By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Thinking about tackling a drywall project?
Before you start, you might want to watch Delano resident Mark Orvik’s new step-by-step DVD.
As the owner of AA Orvik Drywall, Orvik has more than a few tips and tricks for the beginner.
“In my 35 years in the industry, I’ve been in contact with many people who have tried to do a drywall project themselves and went about it the wrong way,” Orvik said. “I’m not saying that my way is the absolute, positive, only right way to do it, but people who follow the steps in my DVD should have very good results, even if they’ve never done drywall before.”
Now that he’s nearing retirement, Orvik is hoping to pass along his knowledge to homeowners and new drywall businesses.
“I’ve watched a lot of how-to DVDs, and I often wonder why something is being done a certain way,” he said. “I just, personally, saw a need to get true information out.”
For Orvik, the DVD is also a way to raise money for flood relief efforts, and he plans to donate $5 of each DVD purchase made through Saturday, April 30.
“If this DVD can help others in many different ways, I would really like for that to happen,” he said.
Orvik hopes his video will generate renewed interest in home-improvement projects.
“It should help the entire construction industry in a small way,” he said.
For people who are attempting to drywall for the first time, Orvik advises watching the DVD twice through and taking notes.
It’s also good to start small, Orvik added. If someone is planning to drywall the entire basement, for example, he recommends going through the process from start to finish on a small room first.
“If you go room by room, you’ll gain experience and feel more comfortable with it by the time you get to the big family room,” he said.
Orvik’s four-disc set includes about three hours of easy-to-follow instruction.
Instead of using expensive professional tools, he demonstrates the drywall process with as many common tools as possible. He also explains what is needed in case homeowners need to purchase or rent a few items.
Many people who don’t have good information about drywalling end up calling a professional to fix their mistakes, Orvik said.
Through his how-to DVD, “do-it-yourselfers” will be able to correctly complete drywall projects, achieving maximum durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal.
As an additional resource, Orvik is developing a drywall information hotline called AA Orvik Club Drywall. People who join will be able to contact Orvik with any drywall questions or concerns.
After completing their first drywall task, some people might decide that they’d like to take on other drywall projects for friends and family.
There are some licensing and insurance requirements that need to be met, but Orvik said the process is not exceptionally cumbersome.
“It’s a way for people to earn extra income,” Orvik said. “They could possibly start up a home-based business. The drywall business has been pretty doggone good to me, and I’d like to open the doors to other folks as well.”
A successful career
Orvik’s father, Russell (who had been in the plaster and lathe business years ago), was the initial motivator for Orvik’s drywall career.
He put Orvik in touch with a former employee who had gone on to create his own drywall company, and from there, Orvik received solid training on drywall practices.
“I had some good teachers,” Orvik said. “They always said that there’s no ‘I can’t’ in drywall there’s only ‘show me how.’”
When Orvik retires in a few years, he plans to hand off his business to his son, Matt, who graduated from Dunwoody Technical College with a degree in construction management.
Matt currently owns the painting division of AA Orvik, which includes both exterior and interior painting, paint removal, wallpaper removal, siding replacement, woodwork refinishing, and more.
Orvik said he is grateful for the support of his family throughout his career, including their dedicated assistance with the how-to DVD.
His daughter, Alicia, who went to school for still photography, was able to put her creative skills to work for the DVD production.
“We were able to turn her into our video camerawoman,” Orvik said.
Editing was done by a friend, Teagan Johnson, who is currently attending college.
“My wife is a valuable part of this project, too,” Orvik said. “I don’t have any computer or office skills, and I truly believe that if it wasn’t for her help, this project would still be stuck in the mud.”
Orvik and his wife, Vicki, recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary, and they’re looking forward to “at least 32 more.”
To learn more about AA Orvik Drywall and Painting or to purchase Orvik’s how-to DVD, go to www.aaorvikdrywall.com.
The DVD, titled “Simple Instructions to Drywall Designed for Homeowners and Beginners,” is also available on eBay.