Project 2.2 – Drywall & Insulation

We decided to start on the exterior living/dining room wall that faces the back yard. Taking down the old drywall was pretty simple .. just remove the trim, and use a crowbar around the seams to separate the drywall from the studs. What’s left behind is a wall full of STAPLES! The old drywall was hung with a staple every few inches. Fortunately, they were easy to pry out using a pair of channel lock pliers. Just grip a staple, then roll the pliers like if you were using a claw hammer to remove a nail.

living room drywall removed


The old insulation was in decent shape, but full of mouse turds. In one spot, we could even see where a mouse had built a little nest:

mouse nest


When we removed some of the old kitchen drywall, we found 2 dead mice so this wasn’t surprising. I didn’t really see a way for them to get in through the living room wall, so they must have come in elsewhere (probably the kitchen) and made their way over here behind the drywall. There’s a bit of a gap between the 2×3 stud framing and the outside aluminum siding, so it would be easy for them to move around inside the walls. As we redo each wall, we’re making sure there are no gaps or openings that critters could enter though.

New insulation went up quickly. The stuff we bought was ‘faced’ insulation, meaning one side has a paper backing. We installed the paper side facing the exterior, since there’s already a paper barrier between the 2×3’s and the aluminum siding. If the insulation facing faced the interior, it would allow moisture to get trapped between the existing paper barrier and insulation facing, and we don’t want that.

some insulation installed

Getting up the new drywall was the hardest part. There are strips of wood trim stapled to the ceiling that run from the wall to the middle, and there’s a 1/4″ gap between that piece and the wall stud. The drywall we’re using is 1/2″ so it couldn’t be pushed flush against the ceiling without a bunch of notches cut out. Instead, we installed it about a 1/2″ from the ceiling, and some wood trim will cover the gap.



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