Atlanta drywall experts recommend professional installation

Atlanta drywall experts recommend professional installation

From installing hardwood floors to putting in recessed lighting, David Winn finished most of his roughly 1,400-square-foot basement himself - except the drywall.

"I look at it as an art as much as anything else. I leave that to the pros," says the Kennesaw member, who hired highly rated AEM Drywall/Painting in Marietta, Ga., for $3,000 to complete the drywall installation. He says they deftly navigated tricky eyebrow arches and achieved a flawless finish. "We could not be happier," Winn says.

Perfecting the art of drywall takes time, says Joe Gosa, owner of highly rated Immaculate Renovations & Repair in Atlanta, who started hanging drywall in 2000.

"Anyone can screw the board up to the wall and put some mud on it," says Gosa, referring to the white compound applied to seal joints between drywall sheets. "To get the finished product you want, you have to have the experience."

Experts caution against hiring a jack-of-all-trades, and advise consumers instead to look for someone who specializes in drywall installation or boasts a high level of experience in this area. Always solicit multiple bids for drywall jobs, and Will Foster, owner of highly rated Georgia Interior Drywall, recommends asking for references and checking out finished work.

Prior to joining Angie's List in 2010, Linda Rowley of Marietta says she struggled to find reliable drywall installers. Screws recently began popping out of basement drywall a now-defunct company hung several years ago. "I look at it as bad workmanship," says Rowley, adding that the contractor re-installed one drywall board after she noticed it hung askew, but accidentally broke a window and failed to tell her.

Her fortunes changed when she hired highly rated Drywall Repair & Interior Painting in Woodstock to patch drywall damaged during a months-long home remodel last year.

"Ana and Jose [Marin] are heaven sent!" Rowley says. Over four visits, the couple who co-owns the company seamlessly repaired drywall for about $840 in a bathroom, a stairwell and a kitchen ceiling and wall.

By design, the best drywall results blend in, while bad workmanship and substandard materials pop out. New industry standards better track the origin of drywall after corrosive gas leaked from gypsum drywall imported from China between 2001 and 2008 and forced thousands of homeowners nationwide to undertake expensive remediation, which involves removing and replacing drywall, switches, circuit breakers and other corroded items.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which monitored the issue, says no problem drywall has been imported from China since 2009.

Georgians submitted just 38 of the 3,905 Chinese drywall incident reports filed with the CPSC. "I don't think a lot of people got the bad batch here," says Foster of Georgia Interior Drywall. Still, experts encourage consumers to ask contractors about who supplies their drywall.

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