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Our drywall installer tells us that we need to prime the walls before his finisher can fix the MANY issues with their finishing work so far. I can’t find any information that suggests this is normal practice. Is this guy screwing with us?

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    Give us some examples of the issues with the finishing work. Include a photo if you can or describe the issue you find unsatisfactory. – Kris May 17 at 23:54
  • We need more information then what you have given us. – Alaska Man May 17 at 23:58
  • Can you tell me how to add photos? – Lea May 18 at 0:15
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    @Lea: Have the photo file ready on your computer. Edit your question, click the little icon above the text that looks like a white mountain + sun with a black background, click browse, select the photo file. – Guntram Blohm May 18 at 8:01
  • Looking at the comment below, "he asked me to pay the full amount minus $200 for touch ups", I'd say pay him nothing and get a second opinion from a reputable source. I have NEVER asked a customer to pay extra for touch-ups, because the job was completely done before they paid me anything at all. – tahwos May 25 at 20:45
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I'd say it's a little from column A and a little from column B.

A good drywaller will get the finish to a point of being pretty darn good before primer. A bright light shone sideways on the wall shows where work is needed.

That said, primer shows all the little (emphasis: they should be little) flaws that the painter usually touches up.

So, I'd suggest you try and get him to do his best before paint. If you're concerned about the job being finished, holding partial payment back is common. Don't be punitive, but don't make it such a trivial sum that he can write you off.

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  • I’m not sure how to attach photos, but the issues are things like non-mudded screws, openings between drywall and beams, completely missed missing corners in an upper part of the bathroom, lots of bubbles all over the place, scratches, rips in the sheetrock, open patches - holes in the mud - and areas that have been missed but not sanded at all. which means we’re priming areas that absolutely have to be sanded and there’s no question about it. Appreciate your feedback on this, he asked me to pay the full amount minus $200 for touch ups, I refused but paid half of the total job cost. – Lea May 18 at 0:12
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    From the sounds of it, you're not ready for primer. Keep holding that half -- you might need it to pay someone else to get a complete job. (And I say this as someone with 20 years in the trades.) – Aloysius Defenestrate May 18 at 4:08
  • Thank you, great suggestion. – Lea May 18 at 10:34

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