Drywall installation cost guide

Introduced into the market slightly over a century ago, drywall has become an inexpensive, reliable and aesthetically appealing replacement for the old faithful plaster. Now, even homeowners themselves can purchase the required materials and quickly turn their painful-to-look-at garage, for instance, into a pleasant-to-be-in space. If it's a bigger and more labor-intensive project, though, getting professional help is wiser as you can count on real quality and speed. Whichever drywall installation method you choose for your home, you should want to know how much you can expect to pay.

Here you will learn about:

Drywall installation professionals perform the mounting of drywall panels in all types of structures beginning with private homes and ending with garages and commercial properties. Drywall panels, also known as gypsum boards or sheetrocks, are designed to give the interiors of rooms finished and aesthetic look. They can be mounted in newly constructed buildings or as a part of the remodeling project.

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Professional drywall installers specialize in many kinds of tasks such as removing or replacing old drywall panels, repairing gypsum boards, removing popcorn ceilings, and creating textures. How much you will pay for a drywall installation project depends on several factors such as the square footage of your room or home, the price of the materials, the "configuration" of the room (standard or with arches), and extra services (debris removal, applying texture to drywall), and others. On average, be prepared to spend from $980 to $2,520. The peak price is $4,550, while the lowest one is $510.

Price-related questions

What is the size of a standard gypsum board and how much does it cost?

The most common gypsum board size is 4 feet in width by 8 feet in height. This can be as thin as one fourth of an inch and as thick as 5/8". If you're going to have drywall on a ceiling, the thickness is normally chosen from half an inch to 5/8". That value guarantees the board will not sag. For a 4x8 drywall sheet, expect to pay $11-$21. The exact price is determined by how thick you need the board to be and what special characteristics it should have such as good fireproof qualities or high resistance to mold and mildew. Another price-shaping factor is the manufacturer. Boards of other sizes are available on the market, too:

  • Width: 4 Height: 12 Price: $11
  • Width: 4 Height: 14 Price: $14
  • Width: 4 Height: 16 Price: $16

If you need to have the existing drywall panel repaired, you can also buy a small panel variety 16 inches by 16 inches for somewhere like $6 a piece.

What other materials do professionals use and what can I expect to pay for them?

Naturally, drywall needs to be mounted using screws. Then, joints need to be sealed with tape, and finally the joint compound should be used to make the whole structure look immaculate. Although those materials represent a tiny percentage of the entire project cost, you still need to purchase them.


These are special coarse-thread screws one fourth of an inch thick. You can buy them in packets that weigh one pound and include around 300 pieces. According to most professionals, one packet will be used to install half a thousand square feet of drywall. A standard project will require at least two packets of screws, each costing around $7. So, be prepared to spend $14 on the whole.


The drywall joint tape is normally found in rolls one hundred and fifty feet in length. You'll most likely need one roll or less. How much you pay for a roll depends on its type, for instance:

  • Ordinary tape
  • Laminated tape
  • Tape that prevents mold growth
  • Fiber mesh

If it's standard tape, $2-$4 is a fair price range. More advanced varieties can be sold for as much as $16.

Compound for sealing drywall joints

This is necessary to give the final touch to the project by hiding screws, tape, and everything that may spoil the overall appearance of the new installation.

  • Premixed variety: $16/5 gal.
  • Unmixed variety: $6.00-$10.00. The exact price is determined by the required amount.

In general, materials can take up from 20 to 50 percent of the overall project budget.

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What's the cost of labor?

The payment structures that drywall installation professionals use vary. Some charge customers based on the size and complexity of the job, taking a fixed amount per square foot. Others, quote a flat rate for the whole project after an in-home visit. Still others may form the final price based on the time the project will take to complete. The following factors are important when the final cost is determined:

  • Square footage. Some contractors charge more per square foot for drywall installation in a small room ($3 psf) than when a space of 13,000 feet needs to be finished ($1.20 psf).
  • New project (cheaper) against remodeling (more expensive). That's because with a new project, the job is straightforward, while with remodeling, there can be too many obstructions.
  • Room configuration: standard rectangular shape without "nooks" against a room with arches, curves, niches, and other deviations from the norm that require more time and effort on the part of the contractor.
  • Overhead: travel fees, insurance, license.

Taking all those factors into account, it's not unusual to pay around $50-$55 for one gypsum board to be installed, materials included. A standard room twelve feet wide by twelve feet long will cost you between $490 and $730.

Information to check


Make sure the contractor is properly insured, bonded, and licensed. Search for reviews or complaints online to choose a reputable provider. Consider at least three options before making the final decision.


Have the contractor give you a written itemized project estimate.


Some drywall installation projects require a permit from a local building department. For instance, if you’re going to turn a space previously used for storing things into a room for someone to live in, you may have to ascertain you're legally allowed to do that.

Other frequently asked questions

I've just moved into an old house with a popcorn ceiling in a room. I've heard it can be harmful to health. Is it expensive to have it replaced with drywall?

Popcorn ceilings that were all the rage some 50-60 years ago may have been made with the use of asbestos. This material can present a serious health risk and many people prefer having a drywall ceiling instead. It's hard to give an exact price. However, be prepared to spend around $1.50 per square foot for the removal of "popcorns," cleaning, sanding, and painting the ceiling.

Can I tackle drywall installation on my own?

It depends. Perhaps, you can mount drywall in a garage without external help. Yet, if it’s a bigger undertaking, it's advisable to hire professionals with the right tools and expertise. Besides, drywall panels are quite heavy and usually one person will not be enough to handle them. So, while you can save $160-$260 by installing gypsum boards in a standard-size room yourself, it may take you a lot of time and the end result may not be as attractive as you hoped.

I've already got drywall in my room, but I had it installed a while ago and it has developed some cracks. How much would it cost me to repair it?

The entire cost of repairing drywall may amount to $360 with no painting or $560 with painting.

Bottom line

Drywall installation professionals charge their customers based on such factors as the size and difficulty of the job, room square footage, the type of finish that needs to be applied to panels, and others. The average cost of their services ranges from $980 to $2,520.

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