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Just Say No To Hoppers!

It’s finally starting to look like a house again. As I’ve said before its always fun to see it with drywall so you can get a feel for the new spaces you’ve created and how they flow together, the new master suite I built is definately going to sell this house. I’m very particular on the drywall job for these big projects, I use a new construction crew that specialize in this trade and do it all day long, every day. Of course every tom, dick and harry out there can hang drywall and tape and float it (including me) but this important step really dictates how your final finish out will appear. My guys use all the latest tools like roto zips to cut out the boxes and mud bazookas and taping machines to float it out. There’s literally no sanding when the mud is applied correctly. Tons of other rehabbers here locally are going “handyman” style and having painters hang their drywall, tape and float it and use a hopper to spray the texture. The texture on your rehab is a very important detail, some buyers probably wont notice bad texture but the 20% who are in the know will recognize the quality. Plus, after all that work to get to this point who would want a chunky uneven surface on your walls that looks like old drywall thats been retextured and patched?  Hoppers are o.k. for small jobs but for a big house it will be hard to get even coverage and mix it consistently one bucket at a time. A professional crew will bring in a truck with a spray rig, one mixture and they spray the whole house evenly without stopping.

Once again, that’s what these guys do for a living. Once the texture truck pulls up 3 guys start running around masking off all the windows and can lights while the sprayer starts at the back of the house and works his way forward. The whole house takes about 2 hours to complete. For a professional drywall job like this we pay $10.00 per sheet for labor. That includes the hanging crew, tape and floating as well as the texture. I supplied the drywall itself, this house ate up 270  4×8 sheets. Of course we don’t use 8 footers so as to minimize the joints but thats how the labor is calculated, what actually went in was 180 12 footers. Per building code we use 5/8 on the ceiling and 1/2 on the walls. If you hire someone to do the drywall in your big rehab and he shows up with a texture hopper, run!

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  1. 9 Comment(s)

  2. By Darryl Coleman on Jun 27, 2010 | Reply

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  3. By Bilgefisher on Jun 28, 2010 | Reply


    Great tips on drywall. I’m learning things on every post you make. Big question, how much work do you do to save costs and how much do you contract?


  4. By Daniel Gaitan on Jun 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Tom,

    I’ve been looking for a new drywall crew since my last one did such a horrible job. Like you said any painter can hang drywall, tape and float it but the final finish is usually not up to par.

    If you could shoot me an email with the contact information of the new construction crew that does your homes it would be greatly appreciated.

    Keep up the great work and can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Thank You So Much,

    Daniel Gaitan

  5. By Tom on Jun 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Jason,
    Glad you got something out of the post. Man, I used to do everything back when the rehabs were just quick cosmetic jobs. I put kitchens in, bathrooms and everything that goes along with it ie: tile, drywall, paint, landscaping etc. Now that the projects are a little larger I’m required to have licensed sub contractors for the 3 trades (elec, plumb, hvac). I am trying to let go a little more on every job but I’ll still do all the tile on this one as well as interior paint which is coming up. I have some helpers starting tomorrow helping me prep the outside but I’ll spray it. I got a bid for 18k to paint this house but instead I’ll hire 3 helpers at 100 bucks a day for a week for prep then I’ll take over with my sprayer. For the first time on this house I am also subbing out all the trim carperntry (hanging new doors, baseboards, crown). I enjoy the trims but this house is huge and its hot as hell right now in TX so I am passing on this one this time: ). Normally I would spend a week trimming. Its great to do it all at first, that way you know how it should be done and how you want it but it gets old after a while. This house has another big spead so I should be paying for everything but I guess its the control issue I have keeping me getting dirty everyday: )

  6. By Bilgefisher on Jun 29, 2010 | Reply

    I understand. Thanks for the reply. I don’t blame you for getting out of that heat. That can be no fun.

  7. By vicki knight on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Tom, I have a house will at the end be fully gutted and in need of a drywall crew that you use. I’ve been hesitating asking you if you would share their information. I don’t know if this is the sort of thing that rehabbers like to keep to themselves. If not, could you share their info? Thanks. And I hope at some point you will invite your blog followers for a little tour of this latest project. Thanks, Vicki Knight

  8. By Luis on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Tom, why do you need to run texture in your walls? or is this a preference?

    Over here in GA we leave the drywall plain and smooth…

  9. By Tom on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Luis,

    Great question, yes, just a preference. I dont really see smooth finish around here, maybe its a regional thing. Most homes in TX and CA have an orange peel texture but in a few instances with new custom homes they feature a hand troweled texture that looks semi smooth. This hand troweled mud application is very pricey and high end, mostly used on Mediterranean style new construction. Another popular texture besides my light orange peel is Monterey or “knockdown” where they drag a blade across the orange peel leaving it sort of flattened out. The Monterey to me doesnt go with the historic homes but then again these houses didnt have drywall at all in the 1920’s anyway, only cloth wallpaper over the wood shiplap. Drywall was introduced in the 1940’s so many homes received 1/4 inch over the original cloth wallpaper which we commonly find underneath.

    Vicki, really sorry but I’ve had it blow up in my face before (with this same guy infact), all sub contractors are extremely flaky in this town. I dont share that info.

  10. By lost on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    thanks for keeping me up to date on this issue.

    Sent from my iPad 4G

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