install Sort of - Yea, you can be finished in a day where Sheetrock takes time between coats of mud. A good drywall crew can finish a ceiling in total hours less time than can a suspended ceiling crew.
What if I need to run wires? How often do you run wires? Run any before you finish the ceiling. What would you do elsewhere in your house if you needed to run wires? Put in conduits if you need to.
good luck
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I plan on installing the suspended ceiling myself. I've done it before in another home and it looked good. I have to do it anyway because the builder did not hide the plumbing inside the first floor floor-trusses. He just hung them on the bottoms. (Duh!). The wiring though is routed within the truss criss-crosses. So I would have to layer down the joists with 2 x 4s to create a flat surface for ceiling sheetrock which would take away from the height. So I figure I wouldn't be losing a whole lot by going with suspended ceiling. Besides, I really suck at cutting holes in sheetrock for ceiling fixtures. Inevitably they're a few inches off.
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46erjoe wrote:

do only mudwork than they would if they hung the sheets and did the mudwork. Reason being that they will probably have more mudwork to do than if they hung it.
Finishing drywall is not that difficult if you are not in a rush. Use lots of thin coats and a broad knife. Check through this informative site.
http://www.drywallschool.com /
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RayV wrote:

Good advice. When I was building my cabin I was going to hang the sheetrock myself and hire a finisher to complete the job. When I talked to the finisher I found out that he could do the entire job cheaper than what I was going to pay for the sheetrock. They buy in bulk at cheaper prices plus have leftover material from other jobs. So the material was much less than what I would have paid, plus he let a finisher in need of extra cash do it in his off time at a savings to me also.
Bob
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46erjoe wrote:

The problem I have with horizontal sheets is toeing the screws in at the ends. Since the edge isn't wrapped, the gypsum tends to crack out on me and I loose the hold. This probably isn't an issue for someone experienced, but it kicks my butt.
As for the second part of your question, yes, definitely elevate the sheets a bit. Drywall will wick moisture. I've also heard to provide a slight gap between the sheets for expansion. I use a few pennies and some scotch tape for that.
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wrote:

Either way works. I hung mine vertically. The fewer seams, the better.

Moving a large sheet can be cumbersome without a buddy.

That's the proper procedure.

No.
Use screws, not nails. Do not butt the sheets against a window or door, rather make cutouts in the drywall.
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How does that happen. If you have a wall that is 32' long, I come up with 56 feet of seam to tape, not counting corners, top or bottom as that would be the same.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

sheet or you will have vertical butt seams 8 ft high, which will show and will probably crack; 28 feet of that is butt seams. Pros will buy 12 foot sheets to minimize butts, since most rooms are under 12 feet[in one dimension] in a regular house. Butt joints will show unless you are really good, so I would go vertical, and I did.
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Sheetrock / drywall butt joints are easy to take care of.
Just chamfer the edges of the two sheets coming together taking about 1/8" off the corners. When the two sheets go together the chamfered edges will form a v-shaped groove that can be filled and smoothed out with mud.
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snipped-for-privacy@blah.com wrote:

With proper planning, almost all butt joints will fall above/below windows and doors leaving only very short joints and those in spots easily hidden (under windows) or hard to spot (above doors).
Apply it yourself vertically and then hire the mudding and you are going to hear about it from the mudder. I did. That is how I learned why the pros do it horizontally and also how I learned to tape (by watching him).
No need to do any chamfering, it just adds time and nuisance to the job and a 1/8" camfer won't accomplish anything anyhow, you still need to tape it.
Harry K
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You would never have an eight foot butt joint. You stagger the board when hanging horizontally.
Ken
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Edwin-
Thanks for saving me doing th calc....I thought ti would make no difference :)
cheers Bob
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Can be cumbersome with a buddy also. When I was building I had 242 12' sheets delivered and with 4 of us and a forklift to get it near the door it still bout killed us.
--Ben
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Just did two bedrooms in a rent house I'm remodeling. 12' sheets on the ceiling and hung horizontally on the walls. Did it all by myself with no help.
A drywall lift rents for $20 a day around here and makes it a snap. The only problem I had was dead-lifting the sheets from the floor to set them in the lift. I solved the problem with an old coffee table that I fished out of a dumpster. Position the table about the middle of the sheet, lift one end onto the table and just pivot the sheet until it's all on the table. A couple of wood blocks under it allow you to get fingers under it. Once you have it three feet or so off the floor, lifting it the rest of the way is no problem. The lift will do the ceiling with no problem and the upper sheet on the walls. If you toss some drywall scraps on the floor they make perfect half-inch spacers to position the bottom sheets.
FWIW, I'll be 60 in August. If I can do it, you can too.<g>
John
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wrote:

A recent issue of the Journal of Light Construction (IIRC) showed a novel way to deal with butt seams in drywall. (was for ceiling, but would work just as well on walls). Instead of having the joint fall over a joist (or stud) it was arranged to fall between joists. The joint was backed up with a special board. The board looked to be about a 1x6 as long as the joint. It had very slight ridges on each edge. (looking at the end it would have a *very* shallow and wide U shape.) When the two edges of the drywall were screwed to this board, the slight depression in the center caused by the ridges would cause the last couple of inches of the drywall to bend just enough to provide a recessed area for the tape and mud. The pro writing the article claimed this allowed him to product perfectly flat joints that don't show even when viewed from a long angle.
It was a commercial product, but it would be pretty easy to make a bunch with a table saw and dado blade.
FWIW,
Paul
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Paul Franklin wrote:

Paul-
That was a good point. When install horizontal the sheet edges at mid wall height are unsupported (unless blocks are installed).
Depending on how the room is used these unblocked seams can be broken free it bumped with sufficient force.
I'd go vertical, if the basement ever flood one can always cut the drywall off at flood height plus some extra.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Where you have a butt joint or an unbevelled seam, use a sharp blade to cut a quarter inch (or so) bevel along one side. Fill with mud right from the box. Then tape as normal.

To hang 12 foot sheets alone, hang the bottom sheet first. Use it to to support the top sheet into place. It's also helpful to start a couple of nails into the sheet so you can quickly tap them in once the sheet is positioned. Then use drywall screws for the balance.

Get a commitment from the pro first. Ours is an overheated market and no decent taper is going to do homeowner hung board; yours may not be.
You may find it's cheaper (if you value your time) to hire a boarding crew. 25 cents a square foot is the going rate here..

No.

Order board from a drywall supplier (like Winrock) DELIVERED AND PLACED. (ie. piled neatly in your basement). Likely will cost you the same as having Home Depot dump it at the end of your driveway, leaving you to hand bomb it all into the house.
Make sure there is a way to get the board into your basement. Often, we end up taking a window out.
Ken
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