Cost Of Drywall | Estimate Labor Cost To Hang And Finish Drywall (2023)

Typical Cost To Install Drywall Average: $625 - $970
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The average drywall cost in a 10×12 room is $650-900. The size of your walls, type of sheetrock, as well as the complexity of labor involved will have the biggest impact on the total cost of installing and finishing drywall in your house.

Contractors use drywall in homes and commercial spaces to construct wall and ceiling surfaces. Drywall is also known as wallboard, sheetrock or gypsum board.

Across the US, homeowners report spending $2.75-$4.20 per square foot to install drywall on vertical surfaces (walls). Drywall on ceilings is typically 50-70% more than walls.

How Much Is Drywall?

Typical Cost To Install Drywall Average: $625 - $970
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This price estimate includes materials, professional labor for both hanging and finishing the drywall (joint compound of seams and screw holes) as well as sanding, so that a contractor can paint it.

For 2,000 sq. ft. of wall space, your average total drywall cost is $4,200 – $7,800.

This drywall estimate is for simple rectangular spaces, without any complex architectural details, multiple corners or any other obstructions that would need to be worked around.

Typically, drywall pros charge anywhere from $55 t0 $95 per hour, depending on a number of factors that will talk about below.

Another factor that greatly impacts your final drywall cost is the level of finish you want to have.

Its important to keep in mind that labor rates also very greatly by region. In affluent cities such as Boston, New York, San Francisco you can be paying as much as 20-30% more than the national average.

By contrast, less well-to-do regions will have prices that are about 10-15% less than the national average.

Cost To Drywall A Room

Typical Cost To Install Drywall Average: $625 - $970
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In a small room about 200 sq. ft. the total cost to hang drywall is $1,200 – 1,500.

For a small project, the price per square foot for installing drywall is actually much higher then for bigger square footage, because the contractor has to account for his prep and clean up time as well as overhead costs.

On bigger projects, drywall cost per sq. ft. will be significantly lower.

Cost To Hang Drywall Based On House Size

Cost to Install Drywall (200 s.f. room)
$625 - $970
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The total cost for your drywall installation will go up depending on the size of the job.

Here is drywall cost breakdown based on the size of your home:

House Size (Square Footage) Drywall Square Footage Total Dryall Installation Cost
1,500 5,650 – 6,500 $5,200 – $20,300
2,000 6,500 – 7,900 $6,650 – $23,750
2,500 7,900 – 9,400 $7,950 – $28,450
3,000 8,000 – 10,000 $8,300 – $29,000

Drywall Cost Per Sheet

Most contractors have different rates based on the number of drywall sheets being installed as well as the total size of the job.

You can get a lower price per sq.ft. on a project that uses at least of 50 sheets of drywall or more.

For example, if you have a space of about 2,400 sq.ft. and will need to cover it with 50 12′ sheets, your drywall cost will be about $72-84 per sheet, or $3,600-4,200 total.

However, if you have a room that you need to put drywall in or a space under 400-500 sq.ft., your cost per sheet will go up to $100-120 or more.

If you are building a new house or a commercial space (over 10-12,000 sq.ft.) you can get a significant discount on the total drywall installation cost. It can become as low as $1.15-1.25 per sq.ft.

Pro Tip: Contractors should use the longest possible drywall sheets, as this can save money on both materials and installation time.

Additional Costs To Hang Drywall

Typical Cost To Install Drywall Average: $625 - $970
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Here are some additional things that a contractor may need to do when hanging drywall and will charge you extra.

Item Cost Per Square Foot
Remove old drywall $2 – 3.25
Scaffolding $0.55 – 0.95 on top of basic labor charge
Frame the walls $4 – 4.5
Install wall insulation $0.75-1.00
Smooth the ceiling $1 – 2 on top of basic labor charge

1. Remove and dispose old drywall: if you need to remove old drywall before installing new one, be prepared to spend! This work is very expensive, ranging from $2 -3.25 per sq.ft. This is one area where you can try to save money, if you are willing to do this job yourself.

2. Scaffolding: if your house has very high, cathedral or vaulted ceilings, installing drywall will be a lot more challenging and will require scaffolding. Depending on the contractor, you may get a 30-50% up-charge on the total.

3. Drywall framing: if you are building a home addition, and need to add walls, they have to be framed before hanging drywall. The cost of framing walls is $4-4.5 per square foot, including all the materials.

4. Put in wall insulation: Prior to hanging drywall, its very important to ensure that there is good insulation inside the walls. Typical wall insulation prices are $0.75 – 1.00 per square foot.

5. Complex architecture: if your home has many corners and arches that a contractor will need to work around, the total cost can double or triple.

Similarly, drywall costs will go up if he will have to work around built-in shelves, countertops and kitchen cabinets, if you are doing a big kitchen remodel.

