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Old 11-05-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


We are doing a kitchen and bath renovation and our contractor insists that, where walls have been cut and patched, he is responsible for taping and the painters are responsible for spackling.

As best as we can recall from past experiences, contractors have always taped and spackled the walls while the painters may have to come in and do some light sanding before priming and painting.

I would like to know from the pros what is customary in this situation. To us, this seems like nitpicking on the part of the contractor. We have already had some quality issues with him on other parts of the renovation. I wrote out a very detailed contract and it has generally served us well in avoiding disputes, but I never expected that I would have to write into the agreement that he was responsible for taping and spackling.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 11-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #2
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


It should have all been in the contract just how much he was to do.
Who's paying for the painters? What do they say about it?
Painters paint, I for sure would not want to have to do all the finish work and not expect to get paid extra for it if I was a painter.
PS Spackle is for filling small nail holes. Drywall compound is used for mudding, also called finishing.
Anyone of my jobs it would have been finished to paint ready and would have said so in the contract.

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Old 11-05-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


Any walls the contractor works on should be flat and smooth by the time he is done. Think about it - how is a painter supposed to go to work if he has to patch holes and then sit around and wait hours for it to dry before he can continue? If you hired a painter to work on your wall from scratch, then it would be the painter's responsibility, but there's no reason a newly completed wall shouldn't be virtually perfect. That's what you paid for. If there are dings in that wall, his people did it.

Actually, I'm not really sure what you mean by "spackling", but I'm not sure it matters. The walls should be done to Level 4 industry standard, unless your contract says otherwise.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


it depends on the painter. Some do drywall some don't. I know a painter who does both. Normally its the responsibility of the guy who put the drywall up.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


Thanks for the information.

The problem is that he came to us with a contract of about two-thirds of a page with scant information. Had we signed that, we would now likely be in court over various disputes on what was to be done. That scanty contract should have tipped us off to other things, but he had come highly recommended by a designer we know. So, to avoid such disputes, I wrote out what I thought was a very detailed contract outline each and every task to be done and who would pay for what.

Up to now, the contract has worked fairly well and when he "forgets" certain things, I am able to point to the document. However, I'm not a contractor and I did not put in anything about restoring the walls for painting. I didn't think I had to because we've never seen this behavior from a contractor in the past.

We are paying for the painters and it appears he wants to push off the finish work on them so he keeps a larger profit.

Sounds like we're going to have to force the issue.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


Unless the contractor is also priming the new work, a painter expects to do some minor touch ups to the drywall---some small flaws can not be seen until after priming.

I agree with the others about the taping and patching on the walls that he has disturbed-----his walls---but not other walls---
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


Nothing worse than having drywall work pawned off to the painter. I'm a painter and I do some drywall work and yes, I've had to fix/repair the drywall after priming because of all the areas the drywaller missed. 95% of the time it's the drywaller's job to finish the drywall. That's their area of expertise and they are expected to do so unless a contract states otherwise.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


Absolutely not the painters job. Believe me most of the painters I know you would absolutely NOT want them to tape your walls. Minor repairs yes but to tape and finish.No way. And believe me your contractor knows this.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


My wife and I made separate calls to the designer we're working with (she recommended this contractor and is using him on other jobs) to complain that he won't do all the drywall work on the walls that he's responsible for. Well, lo and behold, there's a guy taping and spackling in our house today and tomorrow. Will wonders never cease?
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


DRYWALL COMPOUND not spackle.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:09 PM   #11
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


He might be using Spackle, who knows? :-)
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #12
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


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DRYWALL COMPOUND not spackle.
You'll just have to excuse us non-professionals. It's a lot easier to say someone's "spackling" than "drywall compounding."
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #13
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


So my trusted painter (years of experience, meticulous work, beautiful results, fair prices) and his crew are here today and they find that they are removing wallpaper from walls that were not sized or otherwise adequately prepped. Wallpaper was glued directly to new wallboard. As expected, when they remove the wallpaper, some of the paper covering of the wallboard itself comes off at the same time. I know that's expected and it's not a huge problem.

However, the contractor's taping/compounding guy is working inside the house at the same time. The painter tells me that, at one point, he had to stop the contractor's guy from applying the compound over the wet wallboard where the covering paper had come off. The painter said the compound was bubbling up right away and that the wallboard needs time to dry before the compound goes on. Does this mean my contractor has brought in someone to patch the drywall who doesn't know his stuff?

Last edited by longislander2; 11-08-2013 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:05 PM   #14
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


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Originally Posted by longislander2 View Post
It's a lot easier to say someone's "spackling"
"Mudding" is even shorter, and makes you sound like a salty old pro.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #15
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Who is responsible for taping and spackling, the contractor or the painter?


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Originally Posted by longislander2 View Post
However, the contractor's taping/compounding guy is working inside the house at the same time. The painter tells me that, at one point, he had to stop the contractor's guy from applying the compound over the wet wallboard where the covering paper had come off. The painter said the compound was bubbling up right away and that the wallboard needs time to dry before the compound goes on. Does this mean my contractor has brought in someone to patch the drywall who doesn't know his stuff?
Basically. Maybe he knows how to work on new drywall only. Damaged drywall is a different problem.

Waiting until the wallboard is dry won't solve the problem either though.
It needs to be sealed off first. Gardz works well. Kilz Klear and Roman Rx-35 also claim to work the same way.

There are other ways to deal with some wallpapers, but since it's already scraped off I won't go there....

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