During remodeling projects, it’s frequently necessary to cut holes in drywall in order to add or modify plumbing or electrical components buried in a wall. I’m retired now, but for my company, a very common request was to add a ceiling fan to a bedroom, which requires opening up several holes in the ceiling and a wall to run wires to a switch.

Traditional thinking is to blast your way in to do the work, then call a drywaller to come in and patch everything later, but this takes time and expense that we wanted to avoid. Traditional methods of repair involve cutting away the rough edges of the hole in the drywall, cutting a new piece to fit, then adding backing and screwing the patch in place. Next, the patch has to be taped and mudded, then sanded, then get more coats of mud that need to dry before the patch can be sanded and primed and painted to match. The process generally requires several trips by the drywaller, followed by the painter, making the cost unreasonable just to add a fan. We decided that to remain profitable, we would have to limit ourselves to four hours for a fan project, including painting and cleanup. To do this, we had to speed up the patching process. One day it dawned on me that we could cut more carefully and save the original cutout piece to make the repair. Next, we asked why we needed to tape around the patch if there is no possibility of movement and cracking? Eliminating the tape would reduce buildup and thus the size of the patch to make it smooth. Finally, we needed to figure out how to hold the patch in place to reduce time. Enter the pumpkin cut.

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