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An Overview on Drywall vs. Plaster: An Interview with Ted Skovranek of ABBA Drywall and Repair, Inc.

By Ted Skovranek

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

In 2001 I formed ABBA Drywall and Repair, Inc. with a company slogan of "When perfection is appreciated". I saw a lot of bad drywall being done and thought I could find a niche for quality drywall repair at a competitive price. I have over 30 years' experience with drywall, we do remodel and repair work. When we do a repair, we try to be as neat as possible, we use drop cloths and painters plastic to contain the dust and debris.

We try to match the existing texture as close as possible and we can also do the painting. Our objective is to make the repair look as if it was never there! We do water damage repair. Remove popcorn ceilings, skim coat walls and ceilings, and a variety of different wall and ceiling textures. We are not a handyman service, we specialize in drywall. We serve the Sarasota and Manatee counties area.

At the turn of the millennium and in the middle of the housing boom, I saw that residents in Sarasota and Manatee counties needed the same professional drywall workers who built their homes to restore them back to new conditions. And so I founded Abba Drywall and Repair Inc. in 2001 to take the expertise I had from working with drywall in our community for 20 years and use it to refurbish our communities' homes, often times the very same ones that I had built, after being lived in and damaged through accidents such as water and roof leaks.

Why should one have professionals install drywall your home vs. attempting to DIY?

The difference between directly hiring a professional drywall company that specializes in home repairs and renovations instead of a contractor that specializes in an associated trade, or permitting the general contractor to choose the drywall contractor, or even another drywall company that focuses on production, that is, mass producing drywall in new buildings, can be demonstrated by explaining how important drywall is.

Please explain what drywall is for our viewers.

Drywall boards are panels constructed out of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper and are 4' high, as long as 12' wide, and less than 1" thick. In the first step of the drywall process called "hanging", drywall boards are screwed to the frame of the house covering the wires and plumbing and providing limited fire resistance. Then in the next step called "finishing", drywall compound, or "mud," is used to cover the screws and, with paper or fiberglass mesh tape, to cover the seams, or "joints." Textures such as the common orange peel or infamous popcorn are sprayed on the walls and ceilings and then painted. If the screws or joints are not finished correctly then they will show through the uniform texture and paint despite the smooth and precise surface of the machined drywall boards.

When did drywall first start being used in the US?

In the 1950s, drywall began replacing plaster and lath in construction as the preferred method of covering interior walls because of its standardization and efficiency. The quality improved as long as the drywall finishers had the same pride the plasterers had in their work.

What is a benefit and a downfall of drywall?

Through time and Florida's humidity, even the best workmanship will need to be repaired because the chemical bonds between the drywall compound and tape will break down. Even before then, occupants simply brushing up against walls or nicking corners will eventually wear down the textures. Water is also a common source of drywall damage. In such circumstances or when a homeowner simply wants a new texture in a room or a complete renovation, an expert in working with aged drywall will be needed to make sure that the old and new drywall blends in together without causing even more damage through carelessness or ignorance.

After drywall has been textured and painted numerous times throughout its lifetime, the thickness increases and new drywall will have to be finished in such a way that the thickness and textures stay uniform and blend together so no one would be able to tell the difference between the two all the while keeping the chemical bonds in the old drywall strong.

What is the easiest way for people to contact you or your business?

The easiest way to contact us is by phone, 941-302-4497 or by email: abbadrywall@msn.com.

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About The Author

Ted Skovranek is armed with 30 years' experience with drywall.

Phone: 941-302-4497

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