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Was this drywall job done correctly?

3020 Views 43 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  endo_alley
I hired a very drywall contractor to install drywall (purple board) in my bathroom and now I have a lot of concerns about the job and would like to get input from others on if this job is OK or not.

1. Seams everywhere and none are flush (1/8 - 1/4” off in some spots) and some have big gaps (up to 1/2” in a couple of spots). Is this what pros do and they will just add thick mud to even it out?
For the life of me, I don’t understand why they didn’t use full sheets to cover the walls so I would have no seams at all. And if you have a seam, why not put it at the top where not as noticeable?

2. I told them they could loosen more or remove the electrical outlets and switches (some were in just so we had light and power to work) to get the drywall in. Instead, they made a mess around the boxes and I check to see if the switches will cover over the gaps but they will not. Is this a normal thing for a drywall contractor to do? And how is it fixed?

3. The face paper was ripped off in 5 or 6 spots. I thought the paper was extremely important and couldn’t be damaged? How is this addressed to make sure the drywall is not compromised? This is in a bathroom and some of the torn paper is on the ceiling directly above the tub shower.

4. The corner beads are not straight and there are a lot of dents in the drywall. Again, I wonder how do they fix it to make it nice without thick mud? Is it OK to have mud that is up to 1/2” thick? We had a handyman do some drywall in a room a number of years ago and he did it along and there were no dents, no bad seams, nothing. So, I wanted to get the input from other pros on this job.


PS including some pictures of a few spots so you can see and more in the comments because the max allowed is 10 pictures in the post.

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Yes, I looked at the photos closely. Look at those photos again, they are all extreme closeups of minor stuff. MAYBE the beads are out of whack, but there is nothing in those photos that show they are. Those shims, hackish as they may appear, show that the guy hanging it was at least working to get the geometry right. I've seen metal bead put on beautifully that couldn't be finished. You may not like staples but USG says crimp, nail, or staple: not drywall screws. None of the photos are pulled back far enough to see the screw pattern. So, maybe it wasn't secured properly, but there is no evidence.

I assumed the guy hanging was the apprentice, but the OP states he's a 30 year vet. I can see that as well. Look at those pictures again and picture a crusty 30 year vet getting the important stuff right and not caring at all about some dents in the drywall in between corner beads that will get filled with a 1/4" of mud. Or a 3/16" gap between boards that will get pre-filled. But spent time to get the bead in line. "Know the rules so you can break them" We don't know, He could also be an alcoholic on a hangover. But there is NOTHING in those photos that can't be dealt with in minutes by a quality guy. That doesn't mean there aren't flaws that we can't see, but all we have are those photos.

To the OP: In my experience either that mesh tape was always there, it was sanded down, the lighting or paint changed to reveal it or there is some magic in your house that i don't understand. I've seen mesh tape fail a bunch but i don't know how it could migrate through mud without cracking. If I'm wrong I'd love to learn something new.
In regards to this job, you've done what you can, you either need to fire them or trust them at this point. Like others have said, your best bet is to be nice to the guy who shows up to finish.

Merry Christmas to all and I hope it works out in the end.
I've remodeled a 100 baths start to finish and i can assure you the tile guy will go Absolute Ape Shit when there is a variation on those beads.
This should never have happened. It's bad and I'd be firing my team if this is ours.
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If the board is secure and basically in-plane, the only real consequence of sloppy hanging is more work for the finisher. So, unless you believe he's going to do a subpar job at finishing, then there is no problem yet. What level of finish did you agree on?

If you don't believe he will do a quality finish, then about your only recourse is to negotiate a break in the contract and wish him good luck and hire someone else to finish.
I would advise that you have a polite conversation with whoever shows up to do the finish work as to your expectations for the finished product as agreed to in the contract.
Ask the guy how he is going to fill the gaps, and any other concerns you have and listen to his answers.
You always have the right to end a working relationship with a contractor, but you don't have the right to get your money back or "win" financially. AKA: You can "fire" him, but you still owe him money. Ending a job midstream always includes some grey areas for a financial split: scheduling, materials, what percentage complete etc.
Right now, I don't see anything in the photos that precludes them from delivering a quality finished product, or give you grounds for breach of contract.

That said: if you are convinced that they aren't going to finish the job properly, you should absolutely cut ties and negotiate an end to the contract.

FYI: Here is a possible explanation from his end. (aside from being rude to you, which is just dumb) It's a big company as you say. they make their money at scale, doing whole houses/tracts of houses. This job is not really profitable for them and doesn't really fit in their business model. But takes the job anyway. Sends out the expendable apprentice to hang the job. Apprentice does a predictable job, but that doesn't concern him because he knows the experienced guy he sends out to finish it can fix anything the kid screwed up. Completely fails to consider the effect on morale on the customer from the shitty hanging job because he doesn't normally deal with customers in this situation.
Companies that do a lot of work typically get that "lot of work" because they are cheap and shitty corner cutting drywallers hiring mostly shitty help. The cheap shitty contractors beat the legitimate contractors who consistently do good work out of jobs all the time.
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FYI - the bid went up, not down. But, are you suggesting that getting a level 3 finish vs 5 means that its ok to hang it poorly? Why? Level 5 is super, glass smooth and I have no walls in my house with this - I have the old plaster walls and the room the handyman did with drywall a few years ago, needed minimal finish and we were able to prime the drywall and paint it, which was possible because there was no damage, dents, gaps, or seams, much less bad seams. The reason he raised the bid was because I wanted the ceiling leveled (was out of level 3/4" in a corner) and it took them just a little over an hour to do that. But the bid went up $500 anyway.

And I was assuming that I would be getting a premium hanging job so that we could easily finish it like the other room. But that is not possible anymore and it isn't my fault. I was trying to negotiate not to add a huge amount to the bid for just adding the shims (which he did anyway) in exchange for simply giving me the same finish we have in the other room, which is all we need. But now that is not possible because of the way he hung it. And it isn't my fault if it will take them longer and have to do more than level 3 to fix it now.

Finally, what makes you assume he does "quality work" at a premium? He didn't do it for me so far so not sure why you assume this or think it is OK to hang a job so poorly regardless of level 3 or 5.
You are right that that is a poor hanging job. Regardless of the excuses, a professional would still make it look good. It is nevertheless salvageable by a good taper and finisher.
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