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Old 06-19-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


Hi Everyone! (great forum and awesome resource!)
I bought a brand new house for a pretty penny in January 2008. Everything looks great but a year into it we started noticing nail pops coming out of the dry-wall. After some research I found out that its somewhat normal due to the studs shrinking and the nails popping out as a consequence. (We live in northern New England so the weather is rough up here) The builder says no problem and come Monday the dry-waller is going to "patch" them and that is why im here. My issue is that there are virtually hundreds of nail pops throughout every room of a 2500sf home and im a little worried that a patch just wont do as its hundreds and hundreds of nails up and down dozens and dozens of wood studs. I am unsure wheather the builder should re-drywall completely the house (start from scratch) given that its such a major failure on their part as I dont understand why I should be satisfied with just a patch. I wanted to get an understanding from you expert folks to see if its fair for them just to patch them or if something more drastic should take place and not telling me as I wouldnt know any better.

Although the wood shirnkage is considered as "normal" I think that it still shouldnt have happened and that they should have let the wood dry out before putting up the studs therefore I am being short-changed or at least that is how it feels to me. Would love to hear your thoughts and sorry for the newbioe type question but this house is all we have.

Thanks, Mar Family

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


it still amazes me how any contractor could use nails instead of drywall screws anymore. The cost difference is so minimal and there are so many good tools on the market that speed along the installation of dw screws. Partially frustrated because I've been going through the same thing in my house, but the house I just bought is 10 years old so I have no recourse - but even ten years ago they knew better than to use nails..

In any case, if your builder is willing to work with you that is greeat, you may want to check with your lawyer and check your contract as well...this could get pretty expensive for your builder. I don't see any reason to replace the drywall, but the right thing to do is start pulling out those popped nails and putting screws in instead. You could put a screw in the same hole if you like, but I would advise putting a screw an inch or so away as well. Compound over the nail holes and screws - couple of coats - prime and paint. How much of this your builder is willing to do is beyond me - but this is a lot of time consuming annoying work - which generally means expensive. Is your house painted already? If so this pretty much means you repainting the entire house if the nail pops are that bad.

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Old 06-19-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


No need to tear out and replace the drywall. The drywall itself should still be fine.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:18 PM   #4
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


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Originally Posted by mazzonetv View Post
it still amazes me how any contractor could use nails instead of drywall screws anymore. The cost difference is so minimal and there are so many good tools on the market that speed along the installation of dw screws. Partially frustrated because I've been going through the same thing in my house, but the house I just bought is 10 years old so I have no recourse - but even ten years ago they knew better than to use nails..

In any case, if your builder is willing to work with you that is greeat, you may want to check with your lawyer and check your contract as well...this could get pretty expensive for your builder. I don't see any reason to replace the drywall, but the right thing to do is start pulling out those popped nails and putting screws in instead. You could put a screw in the same hole if you like, but I would advise putting a screw an inch or so away as well. Compound over the nail holes and screws - couple of coats - prime and paint. How much of this your builder is willing to do is beyond me - but this is a lot of time consuming annoying work - which generally means expensive. Is your house painted already? If so this pretty much means you repainting the entire house if the nail pops are that bad.
Apologies but they are screws and not nails, sorry for the confusion. The builder is willing to absorb the cost as he should, as well as repainting the whole house. I would sue him for the cost if he refused, and for the price point I paid I would win in court wihtout a doubt and any lawyer would love to handle such a case.

That said i figured that the stud would be compromised as they would have to (I imagined) unscrew and re-screw into a new hole creating some sort of deficiency. Sorry if this sounds completely idiotic but i am as green as you can get on this stuff.
Have a great w/e.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


A little known fact- the longer the nail, the more it is into the wood, the more wood to shrink, the higher the nail will end up. I bet the: wood was wet at installation; or the nails were too long for the application. Notice page 5, table 3, minimum nail length for 1/2". From the drywall maker:

http://www.gypsum.org/pdf/GA-216-07.pdf Be safe, G
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


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Originally Posted by troymcclure View Post
That said i figured that the stud would be compromised as they would have to (I imagined) unscrew and re-screw into a new hole creating some sort of deficiency.

No the extra screw holes won't affect the stud. What he's going to do to fix it sounds fine.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


Hmmm,

This concerns me because if he screwed them in they should have countersunk approx 1/16 to an d1/8 inch just enough to "dimple" the paper BUT NOT BREAK IT.

When screwing off drywall sometimes screw heads remain high and we canny those "clickers" that is because when the taper goes over the screw head with the broad knife it goes "click" pretty clever don'tcha think?

I wonder why you have all the screw heads proud of the rock and in no way would I ever set a new screw in and old screw spot. I wonder why someone didn't say something and am curious to know if you have a camera? If you do take a picture of the walls for us to see the pops or bumps. Then if you could dig out one of the bumps and take a picture of what is found under the joint compound. Do this on a couple because sometimes the drywalls will use nails to tack the boards and then screw off the rest once they get everything set in place.

I am curious to know what the real cause of this is and look forward to your reply!
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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Advice Needed on DryWall Problem on New Construction Home


Screws are far worse than nails as far as "pops" when it comes to wood studs. I've been doing this for 35 years and I can attest to the fact. I NEVER use screws to attach to wood framing with the exception of small patches. With the different "densities", "wetness", "warpage" of wood studs there is bound to be a problem. If the wood is too hard, the screw won't pull up far enough. The hangers (who get paid by the sheet) are going to hit it with a hammer to get it "home" or leave it for the finisher who will do the same thing (he's not going to carry a screw gun around). If the wood is on the soft side, or perhaps wet, the screw will pull through the face paper on the drywall and you have a "pop". If the stud is bowed or warped, the screw will not pull tight to the framing or will cut (or pull through) the face paper. Again a "pop" will occur. I nail AND GLUE all of the drywall I install and have very few call-backs for "pops". (Yes there will always be some.) I'll be willing to bet there was no adhesive used on your walls either. That would be a MAJOR factor in screw/nail "pops". As GBAR pointed out, your wood was "likely" wet when installed. Either it sat on the lumber yard/jobsite in the rain before shipped, and/or it rained the whole time the house was being framed,then the drywall was installed (on VERY wet lumber). THEN....the heat was turned on and everything began to shrink. And was this a house that has been sitting on the market for a long time with no heat or AC running????

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