Six More Weeks of Drywall

The groundhog may not have predicted it, but that’s what we got.

The insulation in the shop was finally completed. We were at our wits’ end with the spray foam contractors by the time they finished the shop walls, so we looked for someone else to do the ceiling. We hired a local company to stuff some fiberglass batts in the ceiling. The batts may not seal the attic off as well as spray foam, but they provide good insulation – R38. The job was done in two days!

Well…almost done. Sam couldn’t resist donning a bunny suit to touch up a few spots around the columns.

Sam’s favorite outfit

We learned a few lessons from the first round of drywall. Flaws are not easy to see in poor light. We discovered one large visible seam in the apartment after we unmasked the windows and installed some lights. For the mudders to see a little better, Sam and Carlos hung some temporary lights in the shop ceiling. The lights weren’t the brightest but they were better than nothing. We also learned that drywall is always ten times messier than expected. Instead of relying on the paper masking to hold up with heavy scissor lift traffic, Sam and I covered the floor with thick plastic.

We had just enough time to make these preparations before the gypsum sheets were delivered.

The sheets were much easier to stage than in the apartment and office. They just craned in a few loads through the big shop door.

The only challenge was the snow. The truck was too light after unloading the material and couldn’t make it out of our driveway. Sam pushed them up the driveway with the bulldozer and off they went.

The hanging crew arrived shortly after, leaving no time for the pink insulation to fall out of the ceiling (this was a concern of ours).

The hangers are beasts. I don’t know how they can stand up straight after holding 12 ft boards over their heads all day. We used 5/8″ thick sheets in the shop, just like we did in the apartment. The hanging crew was done in 3 days.

Next up were the tapers, who tape and mud across the seams. Then they sand and mud and repeat until the seams and screw holes are no longer visible. This is when it helps to have good lighting.

It took a crew of 5 over a week for this. They even rented a hotel in Hood River so they didn’t have to commute 2 hours past Portland every day. If only contractors in the Gorge had their work ethic…

Sanding on stilts

Next, the painters sprayed a coat of drywall primer. We were going for a level 4 (smooth) finish, so the tapers returned for another sanding party. It looked like a white sand beach in the shop. A giant dust cloud rose with each step anyone took. Sam and I did our best to stay out. Over the course of February, we went cross country skiing a few times and took a trip to Texas and Cooperstown, NY.

The cats hung out in Hood River during this time and caught up on sleep.

The whole drywall process was similar to what we had done in the apartment, so I’ll spare the boring details. We had the same painters return to prime and paint the shop. They finished the ceiling and walls so quickly that we had them stay the remainder of the week to paint the black beams and some doors.

Painters are not cheap, but they sure are fast!

They took out the trash and unmasked everything except the floor… Sam and I spent a day carefully rolling up the plastic floor coverings. What a mess! It was so nice to see the floor and windows though! I forgot what the floor looked like, since it had been covered for a year and a half.

We continued the cleaning frenzy- vacuuming and mopping the floor and meticulously cleaning the crane beams. Then Sam and Carlos installed the real shop lights.

The cats returned but were spooked by how empty the shop was. (You won’t find them on their cat bed in the middle of the floor.) It won’t be long before they have plenty of hiding spaces because the shop is almost ready to be filled with tools!

One thought on “Six More Weeks of Drywall

  1. WOW – it looks like a real building. And with all that space, I think you can afford a bigger bed for those kitties. Seriously:)


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