Little makes Nunn cringe as much as drywall

I was lucky enough to grow up in my house. Throughout my life, my father had a variety of careers, many of which focused in the construction industry. Although I’m nowhere near as talented as he is, my father taught me a lot about the craft.

Dad renovated our house so I had the opportunity to do some rough framing, work on or replace the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, along with some finishing work.

For the most part, I enjoyed everything, even though my father was often belligerent.

However, there is one part of the construction business that I’ve done a lot that I can’t stand – drywall.

Do not get me wrong. I don’t mind carrying drywall, cutting drywall, or hanging drywall. But even at the age of 13 when I first put the sanding pad against the stuff, I hated it.

I don’t understand why, but when I finish drywall I get scared.

I can stand three stories above the floor at the end of the trusses and hang the panel. I can walk around on a roof tearing up clapboards or dropping new ones. But if you ever need help finishing drywall, save yourself a phone call and don’t call me.

When I was in my early 20’s I bought a house in Saginaw that had a ridiculously small bathroom and an odd room next door that was basically wasting space. When I had enough money saved, I decided to take on my first renovation project.

The house was a craftsman’s house from the early 1900s that had gone through several lousy remodeling projects in its life. Despite the challenges of not having square walls, dealing with different types of plumbing and flooring, I could get rough in an excellent and spacious bathroom. The entire project only took about a month on the weekend for me to complete about 90% of it. However, the remaining 10% of the project went unfinished for two years because I absolutely hate finishing drywall. I ended up “renting” the finishing process to my stepbrother.

When my cousin called a few weeks ago and said in a sweet, diabolical voice that was torn from the bowels of hell, “Scotty, I need a favor.” I should have hung up and said no. Instead, I agreed to help as I would do pretty much anything for my family.

After getting the second round of my coronavirus vaccination, I ventured into Davison and helped her husband drywall with mud, tape, and sand. You’d think after nearly 20 years of not touching this stuff, I wouldn’t have minded the task. You would think that after raising four kids, three dogs and three cats, I would have become a little more tolerant of things that make me wince, but no.

No. Although he and I were having fun and doing the job, when I said goodbye to my cousin, no doubt, I told her that the next time she should hire a professional. I’ve retired from drywall even though I’ve never fully mastered it.

I have a deep admiration for the men and women who lead society through the industrial arts and crafts, and after the recent refresher, I particularly salute those who can tolerate the drywall exposure.

Scott Nunn is the associate editor of the Huron Daily Tribune. You can reach Nunn at [email protected] You can direct all drywall requests to [email protected]

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