Step 3: Using rotary cut-out tool

cutting around light fixtures when hanging drywall
Photo: David Carmack
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Before installing a sheet of drywall over the electrical box of a ceiling fixture, measure from the center of the box to the near end of the last panel installed. Mark that panel end where the tape measure meets it and record the distance.

Cover the box with another panel, and attach it as in Step 2; do not drive screws any closer to the box than 24 inches.

From the mark on the last installed panel, measure out onto the new panel the same number of inches recorded previously, and mark the spot with an X.

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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill (for driving screws
    • t-square
      T-square,
      for guiding utility-knife cuts
    • circle cutter
      Circle cutter,
      for scoring paper to fit around circular ceiling boxes and recessed lights
    • drywall saw
      Drywall saw,
      for cutting and trimming panels before installation
    • drywall lifter
      Drywall lifter,
      for raising lowest sheet on wall
    • metal cutting snips
      Metal-cutting snips,
      for cutting corner bead
    • ladder
      Step ladders and staging planks,
      to stand on when installing ceiling panels
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for cutting panels and smoothing ends
    • rotary cut-out tool
      Rotary cut-out tool,
      for cutting around electrical boxes and windows and doors
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape

    Shopping List

    1. DRYWALL

    2. 1 1/4-INCH COARSE-THREAD DRYWALL SCREWS

    3. CONER BEAD

    for finishing outside corners



    4. 1 1/2-INCH DRYWALL NAILS

    for installing corner bead