How Closed Angle Bead Boosted Speed, Reduced Waste for Florida Contractor

In areas where residential construction is booming, some drywall contractors aren’t just responsible for the hanging and finishing on a single-family home — they’re hanging and finishing 500 single-family homes. This is the situation in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, where the Silver Landing subdivision of the SilverLeaf community from Dream Finders Homes is rapidly constructing hundreds of brand-new houses to accommodate the area’s in-demand real estate marketplace.

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For First Coast Drywall, this lightning-fast expansion is one of those “good kinds of problems.” It obviously brings in a ton of business for the young company — First Coast Drywall only just opened its doors in 2020 — but it also means, when you’re doing about a thousand homes a year, moving quickly is going to be crucial to your survival. You also need to choose your materials wisely to reduce costs and cut down on jobsite waste.

One major source of jobsite waste for First Coast Drywall in their first year was their metal corner bead. Like many drywall contractors, they were frustrated with these drywall accessories’ tendency to get bent and broken, often before ever even making it onto the wall, slowing them down and inflating their material costs. So, when the volatile price of metal recently skyrocketed, First Coast Drywall Owner Erick Garcia decided enough was enough. After doing some research, Erick discovered the Closed Angle version of Trim-Tex’s Rigid Low Profile corner bead. They’ve been using it in their homes ever since.

'I'm not looking back' | Trim-Tex Closed Angle Corner Bead | Case Study
'I'm not looking back' | Trim-Tex Closed Angle Corner Bead | Case Study

“I started to look into new products because the price of metal had gone so high, so I started looking for other options,” Erick told us. “I'm not a guy that says, ‘Well, this is what it is, I'm going to eat it.’ I'll try to find something, an answer. Seems like we found it … Metal corner bead, sometimes we have 20 sticks, 15 sticks left over in a garage. By the time I go back to get it, people have moved it, stepped on it, bent it. There was no use for it. Most of that was going straight to the dumpster. Closed Angle, it can take some abuse. It doesn't matter if people walk all over it, I can put it right in the truck and it looks like I got it out of the box.

“Because I don't always order exactly the amount of bead I need, you got some left over, and after a certain amount of houses, we have enough to use for that house across the street. We have plenty, just put it over there and keep track of it, so that saves — every 10 houses, every eight houses, I have enough bead left over. With metal corner bead, I couldn't do that.”

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Closed Angle corner bead, which features an 81-degree angle as opposed to the usual 90 degrees, was created to help finishers work with twisted or warped drywall corners. However, in recent years, many finishers have found that Closed Angle is also an ideal transition to vinyl bead for crews like Erick’s, who are used to using metal materials. Its increased level of rigidity feels like using metal, with none of metal’s many drawbacks.

“Back when we were using just vinyl bead but it wasn't Closed Angle, it would bend a little bit if you push it too much,” says Erick. “The Closed Angle is rigid. You don't have to be too careful. You just put it there, staple it, that should do it … There were some crews that — like everything, for some people, it's like they seem like they don’t want to adapt right away to the new. Some of them say, ‘Well, that’s vinyl. Staples will go right through it.’ I was like, ‘No, if your staples are going right through it, you're using the wrong stuff.’ We went through it and now everybody loves it. The crews, it doesn't matter if it's a house has a lot of corner bead, a lot of detail. We can move pretty quick with these.”

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“Pretty quick” is an understatement: during our visit to Silver Landing, Erick’s installer flew through the installation process, applying Closed Angle corner bead to every 90-degree corner of the home’s first floor in no time. From window returns to knee-walls to doorways to tiny details, with speed and precision like this, it’s no wonder that First Coast Drywall gets through around 100 homes a month.

(Note: you may notice in these photos and video that the installer isn’t using 847 Spray Adhesive in addition to the half-inch staples. While we normally highly recommend using both tools for installing vinyl beads, the increased tension of Closed Angle’s 81-degree angle means that you need to permanently attach the bead to a 90-degree corner right away or else it will pull off. To use 847 on these corners, you’d need to hold the bead onto the corner for as long as it takes to fully adhere — or you could do as First Coast Drywall is doing here, and simply use staples every two to three inches along the bead, rather than the normal six to eight inches.)

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Silver Landing JAX Closed Angle 4 IMG 2715
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For a gigantic project like the Silver Landing at SilverLeaf community, just executing pristine finishes isn’t enough — you’ve got to do it at blazing fast speeds. Luckily, that’s what First Coast Drywall does best, and with a few boxes of Closed Angle and its Jumbo form in their trucks, they’re doing it better and faster than ever.

“A house like this has 260 boards — we can go through it, just installing bead, in like an hour-and-a-half, tops two hours,” Erick said. “[Closed Angle is] faster, it's lighter. Especially with me — I have a bad back. Metal corner bead, if I need to carry a box, it'll hurt. It's pretty heavy. These, I can carry around two boxes. It holds less mud, it dries faster, so that's going to speed up a little bit, and less callbacks. I've seen less cracks, less damage. Somebody hits a wall, another corner bead you have to — at some point, some of them, you have to remove it and replace. These ones, you just add a couple staples more, hit it again with mud, it's done … I’m not looking back. It's a great product.”

Whether you need a corner bead that gives you a flawless finish even on flawed framing, or you want a bead that will be an easy transition from metal to vinyl, the Closed Angle form of the Rigid Low Profile Corner Bead could be the solution you’ve been looking for. To check it out for yourself, request a free sample by filling out the form below.