Hauling Drywall for a Sore Body

Basement, Blog, Home / Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

On a whim, Ellie and I bought a bunch of drywall. Sixty sheets of it to be precise. We also bought 22 boxes of laminate flooring and a sheet of melamine. We were running low on all of the above and felt like hauling drywall, melamine, and flooring into the basement would be fun. Just kidding, one of the projects on our house to do list is refinishing our basement, and the whim combined with some good discounts at our local home improvement supply store was enough to motivate us to make the purchase.


Originally, we were in the store to buy some things and one of those was a 4-foot x 8-foot sheet of melamine which I'll be using to create a mold for the concrete countertop we will be putting in the upstairs bathroom. It was the cheapest option we could find by a long shot. However, a minute or two before we were going to check out, I realized there was no way I would be able to fit the melamine in my car. I have put sheets of plywood that large in my car but it was a tight squeeze and only worked because the thin plywood was able to bend just enough. So we nixed buying the melamine at the store and decided to buy it online.

While shopping online, I saw how much the delivery charge was for the melamine and decided since it was 3x the price of the melamine meant we should piggyback some purchases on top of it to get our money's worth. Drywall happened to be on sale as did the flooring Ellie saw and liked in the store that day. And guess what? Those sales ended at midnight that day. So we quickly added up what we would need to finish the basement and tacked it on to the purchase. The delivery fee didn't go up, but the price shot up quite a bit (tax returns, am I right?).

After having to call the home improvement store mid-week to find out when they were planning to deliver the materials only to find out there was an additional $20 handling fee I needed to pay on top of the shipping and delivery fee that the website couldn't handle calculating, I ended up getting a delivery date for the coming Friday. That would give me plenty of time after work to move the materials out of the driveway and into the sunporch in case it took longer than anticipated.

It did.

The drywall we ordered came bundled in two sheets at a time. The 1/2 inch, lightweight drywall I bought came as 1 inch and I figured even though it was twice as much it was still lightweight so I could handle that. I was wrong. Hauling 4 bundles about ten feet wore me out. No way I was going to get through the remaining 26 bundles without collapsing on the driveway.

Basement drywall pile

Ellie and I came up with a plan. I'd move the drywall one sheet at a time and take it directly into the basement. She would help maneuver it where she could in the process. Each sheet only weighed 45 pounds, which Ellie is capable of lifting but given the size and shape, it wasn't ideal to have her try to carry it. Also, maneuvering the drywall down the stairs was actually easier to do as one person than two because of how our stairwell is formed.

What I did wrong

So, the following morning, I set out to haul the drywall from the sunporch and driveway into the basement. Shouldn't take too long once I got the process down. 


It took about an hour and a half before I was worn out, sweating, and only halfway through the pile. Ellie had spent the time helping me and hauling the flooring into the basement. She, too, was tired. The job, we decided, would have to be finished on Sunday. It took me another hour and a half to get all of it in the basement. But the good news is that it's all there ready to put up. The bad news is, I carried 2,700 pounds of drywall down a flight of stairs all in one weekend and now my whole body is sore.

Basement flooring pile

My legs are sore. My back is sore. My arms, oh my god how my arms are sore. Now, I'm not out of shape. I work out regularly but that work out involves rigorous walking, sit-ups, pushups, and planking. None of that seems to strengthen the muscles I needed to haul that drywall.

I tried ibuprofen and I tried stretching. I also tried sitting on my butt. But I think I've hit the point in my life where everything I do is going to make me sore in some way. This just happened to be one of those things that makes me more sore than usual and it's going to keep coming. Hauling the drywall was the first step. We still need to put that basement together. I can only imagine the pain that will come from that.

The lingering pain seems to be in my lower back. I can't remember if I wrote about this, but in case I haven't I want to mention that over last summer, I really injured my back while diving at the local pool. I hit a point in the dive and I felt a crack. The doctor originally thought I had fractured it but I think they ultimately decided I had injured a muscle. The process of recovery involved a few sessions of physical therapy and plenty of stretching and core building on my own. Since then, I've kept up with the core building in hopes that I won't encounter as many back problems going forward.


However, it seems that I need to further build my core. The motion I needed to turn the drywall around the corner in the steps required me to bend my back. Doing that 60 times really put a strain on things. A strain I'm still feeling.

So really, this is a case of getting older, combined with poor form, combined with a body that needs more maintenance to stay in shape. So happy to be learning these things the hard way.

Let's take a poll in the comments. Answer with a simple yes or no, will the prolonged soreness be worth the finished basement?

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