If you think drywall is boring — think again

By David F. Rooney

If you think drywall is boring you should see what Ryan Ruffell does with the gypsum sheets that normally surface your walls and ceilings; you’ll never think it’s boring again.

“Anyone can drywall,” says Ruffell, owner of WB Taping & Drywall. “But you can do more than just slap it up. It’s doing something different that matters. You can be artistic.””

And, wow, does he do something different.

In fact, he showed The Current what he can do during a tour of a home he has been working on for months. The home was still being worked on but was rapidly nearing completion. Nothing looked remarkable as we walked through the garage and a hallway. Then we stepped into the living/dining area and — Wow! — the ceilings, corners and obscure areas you’d never otherwise notice were tremendously exciting. Three layers of drywall gave the ceiling a contoured look while sunken areas and boxy edges seemed to create a kind of landscape and that drew the eye and satisfied it. This was drywalling, sure, but drywalling with a real difference.

Ruffell, an Ontarian who came to BC in 2003 from Hamilton and then moved here four years ago from Whistler to establish a niche for his business, says he has all kinds of original ideas and likes to work with homeowners, architects, builders and designers to ensure that when his portion of a house is complete it truly stands out.

“There is so much I can do beyond the basics,” he said. “Yes, you can slap up drywall up and create a box, but that’s boring.”

A house is much more than a place to hang your hat. It can and should be a statement about the people who live in it and, ultimately, as a long-term investment it’s worth putting money and time into it.

“There are all kinds of out-of-town fly-by-nighters trying to make a buck here,” he said. “If you’re lucky you won’t get ripped off. At worst they can ruin your investment.”

Essentially, you get what you pay for.

“I’m completely anal about my work,” he said. “I’m a perfectionist and it shows.”

Does it ever… but you be the judge. You can find out more about Ryan Ruffell and WB Taping & Drywalling at his website and you should really see these pictures:

Think drywall is boring? Ryan Ruffell's work really stands out. David F. Rooney photo
Ruffell's careful, artistic layering produces stunning ceilings and interesting nooks and spaces. David F. Rooney photo
Ruffell is a bear for detail and self-described perfectionist. David F. Rooney photo
He says he likes to work with architects, builders and homeowners to ensure that everything is perfect. David F. Rooney photo
"Anyone can put up drywall," says Ruffell, shown here pointing the detail above a woodstove in the living room of a Nichol Road home he is currently working on. "But you can do more than just slap it up. You can be artistic." David F. Rooney photo
Ceilings, walls, edges can have a pleasing and interesting aesthetic. David F. Rooney photo
This kind of work is unusual and, perhaps, a first for Revelstoke. David F. Rooney photo
Bevelling and in-cutting along the window will allow a woodworker to inset and wrap and almost flow ledge around the window. David F. Rooney photo
And, in another bathroom, drywall is curved around the top of the shower. David F. Rooney photo