First off, I apologize for the asking and deleting my previous question about this. I thought it was more of a dupe of this question that I asked a while back. I'll be more central to the actual issue this time.

I hired a company to hang drywall on my ceiling and then mud/finish all surfaces so I could paint. Included are pics I took of a few of their more excessively-sunken screws. I said to one of the guys, "Not to criticize your work, but aren't you driving the screw too deep?" He said, "The head of the screw can't be flush to the drywall surface. You have to countersink it like this so that you can mud over it." I agree with that statement, but what I've learned is that you're supposed to dimple the screw in, not drive it through the paper. In these pics, it definitely looks like the heads broke the paper. Is this a typical installation by professional drywallers working for a company with a solid A rating backed by lots of reviews on Angie's list?

example 1 example 2

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    Is this regular sheetrock or some type of fiberboard? The surface looks too rough to be sheetrock and I don't see any gypsum under the surface paper. Nov 15 '12 at 10:52
  • You'd be surprised by what details are revealed in macro mode with a good digital camera. This is type-x gypsum. I think that brown color you're seeing is from the fibers of the paper being pulled into the hole. Nov 15 '12 at 11:01
  • Ya, very detailed pic. fooled me. Nov 15 '12 at 11:53

I'm sorry to say, and hate to criticize other's work, but those screws are not driven properly. The screws need to be driven with a sheetrock screw gun or a dimpler bit in a regular screw gun. The screws need to be slightly counter sunk with an indented dimple around the screw head into the sheetrock to hold some joint compound. The screws should not break through the paper. The proper bit indents and stops driving the screw at the right depth automatically. What I see in your pics is badly torn surface paper with shards of paper higher than the rest of the surface. This will be hard to mud and make flush and smooth. Many of these are going to have to be indented with a strike from a hammer to create a void for the mud to go into. The other problem with driving drywall screws with a regular #2 phillips bit is that screws driven too deep will not have the holding power and the sheetrock screws will pull through, leaving the sheet unattached to the studs. This is especially important when hanging rock on ceilings.

These are the proper tools and bits.

Be careful using Angies List, many of the reviews are fake and made by the contractor themselves. Personally check local references with a phone call or sometimes with a visit to see finished projects. I know that many of my customers are happy to talk to my potential customers and also proud to show off there new completed projects.

  • I'm surprised to hear you speak of fake reviews on Angie's List; if you ever see one, report it. They take that very seriously. Nov 15 '12 at 14:28
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    It's probably very hard to detect fake reviews, especially if it's a bunch of different account that all use separate internet providers. It may cost $25 a year per account just for the home package, but that's a decent investment for a company who brings in enough income to cheat their way to the top. This company has in the neighborhood of 40 or so reviews, so I believe they're legit. Nov 15 '12 at 15:44
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    Also, I will add that it's most likely the case that the majority of reviews on Angie's List (or any review site for that matter) are based off incredulity. A homeowner who knows nothing about drywalling will look at a sunken drywall screw that breaks the paper and think that's just how it's done and post a stellar review because the finish looks good. Nov 15 '12 at 15:46
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    Evil and I have so many vote points now we really don't pay much attention to how many votes we get. Nov 15 '12 at 21:53
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    @Osc: Yes, that would fix the situation if applied with long enough drywall screws. Also just putting in new screws with the proper bit and dimpling the torn ones with a hammer will work also. Nov 19 '12 at 10:00

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