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Looking Beneath the Paint

We're having some work done on the house right now, including some interior painting.  Yes, I know, we could do it ourselves, but to be honest, we wouldn't be very good at it, and we don't have tons of free time.  Besides, part of the painting work also involves repairing parts of the ceiling and walls where the drywall has cracked or buckled, and I don't know the first thing about repairing that.  The guys we've hired are terrific.  And it's a good thing.

We assumed that the cracks and buckling were due to the house settling or something of the sort.  Turns out, not so much.  The crack in the ceiling -- a major crack running from one side of the living room to the other -- was caused by the simple fact that when we built the house 14 years ago, the original drywallers didn't attach the wall boards to planks with the screws.  They didn't attach the wall boards to anything.  The missed the joists and didn't bother to correct the mistake.  We were lucky the drywall only cracked.  It could have collapsed entirely.  And the buckling?  The metal beading on the corners wasn't screwed in either.  Those original drywallers just stuck the beading on the wet mud (ie, spackle) and hoped it would stick when the mud dried.

I know this was 14 years ago -- water under the bridge, as they say.  It's costing us a bit to repair this stuff, but not so much that it's really a hardship.  But still, I can't help but be ticked off.  There's no excuse for shoddy work, and these guys did some seriously shoddy work.  The folks working for us now are blown away by how bad the old work was.  As I say, it happened a long time ago; I shouldn't let it bother me.

But if you're having work done on your house, or your building a new place, keep an eye on what's happening.  Just sayin'....

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lrcutter
Feb. 21st, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
I feel your pain. Truly.

100+ years ago, my old condo building was all above grade. Then Seattle decided to put in an alley behind the building, and the back units were suddenly partially below the ground.

A couple years ago the people living in one of those units noticed mushrooms growing on their wooden floors.

Turns out the people who bricked up the portion of the windows that went under ground? DID NOT USE MORTAR. Just stacked the bricks, one on top of the other.

Just -- What where they thinking? That the dirt would just hold the bricks in? IDEK.
davidbcoe
Feb. 21st, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
Leah, that's pretty remarkable. Worse by far than what we're encountering.
estellye
Feb. 21st, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
I work for a new home builder, and we have high standards of workmanship, but once in awhile we will walk into a home under construction and catch the most remarkable lapses. That is why its so important that there is an experienced, conscientious, construction manager overseeing every phase of construction. They have to build every home like they are going to live in it. With such a complicated process, involving so many people and different materials, I'd say a good construction manager is worth everything.

What a mess! I am glad it didn't end up being worse or unmanageable!
davidbcoe
Feb. 21st, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I remember a few years ago a new house was going up down the street from us. On a Friday afternoon, the roofers came and put tar paper down on the roof, but they didn't get to the shingles that day. Over the weekend we had a fierce windstorm that literally stripped away all the tar paper. Come Monday, the roofers returned, didn't bother to replace the tar paper, but instead put the shingles on raw plywood. Not surprisingly, the house has serious leakage problems.
(Deleted comment)
davidbcoe
Feb. 21st, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
I think that I misunderstood what the guys told me yesterday and so overstated it a bit. The wall boards in question were put up in such a way that three sides were nailed more or less properly (though the nails were not countersunk properly, which resulted in those ugly bumps one sees on poorly hung drywall). Only one side was not nailed to anything at all. So there was enough play to make it crack, but not enough to allow it to collapse on us. My apologies for getting it wrong the first time. Still, cause for being unhappy with the original work.
arhyalon
Feb. 21st, 2012 11:33 am (UTC)
I am so glad that you discovered this in a safe way!
davidbcoe
Feb. 21st, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, thanks Jagi. As I say in response to Kate's comment above, I think we were at less risk that I originally thought. But it looked terrible and led to a pretty significant crack in the ceiling. More like a fault line, really.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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