drywall seams bulging

Bought a 45 year old split level 1.5 years ago. It was not lived in for a year before we purchased it. We painted all rooms with latex paint.
We had French door installed in lower level of house. 3 months later 50% of drywall seams are showing in whole house. Not just the downstairs area.
Walls are swirled plaster finish over drywall or whatever it was they used in those days for a plaster veneer. House is platform framed with wood.
Contractor used jacks to support roof during french door install but suspect he used moist wood and that stud shranks. Entire house has 8' ceilings. Ceiling in front of french door is 1/4 to 3/4" lower than 8 feet. He used jack and 1 king stud with engineered wood header for door. Door is operational and not sticking.
Could settling of the the roof above the 6' area were the french door was installed have affected the drywall seams in entire house?
I am thinking that top plates are pressing down more on the drywall than before causing the seams to show. Though seams also show in ceiling in upper level of house away from construction activity.
If the French door is the likely problem, what is best way to resolve this problem?
Will reinstalling the framing for the door with dry and proper sized studs solve the problem?
Or, once the drywall seams have bulged as they have will they remain that way? Drywall is not like a rubber band. If the roof had resettled after door was installed, putting in 1/4 to 1/2 longer studs in the 6 foot wall area (by reinstalling the door) might not achieve anything.
Not worried about any structural problem.
If I have to live with this, and reinstalling door will not resolve this, then what is best solution to resolve this issue which I believe is only cosmetic?
Since there is a swirl plaster pattern on walls, I cannot simply sand the seams and patch and paint as necessary. It would leave long noticeable lines that break the swirl pattern.
I prefer not to remove drywall in all affected areas. Should the plaster walls be replastered to hide seams. Can they be skim coated with joint compound?
Appreciate any thoughts on this. Tried to get a consultant on this, but local architects/engineers don't respond. Scary, what if I want to add an addtion to house in future? Would architect or engineer come out then?
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I can see no way that the door installation has anything whatsoever to do with drywall joints. Wood does not shrink substantially in length (along the grain). Wood does shrink and create problems in width (across the grain).
There is a possibility that he did not get the framing wedged in tight enough, but it sounds like he basically knew what he was doing. I may have double studded the ends of the header, but would probably have used a single jack at each end. I did not hear you mention cripples above the header to carry the top plate. I assume he did a careful job of cutting and leaving the original studs for this function. One would hope that he shimmed these tight. The very fact that the door functions well, indicates that the framing has not moved.
Was this thing framed all the way to the floor line? Many times split and tri levels have poured in place concrete walls similar to a basement, at least up to the bottom of the windows. You did not mention having to cut out concrete. As you brought new framing down this close to the ground, are you sure that the bottoms are solid , well flashed, and dry? What is the exterior where this door is located?
You keep talking about your roof and upper ceiling problems when the door was installed on the lower level. You also state that the ceiling is low at the new doorway. This does not sound quite right. If things had settled that far, you would have much bigger issues. I suspect that the problem may be in the floor if you are measuring the vertical distance from the floor to the ceiling. Tri levels usually have concrete floors at the lower level and concrete is not necessarily flat. Can you lay a long straightedge of some type along the ceiling and see a definite dip in the ceiling line?
I suspect your drywall issues are moisture or humidity related. You've not said what area of the country you are in or whether or how the place is air conditioned or dehumidified. Duplicating an existing texture on walls can be difficult. Depending on where you live, it would be unusual to have plaster veneer on drywall. This has been popular on the east coast, but is a bit of an upscale thing in the west in my experience. Are you sure about the plaster as opposed to drywall? Do these bulges have signs of tape popping loose?
Depending on what others here may say, I think your next step is to talk to the contractor that did the door. Do not share your theory about why your drywall joints have popped. He is a contractor in your area that already knows your house somewhat. If he will come by, show him the bulge problem and ask him if he does this type of work also or if he has anyone that he would recommend for this type of work. You want to find out what is causing the bulges ( I still think moisture related). The cosmetics of the texture can be handled by a drywaller or by painters. They will either do the work or know a sub that does this type work that they trust. If it truly is veneer plaster, the list of contractors will be drastically smaller. ___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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To answer the questions in the responses.
Maybe a better description of the problem would saying that there are 1/16 to 1/8 inch ridges formed in lines where the wall board panels meet. This is what I called bulging.
Cripple studs were not used. Not enough room. Header was wedged/hammered in below top plates. There was about an inch between bottom of header and top of pre-hung door jamb at time of installation of the door so if there was downward settling there was an inch of freedom.
It was an exterior door. I reinstalled door because contractor skipped a few steps that I asked him about during installation; like caulking, correctly leveling and flashing. When I asked if he was going to caulk or flash the door during the work, he did not answer me at three different times. I did not change his jack or king stud opening. I wanted to add another king stud but decided not to go through with the extra effort. He also reattached vinyl siding leaving color variations. Siding was not put back at its original height location and had different shading due to weathering. I corrected these color variations. I siliconed the poured concrete floor in area where door was to be placed, added pressure treated lumber, bolted lumber to concrete added more silicone on top of lumber, then the door unit was placed on top of pressure treated lumber. I flashed at top and sides on exterior of the unit using this metallic flashing tape. Did like that he used engineered lumber though for the header.
Your right about a poured concrete floor not necessarily being level. Though, the area in front of the newly installed door has lowest measurements of lower level of house. Could be coincidental.
We live in western, PA. House is 45-50 years old. The wallboard(drywall or sheetrock or whatever was used 45 years ago) did not have any ridges or seams showing for the first 6 months that we lived in the house. The house was on the market for a year, was empty and I believe owners did not use dehumidifier during that time of vacancy. They were in a nursing home. We use air conditioner very little during summer. I added a dehumidifier set at about 55% after problem occurred.
All walls and ceilings were finished 50 years ago with semi-circle patterns- like a segment of an old-fashioned LP record . Of course groves of the pattern are larger more like a brush technique. I believe this to be a plaster coat. The walls had 2 or 3 coats of paint on them before I painted them with 3 coats of Olympic latex paint. I did not thin the paint. No tape is visible between the panels. Did they use tape on this type of wallboard back then? I do have places where nails are pushing out, but not through the plaster. Again, the walls were not like this while I was in the house for the first 6 months.
I thought about removing old drywall/plaster, or adding another sheet of drywall over top of existing drywall, or having rooms replastered, or using joint compound and skim coating the entire surface hiding both semi-circle pattern and ridges.
Removing old drywall not preferred at least for the ceiling. Don't want all the insulation dust and crap falling down. Putting a new sheet of drywall over existing walls will require outlet box extenders and 1 or two of outlets already need extenders. Might give me some sound insulation though.
Replastering walls as you mentioned is a short list of people. Haven't found anyone in area yet that does it. Might look more vigorously. Skim coating whole wall surface with joint compound could be messy - at least the sanding. Could I get the surface level using a skim coat of joint compound? Would this skim coat be a durable surface? Or, if I hammer in a picture frame with a nail would I have to worry about the skim coat falling apart? Haven't ever heard of anyone using joint compound in this fashion.
What puzzles me is that when I bought this 45-50 year old house, it did not have this problem even for 6 months after I lived in the house. If it is the paint or moisture, is it a reversible problem? I can't imagine the nails that are trying to push through the wall receding and leaving no trail.
Thanks again for your help.
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From your description, there's no way a new door could cause rock to go bad all over the house.
I would look to the latex paint. Did you thin it by any chance? Sounds like it was too wet.
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Glenn wrote:

