Just finishing up the insulation in my basement, and about to move onto the drywall… Two questions… First off, my basement is about 89″ high, unfortunately a little less than 96″. Now, if it was 96″, I would definitely hang it horizontally, so two full pieces would go top to bottom, with no cutting until I get to the corners. However, at 89″ I am thinking it makes a little more sense to hang it vertically. Either way, I will have to make a bunch of cuts.. However, I think it’ll be easier to take 7″ off each piece across 4′ for the vertical install, as opposed to taking 7″ off of every other piece across 8′ for the horizontal install. My Drywall square, like most, is 4′ long… Anyone have any ideas/tips?

Also, any tips on hanging drywall alone? Vertical should be pretty easy, I can just stand it up and lift a little with a wrecking bar wedged underneath to get it in position. Horizontal, I’ve heard about driving nails or screws 50″ down, and resting the drywall on that. Any other tips? BTW, I have a screwgun, so that will make my life just that much easier. Thanks in advance for all your help.

I too am doing a basement and I just finished hanging the drywall. the reason to hang it horizontally is to avoid unsightly, floor to ceiling cracks later. If you stagger the seams and hang it horizontally you are less likely to have a crack problem. For me, since I was also drywalling the ceiling, I bought the drywall hoist and it’s a lifesaver. I got it from amazon for $59 (plus about 100 shipping, so about 150 to 160 total) and I use it to hang the top sheet of 4×8 drywall. For me, I push the hoist nearly flat against the wall and then lean the drywall out from the top. If you position the hoist correctly, the arms holding the drywall on the bottom fit between the studs, so you can get no more than an inch or two away from the wall at the bottom of the sheet. This is close enough to put a few screws in the top of the sheet and then lower the hoist and finish screwing it to the studs. I’ve done my entire basement by myself. the toughest part, by far, is getting the drywall onto the hoist, and that’s simply lifting it up. Very easy.

Another reason to hand it horizontally is that there are less verticle seams, which can show up as bumps and shadow lines on the wall when looking down the length of the wall; It gives a more professional appearance.

Hanging dry wall is one of few jobs I will always hire the guy who does it for a living, rather than doing myself as I do nearly everything else. Having said that, pros would hang it horizontally working from top to bottom using screw gun. Start with full sheet on top, mate the finished edges, and make one cut on the bottom where you can hide imperfections under baseboards. If you are working alone, you can use temporary nail, or even a strip of 1×2 to rest top panel while you secure your top row.

Tip.1 By all means, do purchase the best dust mask money can buy as you finish the wall, I’m sure you know you are in for at least two rounds of sanding which kick up more dust than is safe to breath for any human.
Tip.2 Use nylon drop cloth and mask off door to rest of the house and run a fan to blow dust out the window while you’re working.
Tip.3 Do get a bid from a pro, it might be worth your while to let them do this one job and go play a round of golf or take your wife out for a movie instead.

I was a sheetrock hanger for 12 years and even though there is extra cutting horizontal is the best. All of the strength is used when it is horizontal, because they can tell what ther will but there is a grain in sheetrock and it runs the full 8 ft. test take a small piece and cut with the grain then one across the grain and you will see that their is a difference. when it is horizontal it is across the grain thus its is stronger. At first I did not believe it until my boss laid 4 2×4 on their edges and then put a sheet across the gain and then on running with the grain. Result the one that was vertical had strength but it broke, the one across did not. if you want a wall that is going to be a lot stronger, go horizontal.