How to Hang Drywall Like a Pro

Give your renovation a professional look with our guide to hanging drywall.

how to hang drywall home renovation

Getty Images / GeorgePeters

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $15 to $60
  • Yield: Mounted drywall

Whether you're converting a garage into a home office or remodeling your home, you'll soon need to hang drywall. If you've never seen it done, you might be surprised at how simple the process is, especially when you have the right tools and the help of a friend. While drywall is a relatively inexpensive material, paying a professional crew to hang and finish your drywall can be very pricey. Read ahead to learn how to hang drywall the right way, making your drywall finishing process as easy as possible.

Before You Begin

As a DIYer, you likely already have a measuring tape, a drill or impact driver, a utility knife, and many other common tools that this project will utilize. However, there are a few less common tools that will make hanging drywall much easier.

  • A drywall screw setter bit is inexpensive and highly effective for driving screws at the perfect depth for later covering with joint compound, also known as drywall mud. These bits feature a collar that presses against the drywall, lifting the bit out of the screw's head at just the right moment.
  • A 48-inch T-square makes measuring and cutting drywall quick and easy, eliminating the need to mark both sides and trace a line, and guaranteeing perfectly straight cuts.
  • A laser level is very helpful for hanging drywall, especially if you are hanging a lot of drywall. While a laser level isn't a must-have, it can certainly speed up the process. Also, don't worry about getting an expensive laser. A cheap model will do.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Drill or impact driver
  • Drywall screw setter bit
  • 48" T-square
  • Utility knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Laser level (optional)
  • Drywall rasp (optional)
  • Drywall cutting tool or rotary cutter with drywall head (optional)
  • Jab saw (optional)


  • 4' x 8' drywall sheets
  • 2" drywall screws
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses


How to Hang Drywall

Follow the steps below to hang drywall like a pro.

  1. Measure the Wall’s Length

    Measure the length of your wall. Mark the measurement less ¼-inch on the top of the drywall sheet.

  2. Cut Drywall

    Place a 48-inch T-square on top of the drywall and align it with your mark. Holding the square firmly in position, use a utility knife to score the full length of the square. Remove the square and snap the drywall on the line. Use the knife to cut the paper on the backside.

  3. Hang Drywall

    Place the drywall on the wall starting with the top row. Employ a friend to help hold the drywall in place and ensure it’s level before screwing. Screw 2-3 screws across the top row to secure the drywall before screwing the remainder of the screws.

    Whether hanging full sheets or small pieces, pay attention to the side of the drywall that's tapered and join the tapered edges whenever possible. This taper allows space for tape and joint compound, yielding a smoother, more professional finish to your walls.

  4. Run Drywall Screws

    To screw the drywall to the wall, follow these guidelines:

    • In each stud, space screws a maximum of 16 inches apart. When drywalling ceilings, lower this number to 12 inches.
    • Space screws at least 3/8-inch from the edge.
    • Drive screws just past the surface of the drywall.

    Building codes are different everywhere. Check with your specific codes for guidelines on properly fastening drywall to studs.

  5. Hang Bottom Row

    Follow the steps above to hang the bottom row of drywall, but make sure to cut the drywall in a manner that staggers the vertical seams, like a row or bricks. Butt the drywall against the mounted piece, leaving a 1/2-inch gap at the floor.

How to Cut Drywall Around Objects

When it comes to hanging drywall, large, empty spots on the wall are quick and easy. But walls filled with electrical boxes, windows, and doorways aren't so quick and easy. Luckily, there are a few tips, tricks, and tools that can aid in your efforts.

Cutting Drywall Around Electrical Boxes

To cut around electrical boxes, first, remove any covers from the box and turn off the power at the breaker. Measure the electrical box's distance from the floor and mark its position on either the floor, another piece of drywall, or a stud.

Mount the drywall on the wall with a couple of screws, then use a drywall cut-out tool or a rotary cutter fitted with a drywall cutting head to cut through the drywall and around the perimeter of the electrical box. If you don't have these tools or aren't looking to buy one, you can measure and mark the placement, then make the cut with a utility knife or jab saw.

Cutting Drywall Around Windows and Doors

The easiest way to cut the lower drywall panel around windows is to hold the drywall up to the wall and mark the edges of the window, then lower it and cut out the portion with a utility knife. For upper portions, measure down from the ceiling to the top of the window, then cut the drywall sheets to match the measurements.

To trim drywall that has been cut out but doesn't quite fit, use a drywall rasp to file away the edge until the piece fits perfectly in place.

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