Level 5 finish expectations? Cracked ceiling.....input needed please!
I posted this also in a pro-drywall site, but I'm not sure they'll be happy I invaded their forum. Luckily, I came across this site too and I need/want some honest opinions from professionals in the trade or homeowners that have been through the process and not the blowhard builder we've been working with. Please, any help or info you can provide would be so welcome at this point.
-We recently built a new, contemporary home; finished in August
-Drywall sub did a very sub par job and the builder has since said he will not be hiring him again (thanks for trying him out on our home!)
-I paint professionally part-time, mostly residential repaints, sometimes full homes, but usually nota fter a new build-->I painted our home to save a lot of money on hiring a painter
-one month after moving in, a ceiling crack started and then a second one parallel to it occured (botf of these are about 15 feet long). There are many, many cracks at the wall/ceiling joint, imperfections in walls, and too many nail pops to count.
-We requested a level 5 finish since our home again, is contemporary, flat roof and all and the whole south side of our home is windows. Flat ceilings, flat white paint...etc.
-I requested level 5 because when we met with the architect and builder, I said I wanted the walls as smooth as possible and they said, "that's level 5"--in my naivity, I have read now that the ceilings should have been skim-coated.
Now, I understand settling after a build, especially at areas where there is the most movement, above a window, near a door--I patch a lot of these when I'm painting for customers, but how much is too much to expect? A month after moving in a ceiling crack? Our dimwit builder is trying to tell us that the span of the ceiling is just too large and that we should perhaps put in control joints across the middle of the ceiling. And then he suggested putting a whole nother drywall ceiling below with so the movement of the ceiling on the original ceiling would crack, but the lower ceiling could move independently?????....
I'm just not sure who to trust. We are meeting with our builder tomorrow afternoon and I want to come prepared with some info so he again, doesn't make us seem like idiots, when honestly, if I had an hour to write on what we've had to deal with, with him.......
What I'm wondering is, if we requested a level 5 finish, what should that have been, by industry standards? Could our ceiling cracks be from just plain faulty drywall techniques or could it be more of as he said, too large a span, or could is even be faulty framing of the ceiling?
I feel very stupid for not knowing ahead of time what the finish should have been but when I was told they're ready for me to paint, I got in there and did. There wasn't any skim coating, the walls weren't wiped down, I primed and then painted. I'm pretty sure the drywall guy should have come back between paint and primer to patch stuff, but I trusted the people there and didn't want to question anything.......I'm so mad at myself.
Thank-you for any help you can provide!