How to Install Drywall Ceiling Panels Using Deadmen

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
2 x 4 or 1 x 3 lumber
Measuring tape
Utility knife
Drywall nails or screw fasteners
Screw gun

Installing drywall ceiling panels to any part of the house is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This activity is best done using the help of 2 or 3 people for a more pleasurable work experience as drywall ceiling panels are heavy and cumbersome. You might see expert carpenters move like clockwork when working with ceiling panels and use special equipment such as a drywall lift to further facilitate the process.

You can install ceiling panels easier with the use of a deadman or T-brace. A deadman is a T-shaped brace that leans against a wall and helps support the drywall ceiling on one end. You can then proceed to fasten the ceiling panels on one side while the deadman holds the other. If you plan to do this activity by yourself, then using a deadman will result in a more efficient drywall ceiling installation.

Step 1 - Cut the Drywall According to Size

Cut the drywall using a utility knife. This is the best and easiest way to make a long, straight cut in the drywall. You may also use a T-square or the length of a 2 x 4 board as a straight edge where you can simply draw a line according to the desired measurement. Score the drywall with a utility knife and snap along the seam. Remember to make accurate measurements before scoring and cutting the drywall panels to prevent excess material waste.

Step 2 - Make the Deadman

Create a deadman to help you support the ceiling panels during installation. You can either use 2 x 4 or 1 x 3 pieces of lumber. A deadman looks exactly like a T-square. Remember that the vertical member of the deadman should be at least ¼ inch longer relative to the floor and the ceiling height. Use nails or a screw gun to quickly fasten the leg of the deadman to the horizontal member. It would also be best to install short braces to further support the vertical member of the deadman.

Step 3 - Use the Deadman to Hold the Ceiling Panels

Wedge the deadman between the floor and the ceiling to hold the drywall ceiling panels in place. Holding the panel while fastening at the same time can be tedious and tiring and the deadman will make sure that you have 2 free hands while performing the activity. As the dead man holds one side of the ceiling panel, you may then fasten the other side using nails or a screw gun. Start on a corner side and work your way to the center.

Using a deadman will help the dedicated DIY enthusiast fasten the ceiling panels in a fast, efficient and relatively cost effective way. You could always seek the help of a friend but a deadman will do the job just fine.