Project Log #5 – Drywall

After making sure that everything that needs to go inside the walls and ceilings is complete, comes the fun of installing and finishing the drywall. Before you hang one sheet, make sure that all of your rough inspections are completed and compliant. If changes need to be made, it is much easier and cost effective to do them prior to installing the drywall, than after the drywall is hung and spackled.


Drywall Sizes & Thicknesses – Many To Choose From

Drywall comes in different sized sheets in length (i.e. : 8’-0” thru 16’-0”) and thickness (1/4” thru 3/4”). The most common width is 4’-0”(48”) although 4’-6” (54”) can be found. One consideration in picking the right drywall is its application. If your ceiling joists are two feet on center, you may consider going with a thicker sheet to prevent sagging. If you have a curved wall or soffit to close in, a thinner, perhaps a 1/4” thick sheet, would make the installation easier. You can go with two layers of 1/4” if you desire the extra thickness.

The building codes in your area will also dictate the thickness of the drywall in special area and locations throughout the house. For one example, the code will require thicker drywall (5/8” – 3/4”) to be installed on the common wall between the living space and the Garage. Thicker drywall installation will be required on the ceiling of the Garage should there be living space above. This is commonly referred to as fire code or fire resistant drywall.

Another type of specialty drywall is what is called moisture resistant. This type of drywall comes with a special coating that helps to protect the surface should it be installed in a high moisture content area such as a Bathroom, Laundry or Kitchen. This drywall, even though it is called moisture resistant, is not meant to be left fully exposed to high volumes of water. It needs to be covered and protected in some way, painted in the very least.

It is good to clean up the space and run through the drywall installation in your mind before you order the drywall. You can mix your order up between sizes and thickness to accommodate your install and make your life easier. This clean up and inventory also gives you a chance to check on the framing and make sure you have nailers where necessary and desired. Check your inside and outside corners and wall intersections and make sure you have solid blocking to receive the drywall fasteners.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log #6 – Drywall Installation & Finishing

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Project Log #4 – Insulation

We’re back…after a little break.  

Let’s look at some insulation options.  

There are many options out there for insulating your living space. Due to space considerations we are going to focus on three that we at Gehman Custom Remodeling use on a regular basis…

    1. Fiberglass
    2. Cellulose
    3. Spray Foam Urethane


Fiberglass Insulation Installed In Attic


This still the most widely used type of insulation. Mainly due to the price point that is comes into. Also contributing to this is probably the fact that it can be installed by mostly anyone from home owners to the most seasoned professional. Great care needs to be taken during the installation process in order for this material to perform as intended. Gaps and un-insulated spaces are common when installation is not done correctly.


Installing Cellulose Insulation In Addition


Cellulose Insulation Installed – Tight Around Obstacles


This option is made up of a combination of ground up newspaper combined with a fire and/or pest retardant. It is sprayed/forced into the wall/ceiling cavities sealing around most obstacles and tight to framing. Unlike fiberglass, this product should not be installed by anyone but a professional. Mainly due to need of specialty installation machines which blow the product into the cavities of the space.


Installed Cellulose – Completely Filled Cavities

However, if you are ambitious and want to try it yourself, rental units are becoming more and more available and can be used to blow loose cellulose into Attic spaces


Installing Spray Foam Insulation In Basement Walls


Spray Foam – Air Tight; Moisture Sealed Out = Well Insulated

Spray Foam Urethane

Foam insulation is one of the most highly performing types of insulation as well as being versatile in its applications. In large scale applications, such as basements, additions, and retrofitting walls and ceilings, a professional installer should be used. Due to the volatile expansion of this product it is imperative that it is installed correctly for the space in which it is being used. Proper preparations are required to minimize clean up and damage to the surrounding objects. Foam is very good at sealing off air flow and moisture infiltration. It has a high R-value per inch and therefore is helpful in obtain high insulating factors in smaller wall/ceiling cavities.

