I'm fixing up a house that's been cut into apartments, and needs a few wall and ceiling repairs due to some water damage. I'm planning on cutting out large sectons to check the extent of the water damage, so I'll be repairing large sections, not just patching.

I've hung enough drywall that I'm comfortable with it, but the stairs are so narrow that there's no way I'd be able to get a whole sheet into the upstairs without tearing out the wall (which isn't damaged) so I don't have to turn as soon as I get upstairs, or finding some way to get 'em in through the window, which even if I remove the sashes still aren't large enough to fit a sheet in.

The only other thing I can think of is plaster, as it can go up in buckets and the lath in rolls, but I'm shying away from that as I've never done plaster, and as it'll be apartments, I know from my own house that holes in plaster sucks to patch.

Am I missing any other alternatives? Are there any tricks to getting drywall into strange places other than cutting it into smaller pieces and lots of mudding?

2 Answers 2


What about cutting the sheets in half before you carry them up? It will give you more joints, requiring more mudding though.

  • That's basically what I'm considering at this point, but even in half, it's going to be tricky to turn at the top of the stairs. I also wasn't sure if I scored the back, folded the drywall in half, so the paper on the front wasn't broken if I'd have to deal with mudding on that joiny.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 20:46

You could do wood paneling (pine tongue and groove, for instance). You could reduce mudding by doing a first coat then installing wainscoting on top. You could do a first coat then wallpaper. You could go 60/70s retro and carpet the walls.

Seems like all of those options would still be more work than the extra mudding.

How big are these holes you're opening up? Seems if they are so big that you'd need a full sheet to patch them, maybe it's best to just do a full gut.

  • 2
    Or consider texturing the walls - that way you don't have to have a perfect finish. (I cringe when I say this, since I hate the textured walls in my house. They're actually harder to patch, since you have to get the texture just right on the new piece as well.)
    – Doresoom
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 13:42
  • the damage in some areas is as large as 2x3 feet ... and that's just what's showing, but it's only a wall here or there. (with no single wall being more than about 16' long)
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 16:57

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