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drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

The inspector wants to see the paper and lath on the exterior before I start the electrical rough-in. So I've got the stucco guy coming before I will do the rough plumbing, electrical and after getting that inspected, close up the walls using drywall.

I've heard some conflicting advice on getting drywall done before stucco as the drywall nails and subsequent pounding will affect the even curing of the drywall.

If I was to hang the drywall myself, I would take the time to use screws, but I've been told that the drywall crews are 100 times faster than I will end up using nails for speed.

Any opinions out there on this?

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

I take it this is a new house?

Not sure on the stucco v.s. drywall on which to do first.

Use drywall screws you only need about 4-5 for each stud if you hang it horizonally.Nails I've read need to be like every 6-8" apart. Use 1 5/8" screws and a screw gun.1 1/4" screws are for steel studs. I've also seen guys use liquid nails for doing wall and then put 2 screws at the top 2 in the middle and 2 at the bottom. Spaced about 4" apart. You can also use the glue the other way also they call this "glue and screw" but dont use it on the ceiling.

Hope this helps:)

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

It's a new addition and partial remodel so there's possibly more drywall than I care to hang myself. I've used screws before for small drywall projects, but as this is a larger project, I was considering to sub this out and have a crew rock/tape and mud.

I've been getting confflicting opinions and they all make sense but I also need to follow the order that the building inspector wants to go by.

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

I also need to follow the order that the building inspector wants to go by.

You betcha ... stay on their good side.;)

Typically it doesn't matter if the exterior is applied before the interior walls are installed ... though common sense would dictate that heavy pounding on the exterior wall framing at the same time the stucco is being applied may not be the best idea.

You mentioned the inspector wants to see the paper and lath on the outside first ..... it may be he's doing you a favor.

There are plenty of situations where exterior stucco is improperly done .... in particular ..... the preparation steps before the application of the stucco is improperly done.

In those cases this can lead to serious issues of water penetration causing all sorts of problems like rot and mold.

He may want to inspect the preparation step the stucco contractor is using and would like to see any issues that may arise from looking from the inside out as well.... so covering the inside walls won't allow this vantage point.

If that is their reasoning ... they are doing you a favor.

Here is a link to some issues the inspector may be concerned with : http://www.badstucco.com/

As for the drywalling .... depending on how much is involved and the time frame .... sometimes you can end up bitting off more than you can chew ..... that's a decision only you can make.
Remember .... drywall contractors do this for a living .... they eat and sleep drywall .... they have plenty of tricks of the trade which allows them to fly through it. For example .... they can hang the sheets by tacking them up using drywall nails and come back with drywalls screws for the final securing.

Hope this helps.:)

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?
YukYuk wrote:

Drywall nails have to be installed in pairs about 1-2 inches apart for the pairs each pair x inches apart depending on field or perimeter nailing. Drywall screws are installed individually x inches apart depending on field or perimeter fastening. Nails are more prone to "pop" when what their fastened to swells due to moisture or cold, or when pounded from the reverse; drywall screws are more likely to hold/bite and less likely to pop. Screws may be more likely t sheer than rated nails. Usually it is a no brainer to use screw fasteners, pre-drilling pilot holes when necessary (old oak timbers for example) when and if they won't break off or local code prohibits them (sheer issues or seismic rules).

IMHO it makes sense to button up completely the exterior shell before introducing electrical cabling or threading conduit, and to let it cure/dry completely before the addition of interior drywall which is prone to absorb moisture like a sponge. No need to expose the drywall fasteners, corner bead, and tape joints of potentially moist drywall that you chose to be exposed to excessive moisture or chemical off-gasing while whichever stucco method you use is curing/drying and you caulk, etc. Ideally drywall is hung, taped and mudded in a reasonably climate controlled environment after the drywall sheets have had a chance to acclimate.

Rodents and certain insects are prone to chewing on the cable sheaths and wire insulation, and generally moisture and electrical systems don't make a good combination. Another reason to concentrate on button up the exterior of the addition first, also you likely won't be allowed to connect the wiring to the supply until you've closed in the exterior, and you'd want to test the work before you closed in the walls. Should something interupt progress on the project at least your investment would be protected if you weather proofed and completed the exterior first.

I disagree with not being able to continue work on the interior until stucco is done to the outside. Many times weather or just the fact of sheduling prevents the outside finsh to be completed. If it was the way Yuk Yuk claims then many projects would take forever to finish. Not sure how rodents and insects have anything to do with putting up stucco.

A. Spruce
Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

I personally like a secure and watertight exterior before continuing with interior work, reason being that you don't want theft or vandalism of the interior electrical/plumbing, and not have weather to impinge on interior progress. It sounds like you're acting as your own general contractor, kudo's for you. Remember one thing, you're the one in charge of the checkbook. If you want your drywall screwed, then that's YOUR decision - regardless of what the drywall company tells you. IMHO, screws are far better at holding the drywall.

  1. They don't pop - like nails do.
  2. The "damage" to the drywall is less than that done by nailing so that dimples and divots in the finished wall will be less likely or apparent - unlike several hammer blows that create a large "well" that must then be filled during the taping process, which more often than not isn't filled enough before the texture goes on, resulting in noticeable divots.
  3. Any contractor who is familiar with screws will be just as fast or faster than a company who nails.

Shop your drywall bid around with YOUR specifications, and make certain that any bids you receive are complete and fully cover your specs. Only then will you have the basis to compare prices. After that, it's up to you to do your homework to be sure the company you hire is the right one for the job.
Good luck and report back. :)

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

I agree with using drywall screws .... just mentioned that some drywallers will tack up the board and then use the screws.

A. Spruce
Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?
canuk wrote:

I agree with using drywall screws .... just mentioned that some drywallers will tack up the board and then use the screws.

Agreed, I've seen it too, with no ill effects to the overall finish, unlike a complete nail job. The last house I owned, and all of the others in that development, you could see every nail and joint in all the walls, and this was from one of the "better" builders. Without getting into a debate of building practices, corners get cut as a means of saving the builder, and theoretically the homeowner, money. All trades are guilty of it, but the ones that get the worst blame are the ones responsible for the finish work, which includes the drywall. The biggest cut in drywall is that there are insufficient applications of taping mud to cover fasteners and seams properly, resulting in divots and shadows AFTER the contractors have all left the driveway.

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

Yep .... the finishers are the ones that have to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.;)

Re: drywall before stucco, or vice cersa?

Thanks for all the advice. Definitely will go with screws on the drywall whether I do it or if I sub it out. I'm leaning toward using the new paperless Dens Armor.

When I spoke with our inspector last, he considers the structure weathertight when the paper and lath goes up - so they require an inspection at that point. They'd rather not see rough electrical in the walls until the structure is weathertight.

My stucco sub is a bit behind schedule. This'll give me a little extra time to throw in all the blocking... so I don't end up cracking the stucco. I use nails for the blocking unless the hammer doesn't fit.

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