• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to install drywall on a ceiling using a lift.


    1 Use a drywall T-square to draw lines onto drywall sheet 16 in. on center; these lines correspond to the 1x3 strapping screwed to ceiling joists.
    2 Mark onto the drywall the location of any lights or vents in the ceiling.
    3 Set drywall sheet onto the drywall lift, then crank it up to the ceiling.
    4 Secure drywall to 1x3 strapping with 1 5/8-inch drywall screws.
    5 Cut holes for light or vents using a drywall cutout tool.
    • Difficulty: Moderate to hard
      Working overhead is always a little difficult.
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • 16-foot tape measure
        Tape measure
      • drywall lifter
        Drywall lift,
        a rental item used to lift drywall sheet to ceiling
      • drill
        Electric screw gun or drill/driver,
        used to drive drywall screws
      • drywall saw
        Drywall cutout tool,
        for cutting holes in drywall for lights and vents
      • Drywall T-Square
        Drywall T-square,
        used to mark cut lines and layout lines on drywall sheet

      Shopping List

      1. 5/8-inch-thick, fire-rated drywall

      2. 1x3 strapping,

      screwed to joists to provide surface for attaching drywal

      3. 1 5/8-inch drywall screws