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What is common practice for "floating" or mudding uneven drywall? How much mud is too much? I ask this way because I honestly don't know.

I've hired a contractor to close in an arched dining room to create a bedroom.(About 9 ft. length including a 32in door) After the drywall was up and mudded/textured we saw the addition was close to 1 inch inset from the original wall. It's pretty significant and will definitely be noticeable with floor trim. I would think this was due to poor framing and they would pull off the drywall and shim the frame to even it out. But, they are "refloating" and adding what seems to be a ton of mud from the arch to the floor to even it out. They added "2 bags of sand" today and will add "2 or 3 bags of sand" tomorrow. They already mudded fairly thick along the arch seam before they finished the first time.
It just seems like so much mud and I'm concerned with cracking over time. I should also add the drywall is 5/8 and they are going to be adding about 1 inch of thickness with this technique. Is this a typical and acceptable solution?

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    I would have corre3cted the frame - why was it not checked... One reason why laser levels make life so easy.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 13, 2022 at 5:47
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    Don't think there a thing of too much mud, there is a thing of putting too thick amount of mud at one time. Better to use a few thin coats feathered out. Life is much better if the base is done right, than trying to fix with mud.
    – crip659
    Oct 13, 2022 at 10:42
  • @SolarMike Good question, I'm feeling the same. Thanks for the input.
    – RhiBee
    Oct 13, 2022 at 11:31
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    I don't know if adding 1" of drywall mud over an entire door sized patch is "too much" or not, but it's certainly the hard way of doing it! I can't imagine that it was particularly cost effective either. Considering that the framers didn't do a quality job, it would have been much easier to add two 1/2" layers of drywall to bring the wall out to match the adjacent surfaces, or at least add in another 5/8" layer and only require 3/8" of mud on the wall. I hope you have a fixed price for the job and aren't paying on time & material...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 13, 2022 at 12:14
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    If the difference was one inch after 5/8 drywall was installed, it would have made more sense to put one piece of 5/8 plywood over the studs, then two layers of 1/2 drywall. You’d be able to get a proper butt joint to tape and mud. Oct 13, 2022 at 15:54

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Assuming they are using setting type compound (dry mix that hardens in fixed time after adding water, not drying-type joint compound that comes premixed in a bucket) it should be fine even an inch thick - it's essentially plaster or a closely allied substance. Since it sets rather than dries, it can be done in thick layers. Most DIYers have only used drying type compound, which needs to be done in thin layers and built up after each layer dries.

I would not give them any credit for competence on being improperly framed in the first place, nor on the chosen remediation method, but it's not inherently anything bad other than being stupidly slow. Might even result in a quieter wall. Of course, one incompetent thing does make one worry about other incompetent things...

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  • Not asked, but can you comment on the likelihood of cracking should the OP attempt to drive a nail through this monstrosity? In my mind, it would be likely to split, crack and crumble, but that's just me thinking and not based on any knowledge or experience.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 13, 2022 at 17:43
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    Smart money would be on drilling first, not just whacking a nail in. ;^) Which is also not dissimilar to plaster.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 13, 2022 at 17:47
  • So far, "smart money" hasn't been involved in this project. ;) (No offense to the OP, he's not the one who made the decision to "fix" it this way.)
    – FreeMan
    Oct 14, 2022 at 13:25

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