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A current design trend for residential and commercial buildings is the use of “open” interior spaces. Glass curtain walls, large expanses of windows, skylights and high ceilings can flood interior surfaces with strong natural light. The drywall construction trade is challenged by these design trends to provide building owners with surfaces that are aesthetically acceptable and pleasing in appearance. Increased lighting that is cast upon a drywall surface, artificial or natural, can accentuate even slight surface variations, blemishes and imperfections in the materials or workmanship. The development of visual acceptance standards for finished drywall surface inspections has been elusive. The old axiom “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reflects the aesthetic qualities of a finished drywall surface; what is pleasing and acceptable to one individual may be unacceptable to another. Because of this high degree of subjectivity, it is necessary to: 1) understand the aesthetic limitations of a finished and decorated drywall surface and 2) establish expectations with a building owner early in the construction process. These are two of the most effective and important steps that should be taken to satisfy the owner when the project is completed. In addition to design professionals who develop project specifications and select appropriate materials on behalf of their client, numerous other construction professionals bring the owner’s building to life with their talents and skills. This document highlights key areas of the drywall construction process and lists “best practices” for each professional involved, practices that when followed have been documented to improve the finished drywall appearance and significantly increase the chances of providing aesthetically acceptable drywall surfaces for the building owner. Note that this is not an all encompassing list, but rather features items that can have the most influence on the final finished appearance and owner satisfaction.
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