Signs Of A Bad Drywall Job

Signs Of A Bad Drywall Job

Drywall provides a clean, smooth surface for paint, and inside a house, drywall should look even and seamless.

While there can be a slight variation in the smoothness of drywall joints, it shouldn’t be highly noticeable. If you have visible joints, bubbling tape, or sagging panels, your drywall needs repairs.

Here are the top signs of a bad drywall job.

Top 8 Signs Of A Bad Drywall Job

Top 8 Signs Of A Bad Drywall Job

If you think your drywall was installed incorrectly, look out for these eight signs.

Visible Drywall Joints

The joints where drywall panels meet require tape, drywall mud, and sanding. After this process, the result should be a smooth, seamless wall.

So, if you can tell where the drywall joints are (especially with paint on), there are issues with your drywall installation. Visible joints indicate shoddy work.

Sagging Ceilings

Sagging ceilings are an immediate red flag. 

Sagging indicates the drywall panels weren’t securely attached to the ceiling joists. You should address this as soon as possible to prevent the drywall from cracking or further sagging.

Visible Drywall Screws, Fasteners, or Tape

To hang drywall, you must attach the panels to the wall studs with screws. The screw holes then receive a coat of mud to conceal them.

Any visible drywall screws, fasteners, or tape show underuse or improper drywall mud application.

Indentations, Bubbles, or Creases

Indentations, bubbles, or creases with the joint compound are signs of bad work. They indicate the drywall installers did a poor job using drywall tape and applying mud.

A Very Rough Surface

The Gypsum Association assigns levels of roughness that are acceptable for drywall.

Levels 1 and 2 can have some tool marks and roughness in the joint compound. These levels are only acceptable for attics and garages. (Depending on what the installers promised, they may not be acceptable at all.)

Levels 3 through 5 are acceptable for home interiors. At these levels, you shouldn’t feel any roughness on your walls.

The joint compound should cover all joints, screw holes, and tape. It should also be sanded smooth.

So, if you feel a rough surface in the interior of your home, that’s a clear sign of lousy drywall installation.

Uneven Corners

Finishing drywall corners requires a lot of skill and may be hard for novice installers to do correctly. Even so, you shouldn’t see (or feel) uneven corners or exposed corner beads in your home.

Crooked Drywall Panels

Crooked panels usually indicate the drywall contractor didn’t have enough help to properly hold the panels while they got screwed in place. This is not always a major problem, but can sometimes mean the panels didn’t get attached to the studs properly.

A Leftover Mess

Drywall installation produces tons of fine drywall dust, which the installation crew should clean up before leaving – especially since this mess will ruin standard household vacuums.

What Does A Good Drywall Job Look Like?

What Does A Good Drywall Job Look Like

In a good drywall job, the sheetrock panels should be straight, and joint compound should cover screw holes, joints, and corners. There should be no indentations, bubbling, or unevenness.

After finishing the drywall mud with a sander, the wall should be completely smooth.

After applying a coat of paint to your wall, you should not be able to tell where the drywall seams are or see any indentations.


Hanging drywall isn’t an easy process. It requires a lot of skill, patience, and the right tools.

A good drywall job should be seamless and free of indentations, bubbling, and roughness.

If you feel like you’re the victim of bad drywall installation, you need to talk to your contractor about drywall repair.