There is much more information and many more factors that go into making the choice of the right insulation for your project than what we could have put here. Do your research (try this website), set your goals and get the advice of a reputable contractor before committing to installing an insulation material.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log #5 – Close In: Drywall  

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Project Log#3 – Rough In

When it comes to starting a project, it can seem like it takes forever to actually see a man doing work. However, when things start rolling, there is little that is as exciting as the rough-in stage.

During this stage, there is a lot of activity. Let’s talk about a few of the initial stages of a remodeling project.


Rough Framing

1. Rough Framing – This is one of the most exciting times. This phase takes you from a blank canvas and gives your project a framework.

At this phase, you can come home every day and see a lot of change.


Rough Roof Framing

The floors, walls and roofs take shape. Windows and doors are installed. Basically, the structure is defined.


Rough Window Framing

2. Rough Electric – After the framing is completed, you will probably walk through the project with the Project Manager and place the devices and fixtures that are included in the contract.


Rough Electrical

Given these locations, the Electrician can go to work running the wiring to all the devices prior to the installation of the drywall.

3. Rough Plumbing – The location of the rough plumbing, hot and cold water supplies as well as the drain and vent lines, is driven by the layout of cabinets in a Kitchen and the location of the main plumbing fixtures in a Bathroom.


Rough Plumbing

You want to get this right, coordinating with manufacturer’s specifications for the fixtures that you have chosen.
4. Rough HVAC – Given the size and inflexibility of the HVAC supply and return lines, this rough in process should ideally be done first. At the very least, the HVAC contractor should mark out the locations of his work so that the other utility contractors will know where his units and duct work will be run. There is nothing that can delay a project like having to get a contractor back to relocate their work because it is in the way of the HVAC lines.

All that being said, it is very important to coordinate the installation of the utility lines so that rework is kept to a minimum if not eliminated.

Just remember to check and double check your measurements according to the floor plans, cabinet layouts and manufacturer’s specifications prior to allowing drywall to be installed. It is less expensive to move an outlet or fixture location before the drywall is installed rather than after when rework will take hours instead of minutes.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log #4 – Time to Insulate   

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.



Project Log #2 – Demolition

Upon completion of the installation of the dust and dirt protection the “fun” part of the project is set to begin. The reason that demolition is looked at as fun is because you don’t necessarily have to worry about too much. Ripping, sawing, scraping, and pulling out the old finishes is like tearing the top sheet of paper off of a sketch pad. What you will have left is a clean canvas on which to create the dreams of the client.

In saying that, there are some areas that need to be taken into consideration as the demolition phase of the project progresses and some of these things need to be addressed or decided upon prior to the first day on site. Let take a look at a few demolition concerns.

1. Who is responsible of the demolition phase of the project?

Some clients choose to do the demolition themselves. There has to be a clear understanding on the part of both parties as to what that looks like and what needs to be done and when. Deadlines need to be established with non-compliance penalties if they are not met. Don’t start off on a bad note.

2. Which items are being disposed of and which items need to be saved to either be reinstalled or re-used or recycled?


What Needs To Go?

Most of the time, this issue is addressed right in the contract so that everyone is on the same page. Just make sure that the workers doing the demolition know the particulars before even entering the home. It is better to talk it through a few times than make the mistake of disposing of an item that the client wanted or needed.

3. What methods are being used to remove the debris from the jobsite?

Are you getting a dumpster delivered to the jobsite? Where is it going to be placed?

Are you bagging the debris and utilizing the client’s trash disposal service?

Is the client cleaning up and handling the disposal of trash and debris to save a little money?

Are you hauling everything away in your trailer and delivering it to the dump each day?


Daily Trash Trailer

4. Where are the potential hazards during the demolition phase?

Is there lead paint present that needs to be dealt with prior to continuing the project?

Do the workers need to utilize dust protection and breathing apparatus due to conditions during demolition?


