I want to finish the basement in a new home and am not sure whether to drywall the ceiling or walls first.
Always do the ceilings first, no matter what. You are dealing with weight and gravity so the walls hold the ceiling board firmly in place and helps prevent cracking in the corners. Make sure you put in at least 5 screws across the board and 6 at the butt end to also help prevent any movement. Plaster has no flexibility so movement will always result in cracks appearing. Don't countersink the screws to deeply, especially around the edges of the board. Your board should be firm on the ceiling.
Ceiling first. Hard to get a tight finish of corners when walls go up first. Once ceiling is up you can push sheet rock up to the ceiling to give it a nice tight finish before taping.
If by chance you are doing a main floor do not screw sheet rock next to the center and exterior walls. Let the wall sheet rock support the ceiling sheet rock. This will prevent ceiling sheet rock pulling away from wall sheet rock due to roof truss expansion. This is the reason you will see corners crack in ceilings.
Always start with the ceilings first, then if your standing up your sheets on the wall, start one corner and continue around.... very standard. But if you lay them lengthwise start with the top row on the wall.
I suggest standing them up tho its better for installation and plaster. Less product waste too.
Contractor Kevin shepherd
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