This is a very detailed, well illustrated, and practical book on how to install and finish drywall written by a highly skilled professional. I am not new to DYI construction but have not done drywall in the past. I was able to achieve very good results on my home project using Myron Fergusson's instructions as the main source of information. Comparing to the popular Stanley's book on drywall, I find this book is way better in all respects.
The 4th edition of the book has been slightly revised but changes are relatively minor. I had an opportunity to compare the 4th and the 3rd edition side by side, flipping page after page. In 99% of cases, pictures and text are unchanged. Occasionally, one finds a paragraph or two added here and there, but rarely do these changes alter the contents significantly. The most noticeable changes are sections on airtight drywall installation and description of five levels of finishing. Page count has increased mainly through two appendices added in the 4th edition.
The most noticeable change is that the 4th edition has a DVD enclosed with the book. Myron Fergusson already published (back in 2004) a companion DVD Drywall: Hanging and Taping (Fine Homebuilding DVD Workshop). I had a chance to compare the 2004 DVD and the book companion DVD. This is not the same movie - the companion DVD was shot recently and specifically for this book. It is much shorter than the 2004 version (28 mins compared to 59 mins) and unfortunately it is less useful. To begin with, the 2004 DVD was more entertaining as it had a story behind it (installing drywall in Mr. Fergusson's brother's house from finish to end). It also was fun to watch as it showed guys from his team doing amazing things by way of installing panels super fast and in a amazingly coordinated manner. The new video is less engaging and less energetic. Even more importantly, it skips some extremely critical details. The most glaring example is that the 2004 DVD went into great details of how to apply initial layers of drywall compound and how to tape the joints. That is the most critical step to achieve seamless connections between panels. The 2012 DVD in its taping section jumps straight to the final layer of coat. I would very much prefer that discussion to explanations how to install 16-foot panels on a cathedral ceilings using scaffoldings and lifts (which I would most likely never do myself).
I would highly recommend the 2004 DVD as the main video resource, and would suggest using the DVD enclosed with the book just as an additional material for the sake of newly added tips, e.g., how to mix compound to the right consistency, how to hold the taping knife, and a whole new section on level 5 finish. Or I would even buy the previous edition at a bargain price along with the 2004 DVD and pass on the 4th edition with the new DVD completely.
The only drawback of this book (regardless of the edition) that is obvious to me is very little attention to forming texture on drywall. The book has just a couple of pages on how to use the hopper gun. The videos do not address it at all.
Overall, I think this book is as close to the benchmark on how such books should be written as humanly possible. No wonder it is in its 4th edition! Highly recommended! Thank you, Myron Fergusson! I hope to see more on texturing in the 5th edition!
P.S. Those who look for customers' feedback - check out the previous editions of this book, they have many more customer reviews Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results.