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Cutting drywall costs?


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Marsha's Forum Posts: 36

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By Marsha in Frankfort, KY on 10/19/2007


Well, we are over our heads in this home building process, but very proud of our progress! My dear wonderful, husband has built the entire thing, done the plumbing and is finishing up the electric. Our big question right now is "does anyone know how to save money on the drywall process?" We have sold our current home and have to be out in three weeks! We were hoping to finish an apartment over our garage, but just found out the entire house has to be drywalled (including the basement!) before we can pass our electrical inspection. This would totally blow our budget as we weren't counting on finishing out the basement anytime soon. So, bottom line, we are looking for a way to cut some drywall costs. Any ideas are welcome and appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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By Justin in Chandler, AZ on 10/20/2007


Marsha,

Will the inspector allow you to just hang the drywall sheets but do not tape, texture and paint? That would save some money. Also if you will redo the basement at a later date maybe you could opt for the thinnest sheets of drywall you can find.

Could you use other materials (less expensive) instead of drywall just to cover the framing if that is what they are concerned about?
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By Tom in Stroudsburg, PA on 10/22/2007


What the electrical inspector wants to see is that all areas of exposed wire and boxes are safe for inhabitants. It sounds like you studded out the basement and ran the wires. Easiest thing to do would be to remove everything. That would leave the areas around your heating system and hot water heater. You can rock that area or run conduit from the ceiling down to units. Light fixtures do not need to be installed but any boxes will need the wires nutted and blank covers on the boxes. All wiring in the basement ceiling should be neat and properly secured. People build unfinished basements all the time.
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By Bob in New Florence, PA on 10/24/2007


We ran into this int he beginning of our plans and not knowing exactly what we wanted to do for certain in our basement we just decided not to run the heat into the basement and make it as if it were non-livable space and then afterward we would finish it. We still ran all our wiring, cable, phone, etc and stubbed out another bathroom and we will insulate the ceiling in the basement but thats it. Much better than our other option which was to use 2" foam and try to sandwich it between our block and brick because we have brick to grade around the back and sides of our house.

We framed two walls in the basement and only because we made a change to one of our LVL beams for head clearance on the stairwell so we needed a load bearing wall to run parallel beside the stairs and the walls around our mechanical room.

You should try to be best friends with the inspector during building, talk to him/her and find out what options you have before you decide more often than not they will help you.


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By Terry in Phoenix / Oracle, AZ on 10/24/2007


I don't know the exact circumstances of your basement but, you should be able to avoid drywall if the electric installations in this area meet NEC requirements for exposed electrical installations in "livable" areas of the home.  That is, you have conduit or armored cable in use instead of NM (e.g., Romex) along with metal boxes.  Then drywall is irrelevant if the inspector's objection is to the exposed electrical system.

This might be a cheaper solution to your problem than having that space drywalled.


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