Read these 9 Tradesman Tools Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tool tips and hundreds of other topics.
Aubuchon Hardware Tip: Once you get used to using drywall tools, you'll see just how messy a job it can be, and texturing the drywall is probably the messiest of all. Drywall texturing by hand can save some money on drywall tools such as a sprayer and compressor, but if you need to rent or purchase a sprayer to get the job done faster, it's important to get a nice armload of tape as well. You'll need it to properly mask any surface in the room you don't want to be covered in drywall texturing material. Sprayers work fast, but they are messy and an unmasked surface will definitely get covered by some amount of drywall texture material. This includes your drywall tool kit and tools. Mask before you spray!
Experts say after you have hung your drywall, coated all the seams and nails, and done your final sanding, there is one more step before applying paint. Some people will launch right into a painting project, but without adding a combination sealer and primer to the walls, you will have flaws including bad texture, and "joint banding". The primer/sealer can be considered a "paint prep" step much like spraying primer on a car before painting. This kind of drywall primer should be part of your other drywall tool kit, the same as compound and tape. Your paint should roll on to a smooth surface, and should have an even texture. Don't put regular paint on "naked" drywall unless you are ready to see your work wind up looking second rate.
So you've got your tile tools, your bathroom drywall is hung, and you are contemplating installing tile directly onto the drywall. Newcomers researching this will soon learn there are two schools of thought. The first is that you should never install tile onto drywall, ever, as it's considered too heavy or a liability because of movement and cracking. The other school of thought says "go right ahead, but use small, light tiles, and the best mortar, grout, etc. you can find". Your best solution may be to replace the drywall sections you plan to tile with cement board if you have anything beyond a small amount of decorative tile to install. If you do install tile onto drywall, be certain the room is very dry beforehand.
If you're getting ready to install new gutters, your list of gutter tools should include a powered screwdriver, a hacksaw, a chalkline, and a ladder. The size and type of ladder is particularly important for maximum safety and ease of installation. An extension ladder is the best gutter tool for the job, don't rely on a fixed-height ladder for this one. Make sure your extension ladder projects three feet above the roof line to provide the stability you'll need to do the work. It's also important to anchor the ladder properly with an adjustable stabilizer that will brace the ladder on the roof.
If you've never hung drywall before, you won't realize until you're in the middle of the project that part of your drywall equipment should include something to clean up the mess. It's a dirty business, and clearing up the debris is only part of the problem; there's that white chalky residue to deal with, too. A good wet/dry vacuum is just what you need to eliminate the white stuff. If you have a really large job to clean up after, you'll need extra bags and exhaust filters for the vacuum. Finding the vacuum and related products is easy, just do a Google search on the phrase "drywall vacuum" and you will come right to what you need to control the post-project mess.
Do you have a single piece of vinyl siding that has been damaged and needs replaced? This job may seem daunting at first, but you really need only a single tool in addition to a hammer, a pair of pliers, and some tin snips.
This siding tool is called a siding removal tool, and costs under ten dollars. It's basically a curved metal hook with a plastic handle. The hook is made to fit under the siding to pull the siding above the piece being replaced. The job, described in a general way, goes like this: go all the way down the piece of siding in this manner, to expose the nails which need to be removed to take down the damaged piece.
Pull the nails, push down on the damaged siding to remove it from the "starter strip" it is connected to, then replace with a new piece that is as close to the original as you can find. You'll need to cut it to match, hence the tin snips. Once the new piece is cut, slide it into place, and use the siding removal tool to hoist the new piece into place on the "starter strip". You then nail it into place, but leave the nails sticking up a bit for easy removal (remember what the old nails looked like before you pulled them? Hammer to about the same depth.) Then push the upper panel into position. The last thing to do is do what you did with the siding removal tool, but in reverse. This is a general description, be sure to try a replacement job on a single piece to fully understand the procedure before undertaking a large replacement job.
Got a hole in your drywall because of a doorknob? This common drywall repair is fairly easy to do, and is a great starter project for drywall newbies. The first thing you'll need is a common adhesive patch made just for project like this, with a metal/fiberglass mesh. Place it over the hole, then simply coat with drywall compound. You'll need two or three coats. Let the compound dry, and sand if needed. Then, your next project should be installing a door stop to prevent your door handle from damaging the repair you just made!
Newcomers to the art of hanging drywall will be surprised at the amount of tools available to help spruce up a project. One set of drywall equipment is designed to add texture to the wall, but if you've never shopped for a drywall texture sprayer before, you'll be shocked at how expensive these units can be. The good news is you can rent these sprayers from a local tool rental center. You can even forget the sprayer, and apply texture by hand; your options include a heavy texture known as "popcorn" which can hide flaws and errors in the initial job, "skiptrowel" which can resemble stucco, and "orangepeel" which gives the same kind of texture the name implies.
Drywall corners can be a tricky operation, especially if you don't have much experience working with these materials. One item you'll definitely need is called drywall corner bead, which is installed after the drywall is hung. These are thin metal strips that create good inside corners for each of the walls in your drywall project. You coat the corner bead with "drywall mud" and put it into place. Once the mud has dried, you can sand down your work to give it a smooth appearance, but be sure to use a putty knife or other drywall tool to take away excess mud from your drywall corners before they start to dry. The corner bead is only one part of the project, but it is an important step in getting the look of a proper "finished" room.