If you have done drywall work you probably understand how difficult certain areas are to reach.  Without a drywall lift (Red Line Professional 11-Foot Drywall Lift Panel Hoist Jack) the job can be difficult and dangerous.

I had a ceiling job to do so that we can move forward with other projects in this room and we didn’t want to wait on the pros to do this section. I decided to fashion a lift to make the job safe and easy.  The lift that I built was pretty straightforward and turned out to do a little more than I expected.  At first this was going to be a 2 person job. When my co-worker didn’t arrive, I decided to give the 14′ ceiling a go on my own.  Just prior to doing so, I taped my phone to a nearby ladder and turned the video on. I figured that this was going to go well, or terribly bad.  Either way, I wanted to be sure that I captured it.

I modeled the lift using Google Sketchup. Sketchup is a terrific (and free) 3d design program. It is remarkably easy to use if you have any CAD experience.  Here is a link to my Sketchup file.
DIY Drywall Lift

The material used was nothing more than 7 2×4’s and 3 hinges. I screwed the 2x’s together with 3″ drywall screws and fastened the hinges to a cleat that I then screwed to the wall (the cleat is the 7th 2×4 if you were wondering). By screwing the hinges to the cleat while on the ground it allowed me to position the entire lift at the correct height. I was then able to screw the cleat off at a few points without having to hold the whole rig up.

DIY Drywall Lift Plans

DIY Drywall Lift Plans

Once the piece closest to the wall was fastened to the ceiling (lift up to the 2×4 @ 48″ and swing up), I was then able to place the next piece a cleat at the base of the lift and lift/fasten. I was nervous about doing this solo since I hadn’t tested the strength of my setup. The sheets of drywall were 95 pounds each so a crash wouldn’t be without some damage below (me).

Video: .