Choosing between drywall manufacturers can be a challenge for homeowners contemplating a home renovation. When making your choice, consider the product first, taking into account features such as paperless construction, sheet size, weight, and warranty. Then consider the reputation of the company as it relates to product quality and durability, and to the quality of customer service. You will also want to consider price relative to both the product and the manufacturer reputation.
If you are working on a new construction project, you will probably not have to make a decision about which drywall manufacturers to use. In most cases, your contractor or subcontractor will have a favorite brand and, unless you specify a manufacturer, will use that preferred brand. This is standard industry practice and most professionals consider it safe to let the contractor choose the brand, though you will want to ensure that the type and weight of the drywall are consistent with or better than the minimums required by your local code.
Planning a home renovation that involves a drywall contractor may follow the same process. In many cases, however, the contractor will add a markup to any product he provides, so you may be able to save money by purchasing the drywall yourself and paying him to install it. If you are completing the installation yourself, you will also buy the drywall. This means you will be faced with choosing between drywall manufacturers.
Depending on where you purchase the product, you might not have a choice in drywall manufacturers, or your choice may be severely limited based on the store's relationship to the manufacturers. Most people don't have a preference for brand in drywall as long as the product meets their needs, so home improvement stores often carry only one or two brands. For this reason, your first consideration should be product specifications.
You'll want to choose the product that is the right size and thickness for your job, based on whether you are placing the drywall on a wall or a ceiling and whether you are building a whole new wall or simply patching a hole. Drywall generally comes in standard sheets of standard thicknesses. One of your most important product decisions, particularly on large projects, will be whether or not to use paperless drywall, which is said to be mold-resistant. This feature can add to the price, but may also add to your peace of mind.
When it comes to deciding between drywall manufacturers, you'll want to evaluate the warranties they offer. Warranties can range from one year to 10 and can be more or less restrictive, depending on the company. You may also want to find online product reviews to see what kind of experiences other customers have had, both with the installation process and with any warranty claims.