A Full Breakdown on the Cost to Repair Drywall

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated June 24, 2022
dining room in open space interior design
Photo: Casa imágenes / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • Drywall repair typically runs $100–$1,100.

  • The cost to repair drywall is $50–$75 per square foot.

  • The project’s size and scope will impact price.

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Whether you want to spruce up a few dents and dings or fix a large surface area, drywall repair can return your walls to a smooth, flush look. Fixing a small hole in drywall is an easy project that costs $100 or less, whether you hire a professional or do the job yourself. If you have several holes to repair or more extensive damage that requires replacing drywall, you can expect to pay up to $1,100.

Average Drywall Repair Costs in Your Neighborhood

Drywall repair costs vary based on your location and the scope of the project. Here are examples of typical repair costs throughout the U.S.

CityRepair Cost RangeAverage Repair Cost
Orlando, FL$270 – $780$520
Raleigh, NC$220 – $680$430
New York$370 – $1,080$720
Portland, ME$340 – $830 $580
Chicago, IL$290 – $810$550
Kansas City$300 – $840$560
Dallas, TX$230 – $620$410
Phoenix, AZ$230 – $640 $420
Denver, CO$270 – $700$460
Sacramento, CA$210 – $590$400
Portland, OR$280 – $820$540

Drywall Repair Cost Breakdown

Drywall repair costs can be broken into two categories: materials and labor.

Materials

For very small drywall repairs, you can purchase a drywall repair kit for $10 to $30. For larger jobs, you’re better off buying materials separately. Expect to pay about $45 for drywall, spackle, a putty knife, wood, a few screws, and sandpaper. Add $15 to $25 for a quart of paint or $20 to $55 for a gallon.

For more significant drywall issues, you may need sheets of drywall, wood for bracing, drywall tape, and screws. A sheet measuring 8 feet by 4 feet costs $11 to $15. Other necessities include screws ($6 per pound), drywall tape ($4.50 per roll), and spackle ($4 to $16 per container).

Labor

When hiring a local drywall installer to make repairs, you’ll typically choose between a handyperson and a construction contractor. Handypeople are best for smaller projects and charge about $60 per hour. However, if you have extensive damage or need to replace entire walls, it’s better to call a contractor. You can expect to pay these professionals about $90 per hour.

Note that if you have additional damage or require further repair, you’ll need to budget for these extra costs. For example, if the drywall damage extends to wiring behind the wall, you’ll need to contact an electrician for repairs. This might cost $50 to $100 per hour. If your wall needs painting and you don’t want to do it yourself, you’ll hire a painter for about $70 to $130 per hour.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Repair Drywall?

worker repairing holes in interior wall
Photo: sima / Adobe Stock

When it comes to determining drywall repair costs, you’ll need to think about the size and scope of the project, where the damage is, necessary materials, and whether you need additional repair work.

Size and Scope

If you have a professional patch a single hole caused by a doorknob or other accident, you can expect to pay a flat rate that covers the visit to your home and the labor and materials to complete the job. However, if you have multiple areas that need repair or you have extensive damage, you can expect to pay by the hour. Handypeople typically charge about $60 per hour, while drywall contractors charge about $90 per hour.

Location

Damage in spots that are not easily accessible may warrant higher repair costs. For example, holes on tall walls, on the ceiling, or under sinks are not only annoying, but they may also require extra time and equipment, like ladders. Repairpeople might tack on an additional fee for these, or in the case of hourly workers, you’ll pay more simply because the job takes longer.

Materials

The standard materials for repairing small drywall holes include wall patches, spackle, and sandpaper. For more significant issues, you may need sheets of drywall, wood for bracing, drywall tape, and screws.

Additional Services or Repairs 

During the repair, your installer may notice that your damage goes beyond the drywall. For example, depending on the force with which something may have hit your wall (say, a 200-pound human during a wild party), you may also have electrical, structural, or insulation damage. If you’ve hired a general contractor, he may be able to make these additional repairs, but they’ll come at an extra cost.

Other services that you may pay extra for include wall texturing and painting to match the repaired area with the rest of the wall.

Cost to Repair Drywall Myself

Depending on the extent of damage, it may cost $10 to $45 to repair small holes in drywall.

If you have a small hole measuring just a few inches across, you can purchase a drywall repair kit from a home improvement store for $10 to $30. These kits usually include spackle, wall patches, a putty knife, and sandpaper. If you need to paint to match the surrounding area, you should add an extra $15 to $25 for a quart of color-matched paint.

If you have a larger hole or several smaller ones, it’s more cost-effective to purchase supplies separately. For about $45, you can buy everything you need (except paint) for these types of repairs, including a piece of drywall measuring 8 feet by 4 feet. As a bonus, you’ll likely have leftover supplies that you can use to make additional repairs in the future.

When deciding between making drywall repairs yourself or hiring a local drywall installer, think about whether you have the skills and time to make a proper repair. Small patches are relatively easy, but larger ones may require you to cut out broken drywall to add a new piece

If you don’t have experience with this type of work, you may not achieve a smooth finish after patching, which in turn won’t look good after painting. Ask yourself: Which is worse? A hole in the wall or a repair over what was clearly a hole in the wall? In addition to looking bad, a shoddy repair can prevent you from getting back a deposit or affect the resale value of your home. Considering that the cost of bringing in a professional is relatively low, this is usually the better (and overall more financially sound) decision.

Drywall Repair Questions and Answers

How much does it cost to repair drywall per square foot?

If you have a big job that requires the installation of larger sections, you can expect your drywall repair costs to run $50 to $75 per square foot. Accidents that may necessitate these types of repairs include televisions falling off the wall, heavy furniture falling against the wall, or some serious roughhousing.

Is it better to repair or replace drywall?

The decision to repair or replace drywall will depend on the extent of the damage and what caused it. For example, if you have small holes caused by runaway doorknobs or oblivious children, there’s no need to replace the drywall—just patch it. On the other hand, if your damage has been caused by water or rodents, it’s better to remove the drywall to further inspect and repair the area and then replace it.

How do I repair a small hole in drywall?

The best way to repair a small hole in drywall is through the use of a drywall repair kit. These kits cost $10 or $30 and come with everything you need to make the repair, except paint. In most cases, you’ll sand the wall smooth, apply a drywall patch, apply spackle, and wait for the spackle to dry. At that point, you’ll sand the wall again to smooth it out, and if you wish, paint it.

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