The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Many construction materials are available nowadays, but drywall is one of the longest and prevailing materials used in residential and commercial properties. Drywall is also known as plasterboard, sheetrock, gypsum wallboard, and custard boards. It is cost-efficient and resistant to water and fire, making it ideal for building interior walls and ceilings.
In addition, drywall has insulating properties and a high water absorption level. Drywall panels help retain heated and cold air, effectively reducing energy consumption and costs. Aside from wall and ceiling installations, contractors also transform drywall into architectural pieces and cover steel beams and masonry walls.
Drywall is undeniably a popular building material and an integral part of construction and remodeling projects. It successfully hides electrical wires, valves, fixtures, and other building components to ensure safe and secure it from unauthorized use. They often require maintenance and repair, and what better way to access these parts than with the help of drywall access panels.
Things to Consider When Choosing Drywall Access Door
There are several integral factors to ponder when selecting a drywall access panel, especially if it’s your first-time purchase. With a well-thought-out plan and proper research, you can avoid the hassle of buying and returning the wrong product.
Since access doors have various features and designs, these are some essential things to consider when choosing a drywall panel door:
1. Installation Area
Knowing the exact area for installation and its size dimensions is necessary when looking for a drywall access panel. The material and the size of the opening would generally dictate which product to choose.
Installation is crucial for ensuring that the panel door performs as expected and lasts long, as the door needs to be installed securely. Otherwise, the whole idea of concealing the component would be rendered useless.
2. Types of Drywall Access Panel
Despite having drywall as the installation surface, there are several types of access doors suitable for this material due to the diverse needs of the consumers. Aside from identifying the access requirement of the building, understanding the features of each product can significantly help in choosing the most suitable access door for your drywall.
Security Access Doors – All commercial buildings require safety and security, but some buildings need an additional layer of protection. Manufacturers primarily focus on durability when designing a security wall panel by building these units with thicker steel and deadbolt latches to provide security in various applications.
Exterior Access Doors – When choosing an exterior access door, it is ideal to select a product with anti-corrosion properties and weather-tight construction. These features are necessary for businesses that operate in flood risk areas or coastal zones to protect their property from saltwater air and floods. In addition, choose an access panel with a full gasket door and test for air and water infiltration.
Fire-Rated Access Doors – Fire safety is required in all commercial buildings since fire incidents are highly destructive and sometimes fatal. While many wall fire-rated access doors have special features to address the risks involving fire, it is still best to check the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards to determine the most suitable product for your business.
Recessed Access Doors – As drywall panel doors provide access to internal components concealed behind walls or ceilings, recessed units can help maintain the interior’s overall design features. These panels can blend seamlessly into the installation surface, and its white finish allows color customization.
Understanding the features of each drywall panel category helps building managers choose the right access door for a specific application. For instance, installing a recessed access door in secured facilities such as prisons and banks would be completely pointless.
3. Hiring A Contractor or DIY Installation
While installing the drywall access panel by yourself significantly costs less than hiring a professional, the risks of failing can be high unless you have the proper tools and knowledge for the job. Hiring and signing a contract with a licensed and experienced provides more benefits, such as:
Saves Time – Any construction project, including drywall panel installations, takes time to complete. Owning and managing a fully-functional commercial facility is a full-time job, with several responsibilities to undertake and daily issues to address. Hiring a general contractor removes additional work for the building manager to focus on their other tasks.
Cost Efficient – Unless you already have the tools needed to install a drywall access door, deciding to do the installation task on your own by buying additional equipment presents too much of a risk since you might end up purchasing defective items. Working with a contractor eliminates this risk, and they can even offer you supplier discounts from their network.
Ensures Safety – Drywall panel installations may seem straightforward, but they require you to use power tools that pose a significant risk if not handled correctly. Hiring a contractor assures business owners that they will take the job effectively. They understand the importance of worksite safety and the risk of accidentally damaging a building component.
Recruiting a commercial contractor to install the drywall panel is undeniably better than doing the project on your own. Access door installations may not be as simple as you think. When an unexpected issue arises, contractors can effortlessly handle the problem or give you proper advice on how to handle it on a separate occasion.
Choosing a drywall access door for commercial buildings is not as straightforward as it looks. Before installing the drywall, it requires a proper understanding of the facility’s access needs, product features, and prior knowledge of the component’s exact location. Knowing this beforehand saves you more time and money than drilling holes through the wall or ceiling to locate the fixture.
In addition, hiring a general contractor offers more security and benefits than handling the installation on your own. They have the proper devices, experience, and skills to manage the job accurately. They can also offer you professional advice and recommendations during the selection process and even connect you with trusted suppliers.