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Drywalls are becoming increasingly popular in South Africa as an internal building method and material, and this popularity is no longer only restricted to its traditional use in commercial and industrial environments. These days, more and more people are using drywalling in their homes as well, breaking the long-standing belief that quality building and improvement in one’s home can only be achieved through using brick and mortar.

The drywall itself consists of a gypsum core board encased in, and firmly bonded to, special recycled paper liners. These boards are fixed to galvanised steel frames consisting of wall studs and floor and ceiling tracks, set in place to form the foundation of the wall. The joints between boards are plastered with a joining compound similar to Rhinolite, finished to give it a similar look to brick & plastered wall.

Serving as an introduction to drywalling, here are some facts you may or may not know, clearly pointing out its advantages:

1.       Drywalling is versatile and can be used in curved, suspended, arched, and other shaped designs according to the specific requirements of the client.

2.       It can have a variety of finishes, including tiling, texture plastering, specialised painting etc.

3.       Of course, doors and windows, including aluminium sliding doors, can be installed, as can internal electrical fittings.

4.       Drywalls can be used in all rooms, including bathrooms, kitchens, sculleries, etc. because they are moisture resistant.

5.       A variety of products exists, including soundproof and fireproof drywalls.

6.       Drywalling is lightweight and no foundations or strong support structures needed, which makes it ideal for storied structures.

7.       Installing drywalls is a clean process when compared to brick & mortar, and removing the wall is a virtually dust-free process.

8.       Perhaps the single biggest advantage is that drywalling is quick to install, much more so than solid brick-and-mortar walls.

9.       Drywalling can be removed easily, which makes it an ideal solution for a temporary structure or where the more distant future of a room is unsure.

10.   One can fix pictures or mirrors or even heavier objects such as TV monitors on a drywall, making it just as practical as a solid brick wall.

11.   Drywalls have the ability to insulate and maintain a constant room temperature. The excellent non-conductive properties of drywall insulate rooms against heat during the summer months and retain warmth during the winter months

A question often asked is whether drywalling is a cost-effective building method in South Africa. Strange as it may sound, the material cost of drywalls is only slightly higher than that of using brick and mortar. However, because of the speed with which drywalls are installed, labour costs when compared to brick building may be substantially lower. It is cost-effective, then, and with all the other advantages listed it is definitely a viable option for domestic use.