6. Smooth ceiling: if you install ceiling drywall and want the texture to be completely smooth, you will pay a premium charge. To create a perfectly smooth ceiling a pro needs to spend a lot of time applying many coats of mud and then sanding the surface.

By contrast, a textured ceiling is significantly cheaper. This is why many people prefer it over a smooth one. To create it a contractor applies only one coat of mud, after he seals the joints.

Cost To Finish Drywall

Typical Cost To Install Drywall Average: $625 - $970
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Hanging the drywall is only the first step of the project. Once that is complete, the contractor needs to finish the drywall in order to prepare the walls or ceiling for finish step of painting it.

Generally speaking there are 5 levels of finish for the drywall, each with increasing number of labor and time required. The lower the level of finish, the more visible are joint tape, compound, etc.

Most finished living spaces require a Level 4 finish (you can safely paint the walls without worrying that drywall will be visible in any way.)

Level 5 finish, which is the most expensive, is appropriate in spaces that will be finished with semi-gloss or gloss paint.

Here is how much drywall costs based on the level of finish:

Drywall Finish Level Cost Per Square Foot
0: Drywall is hung & attached to the wall frame $1.0 – 1.50
1: Add tape to seal the seams and joint compound over the tape $1.25 – $1.75
2: Add one coat of compound over panels. Good for tile jobs $1.50 – $2
3: Two coats of compound. Smooth enough to create a texture finish $1.75 – $2.25
4: Three Coats of compound, makes it ready for flat paint or light finish $2 – $2.50
5: Highest level of finish needed for gloss interior paint $2.25 – $3

Drywall Cost Per Square Foot

Cost to Install Drywall (200 s.f. room)
$625 - $970
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There are different types of drywall available, and they all have different cost per square foot.

Standard drywall of various thickness (ranges from 1/4” to 5/8”): costs $0.24-0.41 per sq.ft, depending on the thickness.

Here is what you can expect to spend on basic quality drywall and straight forward installation.

Item Cost Per Square Foot
Drywall $0.50 – 0.75
Professional Labor (simple job) $0.65 – 0.90
Finishing/texturing materials $0.55 – 1.60
Total $1.70 – 3.25

Cost To Install Sheetrock

Many homeowners are confused about the difference between sheetrock and drywall. This is especially the case since contractors use these two terms interchangeably, even though they are actually NOT the same thing.

Sheetrock is a type of drywall that is made exclusively by the US Gypsum company. So Sheetrock is actually a brand of drywall. This means that all of sheetrock is drywall, but NOT all drywall is sheetrock.

Sheetrock costs $12-20 per panel.This is equivalent to $0.40-65 per square foot. A typical size 4’x 8′ panel of sheetrock costs $15

Similar to generic drywall, sheetrock is available in 3 thicknesses: 1/4 inch, 1/5 inch and 3/4 inch.

While sheetrock is more expensive than generic drywall, many pros prefer to use it on their remodeling projects, because its higher quality and is actually easier to work with.

Its important to keep in mind that some generic cheap drywall that is manufactured in China actually emits sulfur gas. This not results in a very unpleasant smell in the room but also poses a health hazard.

Overall, its best to invest into high quality drywall.

Drywall Cost Based On Drywall Type

Not all drywall or sheetrock is created equal. Pricing varies depending on the features of the drywall material> Its important to figure out first what type of drywall you need, before settling on the product.

Consult with your contractor to get the best quality drywall for your remodeling project.

Here are sample drywall prices per square foot.

Drywall Type Cost Per Square Foot
Moisture-resistant Drywall $0.40 – 0.50 per sq.ft.
Heat/Fire-resistant drywall $0.34 – 0.42 per sq.ft.
Sound-barrier drywall $0.95 – 2.25 per sq.ft.

Note, sound resistant drywall costs the most to install, as much as $4 and up per sq.ft. for labor and materials. Standard size panel of sound resistant drywall costs about $50.

High-end basement remodels make use of this type of drywall if they are converting a basement into a man cave, a home entertainment theater, or a music/dance studio.

Keep in mind that in addition to drywall panels themselves, you also need other materials to complete the install.

Average Cost Of A Drywall Sheet

Your cost of drywall can range greatly depending on the brand you buy as well as the thickness of the sheet. The price for a sheet of drywall ranges from $9 to $18 per sheet, while the average cost is $11-12 per sheet.

The most common size for residential drywall sheets is 4 ft wide, 8 ft tall, and 1/2 inch thick.

If you need to hang drywall on the ceiling, be sure to get sheets that are labeled as “sag resistant”. They are also lighter in weight than standard drywall used on walls.

If you are need to have fire-resistant drywall, be sure to get sheets are properly labeled as fire resistant. There are 2 options here:

Type X drywall is rated to hold back fire for 1 hour. The price is about $9 per sheet

Type C drywall is rated to hold back fire for up to 3 hours. The price is about $11 per sheet.

