Wavy drywall seam between sloped wall and ceiling (cross-posted)

marisanyNovember 15, 2010

(I posted this in the remodeling forum, but I notice that it isn't very active. I am hoping to get some quick responses, because I have to decide whether to bring this issue up with the contractor.)

Our attic is being renovated, and this morning I noticed that the seams between the ceiling and the sloped walls look very bad. I took a photo of the worst place. I'm soliciting opinions on whether I should complain to the contractor about it. I'd also like to know what would be involved in fixing it.

I'm thinking it will look awful when the sloping wall is painted blue and the ceiling white.

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That isn't really isn't a drywall problem per se. It is wavy because the underlying framing isn't straight. Some of the rafters stick out slightly farther and some are a little farther back. When you put a big sheet of drywall over that bumpy surface, it looks like a wave. This would be a pretty common issue in most older homes because it wouldn't have made a difference to a skilled plasterer.

For drywall, the framing should have been straightened before hand. The easiest way to do it is to just nail 2x4's to the existing framing and bring it all out 1/2" or so into the room and straighten it out.

Once it is up, a skilled plaster worker would be able to skim coat the top and even everything out. Your average drywall guy isn't going to do that though.

You can probably "hide" the problem by just taping off a straight line when you paint instead of trying to follow the ceiling.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Thank you! Using tape to make a straight line is a good solution that I hadn't thought of. Maybe sometime in the future I'll get it skim-coated.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 2:35PM
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Ha ha,,,my whole attic reno has that. DH says it is a " feature" LOL. Your answer above is spot on. We were told that if we wanted it all reframed on top of the old 1890 framing that it would be $$$...so we said nope. I have gotten used to it. so will you . I like the idea of crooked painting to make it " straight". Never thought of it and neither did my painter. Live and learn. Your home looks very much like mine :) c

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 3:57PM
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trailrunner, this is what the attic looked like a few weeks ago, before the insulation and drywall but after removal of the old loose insulation and the gray wallboard holding it up, and after framing:

Behind that kneewall/access doors is our AC unit.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 4:23PM
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So THAT'S what my attic framing must look like! :)
My attic has always been finished with plaster and lath, and the storage areas have been covered with a speckled cardboard type stuff for appearance.
My roof sheathing is boards spaced about an inch or so apart--maybe a bit more--I'm told this is 'skip sheathing' which was used with slate--but elsewhere I read it was for wood shingles! Can anyone tell me which is true--almost all the houses in my @ 1880-1900 neighborhood have slate, and I thought mine did too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 4:47PM
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My roof is slate, too, still the original roof, and every time I get it checked I am told that it is in great condition. I'd thought the house was built in 1931, but I recently learned that there was an open building permit from 1929, when the garage was built, so I imagine the house was built sometime in the 20's.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 8:06PM
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You can screw in a 1x4 guide board to the ceiling side, (about 3 1/2" away from the most prominent high spot of the corner) then use durabond to create a true line; it will be necessary to apply the guide to the slope side and repeat. We have fixed some wavier lines than yours with this system.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 9:03PM
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marisany : after all the wood was cleared out of the entire space that is what ours looked like also ! we don't have the original tin roof....mores the pity....a number of the homes in our area do still have them. No slate in the south where we are...they have them in New Orleans though where I grew up. Here in AL you have original roofing that is either tiles or else tin. Your place looks great. I am sure you will get used to the waves...I don't mind them at all now. c

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 10:21PM
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