Good vs. Bad Drywall Technique

Let’s talk about drywall. It’s an element of construction that bridges the gap between building and designing. Drywall sets the scene in your home for paint colors and wallpaper, and can make a tremendous impact on the overall look of your home for years. A great drywall job can mean the difference between a luxurious, photoshoot ready interior and a home that looks cheap and poorly designed.

So what is it?

Technically speaking, the dictionary gives us the following definition of Drywall, “a type of board made from plaster, wood pulp, or other material, used especially to form the interior walls of houses”. Basically it’s the material used to cover the skeleton of the house and create smooth, flat walls and surfaces.

How is it installed?

The process, in theory, is quite simple. Cut the sheets of drywall to size, hang it up with the proper nails, and finish it off with mud, tape, and a whole lot of sandpaper.

Just like most things that seem very simple, the end result depends largely on the subtle technique and the experience applied by the craftsman. Because a great drywall job will make your entire home look and feel cleaner and more well constructed, it’s important to be sure the finishing process is done with meticulous precision. If done poorly, within a matter of months you will begin to see indentations at holes where screws were inserted to hang the sheets, seams will become visible, walls may have uneven texture, and the surface will not absorb paint the same way in all areas.

On very high end homes, builders use what is called a “Level 5 Finish”. This is a process which takes a considerably great amount of time and labor, but results in a pristine finish fit for the most detail-centric homeowners. The finisher on the job goes one step beyond mudding, taping, and sanding seams and nail holes. For this process we water down the joint compound used on the seams to a paint like consistency and apply it to the entire wall in small section, then expertly remove it with a drywall blade. The end result is a super smooth surface that results in even paint coverage every time.

What to look for?


The signs of great drywalling work are subtle. The work should be so seamless that you forget the process ever happened. Here is what we look for when evaluating every job.

  • The joints have completely disappeared. You can’t tell where one piece of drywall ends and the next begins.
  • Nail and screw holes have been blended into a smooth surface. The best finishers will have you convinced the drywall was just “poured” into place.
  • The corners are smooth and precise. No gaps, bumps, or creasing is visible from any angle.
  • The overall surface of the entire wall should feel smooth and flat. Remember, the texture of the drywall will be the texture of the finished, painted wall.
  • The dust from sanding has been cleaned up with extreme attention to detail. Sanding a perfectly smooth wall creates a LOT of dust. Thats dust, if not cleaned up, will get into paint and sealant, contaminating your wall color, flooring material, and even make weatherproofing on doors and windows less effective.

Langhorne Custom Homes is obsessed with quality. To find out more about our high standards in every step of construction check us out online at or give us a call at (571) 333-8159.

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