Cost To Hang Drywall In An Older Home

If you are remodeling an older house, you may have to budget for additional expenses when installing drywall. This is because many homes that were built before 1980 may have issues with mold, asbestos or lead paint.

Removing each one or all of these is necessary before you can install new drywall and finish the walls of the house.

Its best to hire a home inspector who will be able to tell you for sure whether any of these issues exist and need to be taken care of.

This is what you can expect to spend:

Item Cost For a 2000 sq.ft. house
Asbestos Removal $1,500 – 3,000
Lead Paint Removal $1,450 – 4,900
Mold Removal $2,800 – 6,000

DIY Drywall Installation vs Hire a Pro

Typical Cost To Install Drywall Average: $625 - $970
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Hiring a contractor to install drywall typically accounts for 60-70% of the total project cost, while 30-40% is the cost of drywall and additional materials.

If you know how to handle drywall and are not looking for a very high quality finish (like you want to put up some wall paneling in your garage or basement), then you can do the job yourself, since all the materials you need are readily available at a local big box home improvement store.

However, if you need to hang drywall in a large space, or the ceilings need to be drywalled, or you are looking for a premium level of finish then, its best to hire a pro. They will have the skills and the tools to get the job done well as well as very quickly.

It can take a pro 2 days to drywall a room, while it may take a handy homeowner more then a week to complete the same job.

Also, keep in mind that hanging drywall is very labor intensive, and often requires the assistance of a second person.

If you are planning to go for a DIY drywall installation, you will need to purchase these materials separately at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Joint tape – $3 per roll
Drywall adhesive – $4 per tube
Mud and joint compound – $8 per box
Premixed compound – $15 per 5 gallons
16 inch x 16 inch square of drywall (great for drywall repairs) – $5 each
Drywall screws – $7 per box

You’ll need 12 feet of drywall tape per 4′ x 8′ panel. So, for a 200 sq.ft. room you will need about 240 feet of tape.

For a 4′ x 8′ sheet of drywall, you will need one-third of a gallon of joint compound. For a 200 square-foot room, you should buy 7 gallons.

Cost to Install Drywall (200 s.f. room)
$625 - $970
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

About Leo Bender

Leo has been a contractor since 2003, specializing in: roofing, siding, general contracting (GC) and residential remodeling. Leo is also a Certified HVAC, Oil & Gas Heating Technician/Installer. In addition to roofing and remodeling, Leo is passionate about Solar, green building and energy conservation, so a lot of my time and energy goes to installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

See more about Remodeling Calculator team here

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5 comments on “Cost Of Drywall | Estimate Labor Cost To Hang And Finish Drywall (2023)

  1. J

    I had a 60sq ft LL bath sheet rock taped and mudded crudely. I paid for all materials. And got charged $1000
    They came to me and said they were done, I said aren’t you gonna do the outside of the walls? They said that would double the price and they weren’t expecting to have to do it like I’m gonna leave my lower level bathroom exterior walls raw? WTF? He broke my exhaust fan and between him and the guy I had doing my hardwood floors I think they moved a lot of things out of my house. My remodel help nightmare… J

  2. Kellyann Naudascher

    My father is installing 150 sheets of drywall. That’s includes a bathroom with green board. But all in total it’s 150 sheets. He wants it screwed or nailed up, taping, spackled and clean up. There’s a dumpster for trash. The materials are there. Someone just puts it up, tape, spackle, sand flat and clean up afterwards. What should he pay? I am confused, sorry.

    1. Leo B Post author


      150 sheets is a lot of drywall 🙂 … that is 4800 sq. ft. I’m sure some of that will be on ceilings, but still …

      So there are typically 2 ways to approach it – by the hour and by the job (or by piece of drywall). Green board does not make a difference – process is the same – only material cost is slightly higher.

      Since your father already has his drywall on site, that removes cost of materials (but not screws / tape / mud or Joint Compound) …

      My personal and very strong recommendation is NOT to do it by the hour. Pricing the job by the hour usually turns into a nightmare and a lot of sour feelings. I had a pleasure of dealing with this myself recently, where my drywall guy decided to switch from job price to hourly, and I made a mistake of agreeing to that (even though I was burned by hourly rates before) … but I figured that I’ve worked with him before, and we had good relationship … Anyway – never agree to pay by the hour.

      Pricing by the job could be for the entire project, or per sheet of drywall. I would probably do it by the job. Again since materials have been already purchased there shouldn’t be a deposit part.

      COST: Depending where you live, figure about $65-$100 per sheet of drywall installed, taped and mudded. Perhaps your father may want “skim coating” instead of joint compound. It takes just as much time or even less to skim coat, as it takes to do mud, and results look way better in my opinion.

      I hope this helps. Good luck.

  3. Angela Waterford

    I’m going to remodel my home when I come back from vacation. Thanks for saying that it will cost me about $1.5-2.2 per square foot for installation of drywall for my living room. I think I’ll contact a company about this so that I’ll know what I’ll have to spend on my home’s improvement.