Drywall Costs

Last Updated on June 14, 2022 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on June 14, 2022 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

Although there are contractors that will charge you on a per-job or per room basis, usually, drywall installation is priced by square foot. There are even some handymen that will choose to work on an hourly rate when installing drywall in your house. This is actually the material that will become the basis of the ceilings and walls of your home. You can get premium materials, which will also be pricier, if you live in places with frequent wildfires like California, or if you go for moisture-resistant drywall when repairing the walls of a bathroom.

The sheets of drywall are also available in different thickness levels and sizes. When dealing with a basic installation or you’re looking to transform this experience into a DIY project, you should go for the standard material, which is made of 4’x8’ sheets. The other types of sheets can reach 16 feet in length, but the lengthier they are, the more complex the project will be, becoming really unsuited for a DIY drywall project.

You might also like our articles on the cost to tape and mud drywall, remodel a garage or remove old wallpaper.

You should also consider the thickness of drywall sheets. For common ceiling and wall installation, the ½” drywall will be used, while the one-quarter-inch drywall will be used for overlays and needed repairs. On the other hand, for rooms that require a material that is sturdier, like furnace rooms, garages, or other similar rooms, you will use sheets of up to ⅝” in thickness.

So let’s break down the expected numbers for a drywall installation of 1,999 square feet, in terms of labor costs, material expenses, and other charges. You will need 32 sheets if you go for the 4’x8’ drywall, for this particular job.

Item Unit Cost Cost
Installation labor, finishing, prep work, cleanup, and disposal $1-5 per square foot $1,000-$5,000
Soundproof drywall $70 per sheet $2,240
Moisture/Mold resistant drywall $15 to $35 per sheet $480 to $1,120
Fire-resistant drywall $15 per sheet $480
Standard ½” drywall $15 to $30 per sheet $480 to$960
Total Drywall Installation Cost $4200-$14,240

Other issues and costs

Standard DrywallYou will have to do the drywall finishing following a system of levels. There are six finish levels to know about, and these are rated from basic temporary construction finishing, which is Level 0, to fine coated finishes, known as Level 5, which are ready for gloss paint, semi-gloss, or enamel. If the contractor will have to go through a complicated project, the price of labor will reflect this.

If you want to give the rooms of your home a unique look, then you can apply different textures directly to the drywall. You can do the texturing by spraying it on or manually by hand, and will usually be an added expense in terms of material and labor costs, in addition to the rest of the project.

You will usually spend more on replacements or renovations than on a new construction drywall job. This is mainly because a new construction will need no demolition work and very little prep work. You will also get to negotiate bulk pricing on new construction projects and the discount will depend on the size of the job.

DIY considerations

Keep in mind that drywall will have to be installed properly to ensure a secure wall structure for the building and create a finished product. This will ultimately mean a lot of taping, cutting, and measuring over and over for that clean finish look. You will be able to save on labor expenses if you are willing to put in the necessary work yourself, but only if you know your way around the necessary tools.

Check to see if your home has any asbestos. A lot of the homes built before 1985 have an issue with the presence of asbestos. If you do, you will need asbestos abatement before you can replace drywall. This will set you back another $5,500 and will require professional help from a licensed expert.

Alec Pow
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