Red Barn Renovation: If These Drywalls Could Talk

WoodWise

I may be blogging from Great Britain this week, but construction on the workshoppe ploughs ahead. As I celebrate my Granny’s 90th birthday in London, our builders are busy sheetrocking the red barn. With new walls up, the space is finally showing its true colours — blimey, I mean colors!Did you know that “Sheetrock” is a proprietary eponym? Just like Q-Tips and Kleenex, it is actually a brand name used in a generic manner. (Not the most thrilling piece of trivia ever, but still a nifty phrase to know!) Drywall, as it’s technically called, is composed of a gypsum plaster sandwiched between two thick pieces of hardened paper. First developed in the early twentieth century, Sheetrock is now as ubiquitous an eponym as Frisbees, Band-Aids and Escalators!

Drywall is a cumbersome, yet crucial building material, sold in large sheets like plywood. Rather than plaster an entire wall, builders simply screw a row of sheets into the studs. Once the drywall is installed, the joints between sheets are taped and sealed using a plaster compound, commonly referred to as mud. When it comes to drywalling/sheetrocking a ceiling, a device called a drywall lifter is utilized. Back in the day, builders would hoist the 70-pound sheets atop their heads — today, lifters allow them to crank the drywall up with one hand. Sheetrocking, it seems, isn't such a headache anymore.

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