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Old 05-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #1
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


Hello everyone,

Late last year I bought a 1920's home. The inspection had revealed some electrical problems on the second floor, which didn't look very problematic at the time... when I went to fix these issues, I of course found things were worse than expected. Live and learn. So we tore into the walls and basically redid the electrical. Long story short we ended up pulling out all the old plaster... there were two layers of drywall over a layer of lathe & plaster on the whole second floor...

We hired a contractor to install and finish new drywall in late December. They were to supply, hang, tape, and finish to a 'Level 4'. Things went well and they were done pretty quickly. After we did the trim, they promised they would come back to fix any 'bad' spots.

Life got busy elsewhere and it took until April to finish the trim. I called and they came back and did a pretty halfhearted job of fixing the dings, pock marks, and gouges. Some of those were my fault, of course, so I can't blame them for not fixing the results of my clumsiness.

I ended up spending a couple weeks patching the defects they missed myself. Finally last week I re-primed everything, and painted the ceilings (flat white, two coats). This week I installed the light fixtures. Here's where the problem became visible.

With the lights on, you can quite clearly see the borders of the sheets of drywall on the ceiling. I put a straight edge over these joints and on the long joints the ceiling is concave and on the short joints it is convex.

The pictures don't show it very well. It's not as bad during the day, but extremely noticeable at night.

My question is... is this normal? Is it considered acceptable? Should I call them back to fix it? What about the $120 worth of premium paint I've already put on the ceiling?

Thanks for reading!







Last edited by jamminjulia; 05-08-2013 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Adjust formatting
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:45 AM   #2
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


That is not a level 4 finish. More like a level 3. Here is the link to USG drywall hand book on finish levels. Hope it helps. http://www.usg.com/documents/constru...k/chapter5.pdf

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:06 AM   #3
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


Lets say it is a normal problem because of the nature of drywall, but if the joints are finished wide enough they are not as noticeable. The short butt joints are usually the worst because the ends of a sheet are not tapered. My drywaller used to finish his joints about 16" wide. It almost looks like you can see all the joints around the top of the wall too. Unfortunately most people don't know how bad the finish coat is until a light "washes" the wall when finished. If worst comes to worse you could try filing a claim against his insurance. Some insurance covers errors and omissions.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:43 AM   #4
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbags;1175610[COLOR=red
]That is not a level 4 finish[/COLOR]. More like a level 3. Here is the link to USG drywall hand book on finish levels. Hope it helps. http://www.usg.com/documents/constru...k/chapter5.pdf

sure is not
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckweather View Post
Lets say it is a normal problem because of the nature of drywall, but if the joints are finished wide enough they are not as noticeable. The short butt joints are usually the worst because the ends of a sheet are not tapered. My drywaller used to finish his joints about 16" wide. It almost looks like you can see all the joints around the top of the wall too. Unfortunately most people don't know how bad the finish coat is until a light "washes" the wall when finished. If worst comes to worse you could try filing a claim against his insurance. Some insurance covers errors and omissions.
A good little thing to use with Butt joints is the Butt board it will taper the butt joint to let one have a normal joint to mud and tape.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:53 AM   #6
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


Not enough coats of compound.

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


That is far from a level 4. The first drywall finishing I ever did as a teenager came out better than that and I had no idea what I was doing. If it only bothers you at night you could get a different light fixture that won't spread the light straight across the ceiling. Sounds silly, but it will be the easiest of all your options.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


No this is not normal they did not feather the mud out far enough thus leaving a hump. I always feather out a butt joint 24" 12 on each side minimum. Some times I have to go more. This should have been caught after the primer was applied.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:38 PM   #9
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


Just wanted to post a resolution for this thread.

The contractor came out and said "drywall is a hand-finished product, so obviously it can't be perfect... you'll see some seams, some defects, depending on the light". BUT, he did concur that the seams on my ceilings were not feathered out far enough and he had a guy come out and feather them out better for free.

Primer/paint was on me though; I guess that's fair since I probably should have carefully examined the ceiling before painting.

Thanks again for the info!
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:56 PM   #10
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


glad it worked out for you.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


to me it looks like someone did a repair and did a terrible job.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:06 PM   #12
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Joints visible in new ceiling drywall... is this normal?


This is the primary reason NOT to butt sheets on a joist or truss, but instead, to use the "Butt Board" technique.

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