DIY Drywall/Plywood Panel Carrier

Moving large, heavy sheets of plywood or drywall can be a real pain, even with someone helping. All that bending over to pick up heavy sheets, lifting them up and moving them to their final destination from where the truck dropped them off is tough. Especially if you have to go up or down a flight of stairs.

The night before a big drywall delivery I could already feel my lower back starting to ache just thinking about it so I tried to come up with a cheap solution to help me move drywall down to my basement.

I looked online for tools that would help carry drywall and I found some good choices below:

Problem was I thought about this too late and there was no way I could get something before the delivery truck came the next morning. :(

Panel Carriers Back View
Using some scrap I had laying around I came up with a couple of panel carriers that made it much easier to move the drywall the next day.  I was going to have some help which is why I made 2 panel carriers but I'll include a modification at the end that could work if you have to move panels by yourself.

The measurements don't have to be exact and you might want to suit them to your height and arm length to make them more comfortable.

Tools Required

  • Saw (circular, miter saw, hand saw anything that can cut 2x4's and some plywood, doesn't have to be pretty)
  • Drill
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig (optional but recommended)


For 2 Panel Carriers


The panel carriers consist of a few simple parts.

The top handle is a 4" piece of 2x4 screwed into the upright using 2 pocket hole screws. If you don't have a pocket hole jig you can just use 2 1/2" wood screws from the face of the upright but the pocket screws feel sturdier to me.

An upright 2x4. This is going to be around 34-38" long depending on your height and arm length. The height of the upright should put the top handle around waist high so that you can easily move the panel and lift up the carrier to go up a curb or one or two steps.

At the bottom of the upright attaches a roughly 6" 2x4 with 4 2" wood screws.

To keep the panel from slipping off the carrier a piece of 1/2" (or 3/4" whatever scrap you have) is attached to the front of the bottom 2x4. The top should be about 1.5-2" above the bottom 2x4 so that it forms a lip.

Use 4 1" screws to attach an industrial grade castor to the bottom 2x4 piece. The wheels are optional but if you have a lot of sheet goods to move they make the job easier.

A metal handle like the type used on the bottom of garage doors can be attached to the back of the upright towards the bottom. This handle is used when moving sheet goods up or down stairs. I played mine around 4" from the bottom of the upright but try and figure out the correct placement that would be most comfortable for you.

Using the Panel Carriers

To use the panel carriers, simply lay the panel carriers on the stack of drywall (or plywood), slide 2 sheets of drywall off the stack and into the lip of the panel carrier, Lift the drywall and panel carriers up 90 degrees to vertical at the same time. Use one hand to guide the panel carrier, the other to keep the panels from flopping off the carrier and then just roll away.

If you have to carry the drywall up or down stairs the bottom handles come in handy to keep the panel from hitting the stairs and getting damaged. The person on the lower end of the stairs needs to be able to hold the panel from sliding down.

If you need to move drywall or plywood sheets yourself you can try attaching the two panel carriers together using a couple lengths of 2x4 as show in the photo below.

Panel Carriers Connected

Continue Reading