Converting a shed to living space: Walls ceilings and floors

Part 2 of Converting  a shed to living space.


Part 1, Converting a shed to living space: Getting started , covered the basics of planning, preparing a proper foundation, rough in plumbing, and insulation. Part 2 picks up where we left off.

Drywall

Be certain to measure properly, and not forget about the plumbing and electrical outlets. It is a good idea to draw an arrow on the floor for each outlet, and write the distance from the floor to the outlet just in case. By doing this, you can even cut them out after the wallboard is in place, just be careful not to nick any wiring. The Drywall should be nailed into place using the proper cup nails for the job, or drywall screws. Either way, be sure not to damage the drywall by breaking the outer cardboard layer. A nail driven flush with a slight hammer dimple is ideal. A screw set just bellow flush is great.

Tape and bed

Once the drywall on the walls and ceiling is in place, you can begin to add the tape and bedding. This is the process of covering the seams and dimples in the drywall. There are usually instructions for doing this in the package. It is simply a matter of spreading a thin layer of bedding material down the seam, and pressing the tape into it by running a trowel over the top, and then applying another thin layer on top. this is a good time to fill any stray nail or screw holes and other imperfections, trowel off any excess.

Texture

Once the walls and ceiling are dry, you may have to use a damp sponge or sanding block to smooth any rough spots. When the surface is smooth, you can apply texture to the ceiling first. I suggest this because it is a little messy, and doing it first may save you the trouble of having to clean and redo your walls. If you plan to use paneling on the walls, you can do that next, if not, it is time to texture the walls. Professionals do this in a number of ways. Some trowel a thin layer of bedding material over the walls, and use a “crows foot” to add texture. Some spray out texture from a hopper. My favorite way is to take a medium to long nap roller cover, mix the texture materials to a medium consistency, and thin roll this onto the wall like paint. After you do it for a bit, you will develop a good method that works for you and appears consistent.

Door and window trim

The simplest way to do the windows this is to create a simple window stool, and fill in around the window with drywall, then tape bed and texture as you do the walls and ceiling. The door trim is a simple matter of cutting the trim to size, and nailing it in place. Remember to measure carefully, and get the angles right. Counter sink the trim nails, caulk the holes, and use caulk to fill in any mistakes or imperfections, and you are ready to paint the trim.

Paint

Once the texture has dried, and you are satisfied with the job, apply paint in your favorite way. Apply as many coats as needed to reach a consistent finish.

Flooring

Whatever type of flooring you like can be applied at this point. If you choose linoleum you may want to smooth the floor out a bit, and make sure that all nails are properly seated flush or slightly below the surface. Use an appropriate seam filler. Carpet is one of the easiest floor coverings for such a structure, and most other coverings, like ceramic tile, will require a substantial amount of preparation to get the right results.

Finish plumbing and electrical

You can now finish the plumbing and electrical. Add the fittings and fixtures in their proper places, check for leaks and shorts, and add whatever other cosmetic touches you desire.

This is a slight oversimplification of the process, but all the basic steps are included. This assumes that you already know basic construction techniques, or can learn them from the many sources online or elsewhere.

See also: Converting a shed to living space: Getting started

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