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We have an older house and looking to sell it. We have a contractor in to add a small closet to my son’s room since we didn’t have one in there.

The problem is that the joint between the wall and slanted wall is crooked. When I asked the contractor about this he replied the following:

I tried to put the closet in as square, plumb and level as I could. I had to shorten the right inside of the closet to compensate for the out of level roof and reduce that angle as much as I could to keep the new walls plumb and doors operating correctly. I don’t think we can adjust any further without negatively affecting more crucial lines and door operation.

Is this a valid point? I’m out of my element here.

photo of closet

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    Protip: No home buyer in the world would consider that a factor in whether to purchase. See if you can get a straight (albeit tilted) line, paint, and move on to more important concerns. The contractor's explanation is entirely plausible. Roof angles can get very hairy, even when dealing with engineered truss packages. – isherwood Dec 8 '17 at 2:49
  • Completely agree that this wouldn’t be a factor in selling our home. I just wanted to give an explanation of why we are squeezing a closet there. – Jamie Dec 8 '17 at 3:00
  • Jamie, "thank you" comments are discouraged on the SE networks. Feel free to consider upvotes and accepts to be adequate gratitude. – isherwood Dec 8 '17 at 18:53
  • Even new homes may have areas that are not square, old homes more so. The best that can be done is hide the differences so it is not as obvious. My Dad used to say it's not a piano a little texture and paint and 90% won't even realize it. He was a gilded master carpenter and was a nightmare to work with on custom cabinets desks but basic framing and sheetrock even he would allow this. once textured and painted most won't even notice. – Ed Beal Dec 8 '17 at 19:19
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I'm assuming the drywall at the top was not installed by the contractor, and he simply added the new drywall against it. In this case his point is definitely valid, old drywall is going to be tough to butt up against, especially a slanted ceiling. I'd just paint this and move on with life. There is nothing structurally wrong done here, and I highly doubt anyone is going to notice, much less make a purchasing decision based on this!

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One could have perhaps leveled it out by allowing the angle between the walls (yellow arrow) to be less than 90 degrees (thereby making the right side of the closet wall the same height as the left side). But then you'd likely end up with a misalignment of the opening on the wood floor (blue arrow), which in my opinion would be much more visually apparent. He could have moved moved only the top corner down (back) the ceiling (green arrow), but that would have left the opening and the new opening out of plumb as he said.

diagram closet walls

I really think it looks pretty good anyway and will look better when textured and painted. Perhaps a real drywall pro would have some trick to help. Another thing you could do is just tack a piece of crown molding over that joint.

crown molding

  • Good suggestion about the crown, though it would need a bit of a twist to be level. It might end up drawing the eye more. – isherwood Dec 8 '17 at 18:54
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    @isherwood good observation. I'd suggest the asker not rush to do this but instead wait to see how it looks with paint and texture. If the asker is interested in adding moulding to get a straight line, I'd recommend first holding a piece of moulding up to the joint just to see how it looks. perhaps one could even manage to split the difference as Jimmy suggested in his answer – Jon Dec 8 '17 at 19:10
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Carpentry and plastering (drywall) are two totally different disciplines and the skills, tricks of the trade, and expertise do not necessarily cross over. The carpenter's explanation is certainly plausible from a geometry perspective but a good plasterer could probably make the situation less obvious by "splitting the difference" between the three planes/surfaces.

Hiring two different tradesmen for this small job may not make financial sense to you, in that case you end of living with results of "cross-crafting".

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