Them walls, them walls, them dry walls

Are you in home improvement Hades? This week, members of Salon's community, Table Talk, remind you you're not alone.

Published July 4, 2008 12:03PM (EDT)

House and Garden

My Dream Home

Nojopar - 11:12 am Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2008 - #74 of 112

Drywall isn't hard at all, just a major, massive, ucky, unholy, irritating, enraging mess. I hate hate HATE drywall. First there's the initial hanging, which takes like 300 screws per sheet and weighs 12 metric tons (and gains wait with each passing second you hold the thing... this factoid of physics means you will hold the thing in place for roughly 3 hours per sheet). Then you tape the seams, which is the only easy part of the job. UNLESS you're like me and can't run tape down a straight(ish) line to save your life, in which case there's 18 hours of your life you'll never get back. Then you slather roughly 67lbs of mud on the walls to cover the tape, the seams, and your screws. Everything up to this point is a cake walk. Next you get yourself a hazmat suit (or a NASA space suit if you can pull it off) and you get a bit of sand paper. Now you sand everything "smooth" where you mudded before. I say, "smoothed" in quotes like that because you'll be amazed to find out that, post smoothing, apparently MORE ridges show up than existed before sanding. Oh, and you're created too large a gaps because you oversanded in some places. So now you back to the mudding step, then back to the sanding step. This process continues for roughly 1,387 more iterations until you either, A) get it right, B) hire someone to come fix it, or C) decide that bumpy drywall at the seams and screw holes adds "character" to the wall (for the record, I pull the plug at around 3 dozen iterations and opt for "C"). Now everything you ever owned is now coated in a fine layer of white dust. Your house looks like a powdered sugar factory explosion accident. It will remain so for at least 3 months per full sheet of drywall hung. And if you wore the hazmat suit, you'll sneeze white crap out of your nose for roughly the same amount of time. I'm uncertain if the NASA space suit ends up in the same results.

Now if you hire someone to do it, you'll pay the guy roughly the gross national product of Mexico, but they'll be done in 45 minutes (WITH a lunch break) and you'll see nary a spot in the house.

Lola Faire - 11:47 am Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2008 - #84 of 112

Nojopar, Why do you explain the pain and agony of my current life hell so well? Why did you do that? I am crying. Well not really but emphatically agreeing with your post.

This weekend as hubby is sanding the coved drywall, (had to cover the cracked plaster) for what seems like the 1197th hour of our life I come home with the kids (We try to stay away, but at some point we must come home). There is dust everywhere, even outside of our house on the front porch it looks like a snowy miracle in a california june. white dust so thinck covering everything, I am just looking at this ceiling, and there is still one 24 footlong coved angle that needs to be sanded, ohh the dissapointment. DH has been doing this for hours and hours and hours. I swear it feels like it will never get done. As I start to despair I look out at the front porch where my two clever children are lying in the dust making Drywall Dust Angels! Oh I feel like this project will never end!

Queasy - 05:31 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2008 - #97 of 112

Ironically, my surname is House.

I'm just waiting for that age related event to occur and call WGBH to come out and fix "This Old House".

Ah, but it gets worse.

When If I retire, I'm going to approach PBS with an idea for a new series.

They move me around Europe to fix up old family homes and Manors on the hillsides.

It's to be titled "This Old Villa, with Bob House".


Thank you all for coming. I'll be here all week. Try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waitress.

Thank you and good night.

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