Hidden Pipes & Wires – Be Careful!

Are there potential concealed water and drain pipes, electrical wiring, HVAC ducts, etc. that need to be reworked for the project? Even with due diligence in the design and estimating stages of the project, workers can encounter unforeseen or concealed items that will need to be addressed before the project can proceed.

5. What condition is the site to be left in during and following the demolition phase?

What has been expressed by the client as their expectations for the daily maintenance of the jobsite?

Have you agreed to keep the jobsite free from dirt and debris as to keep the family as safe from harm as possible?


Clean Jobsite After Demolition

Has the client agreed to clean up each evening to help keep the costs down somewhat?


Not a Good Arrangement – Piles of Trash

Agree as to the condition in which the jobsite needs to be in order for the family as well as the workers to enjoy safe and productive conditions.

Answering these and some additional questions prior to starting the project will help to alleviate the need for stopping the project to clarify the needs and responsibility of each party involved.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log #3 – Rough-In 

Q&A&C – Questions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Project Log #1 – Dust & Dirt

We are embarking on a journey that is called remodeling. I will attempt to walk you through some elements that are common to almost every project. Eventually we can follow a particular project from start to finish, but for now, we will look at snapshots of various projects as they progress through the journey of remodeling.

One of the initial areas that we try to cover when talking to our clients about starting their project is the whole area of dust and dirt. We try to be up front about what we anticipate and the steps that we take to try to minimize the amount of dust and dirt that will be generated. Most importantly we describe the measures that we put in place to try to reduce or restrict the migration of the dust and dirt throughout the rest of the house.
Let’s take a look at some of the items that are used to try to control the dust and dirt of remodeling.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Plastic-Wall-FR-175x117    b2ap3_thumbnail_Plastic-Hall-150x150

           Plastic Wall In Family Room             Plastic Hallway From

with Zipper Door Installed               Entry to Kitchen

1. Plastic Walls – Separating the workspace from the remaining living space is accomplished using a divider made of plastic sheathing. These walls are generally installed from floor to ceiling. In most cases, a wall system is used to expedite the installation and fastening of the plastic to the walls, floors and ceilings


 Zipper Door Installed and Open

2. Zipper Doors – Access needs to be maintained between the living space and the work area even after the plastic walls are installed. Zipper doors are a convenient way to keep the spaces sealed off and yet maintain the necessary access. Also, zipper doors can be installed in existing  doorways to effectively seal off specific rooms and hallways.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Floor-Protection-240x180 b2ap3_thumbnail_Floor-Protection-PW-240x180

      Carpet Floor Protection Installed                Plywood Floor Protection Installed in

                                                                        High or Heavy Traffic Areas

3. Floor Protection – In some cases the room that is being worked on is at the back of the house or on the second floor and the only access is through the front door. What to do to protect the tile, carpet or hardwood flooring from the rigors of the everyday traffic during the remodeling project? We install floor protection in the form of self-adhesive plastic runners that are specifically made to apply to carpet, tile and hardwood. They are designed to tightly adhere to the floor surface without the danger of tripping. In some cases, we use carpet runners or luan plywood to protect flooring from high levels of heavy traffic.


 Tack Mat Installed At Doorway to

  Catch Dirt on Bottom of Shoes

4. Tack Mats – These can be compared to fly paper for dirt. These are placed at entry and exit points of the workspace. These mats trap dust and dirt from the bottom of worker’s and visitor’s shoes upon exiting the work area. These go a long way in containing the dust and dirt inside the containment area and cuts down on clean up outside of the remodeling area.

We need to reiterate the fact that we do what we can to control and contain, however, remodeling a home will always generate dust and dirt particles that find their way to the uttermost parts of the home. We will do our best to minimize the affected area, but cleaning will be a necessity, even outside of the remodeled area.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log #2 – Demolition         

Q&A&C – Questions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.         

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.    

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