Did not thin the latex paint.
I thought that if the header the contractor installed was not tight against top plates and settling occured and roof lowered even 1/4 to 1/2 inch in that area it could exert force on other areas of the roof that wasn't there before, putting downward pressure on the top plates which in turn would put downward pressure on the drywall sheets attached to studs.
Thought this force might be sufficent to affect the wall/ceilings in lower level of split-level. Though, did not think force would be sufficient to be transmitted to upper level of split level in a meaningful way. I assume roof weighs about 10 pound per square foot.
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I'm thinking that the drywall guy did not tape the joints (and timing with door installation is likely just a coincidence). Cut around one of the seams and see if there is joint tape there. If you're not familiar with drywall tape, head down to the local e.g. Home Depot ... they'll explain it.
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bowgus wrote:

Is there any mold in the house. Perhaps your remodeling changes the airflow within the walls It could have caused changes in humidity and temperature which affected sheetrock that you said is 50 years old. Also at new construction if you get tape too wet it will ripple
Jack
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snowonweb wrote:

No mold that I know of.
I would have hoped that any airflow change by adding the door would have been limited to the attic. The jack studs/door were flashed well. Header touching top plates was not covered with house wrap on outside. If any new air flow reached the attic it should have been no different that the air coming from my soffits and being handled by the ridge vent.
If more air was travelling through the walls past the jack and king stud then I would suspect that the air flow would be restricted to a room or two rather than the whole house.
Still trying to determine the best resultion for this problem.
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i dont think the door has anything to do with that it seems to me the drywall was poorly taped

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