How to Install Drywall on a Ceiling Without a Lift

Drywall can be installed on the ceiling without the aid of a hydraulic lift, if the height is between 7 and 12 feet.

Making the Support Brackets

Instead of renting a lift, invite two or three of your friends over for the "party. " Installation can be done with the aid of two T-braces and two assistants, who use the braces to lift the sheetrock into place.

Cut two pieces of 2-by-4 at a length of 3 feet and two more pieces at a length of 6 feet.

Mark the midpoint of the two 3-foot pieces and make a perpendicular line at the midpoint with a speed square and a pencil.

Nail the middle of the short piece to the top of the tall piece with three 16-penny nails. Use the midpoint mark as a nailing guide and you will need two braces total.

Installing The Sheetrock

Measure the length of the first piece of drywall. If the room is not square, you will have to do more than just lop off one end. Direct the two helpers to spots directly underneath the place on the ceiling where the sheetrock will be placed. Each helper should be standing about a foot in front of the drywall ends with their T-shaped support braces standing erect in front of them.

Place the cut piece of sheetrock on top of the the T-braces (you may need a fourth person to do this). Make sure both braces are in the center of the sheathing about a foot from each end.

Raise the drywall board slowly until it fits tightly against the bottom of the floor joists. The piece of sheetrock should stay reasonably level while it is being raised.

Slide your stepladder underneath the sheetrock after it has been raised and placed against the ceiling joists. Make the final adjustments of the sheetrock with your bare hands. Double-check to make sure the end of the sheetrock falls in the middle of the joist.

Install four drywall screws, one near each corner, but not too close.

Drop the supports and finish the task of fastening the drywall to the ceiling frame. Place a screw about every 6 inches along each joist. The head of each screw must make a slight indentation in the surface of the sheetrock without tearing the paper covering.

Measure and cut the next piece and install in the same manner.

Start the second row on the other end of the room right next to the first row. Seams where two pieces of sheetrock meet must be staggered.

Things You Will Need

  • Stepladder
  • Electric screw gun
  • Sheetrock screws (1 1/4 inch or 1 3/8 inch)
  • Utility knife
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-4s
  • 16-penny framing nails
  • Framing hammer
  • Crosscut hand saw
  • Speed square

Tips

  • Always run the sheetrock at a perpendicular angular to the ceiling joists if possible.
  • Two braces will work for lengths of sheetrock up to 8 feet.
  • A tool belt is a must for whoever has to climb the ladder.
  • Always install the sheetrock ceiling before the wall. Then place the upper pieces of wallboard and push each sheet tight against the ceiling.

About the Author

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.