How Much Does It Cost to Build a Wall?

Marwa Hasan
Written by Marwa Hasan
Updated February 10, 2022
A living room with concrete wall
Photo: photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • Drywall is the most common material for building walls.

  • Drywall can start as low as $1 per square foot.

  • Stone walls are more expensive and can reach $80 per square foot.

  • Load-bearing walls can cost more than non-load-bearing walls.

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Whether you want to divide a room into two or put a wall in your open plan for privacy, putting up a wall will cost you $980 to $2,900, with most homeowners paying $1,900 on average.

While installing a wall might seem easy to some people, it consists of many steps such as framing, electrical work, and finishing, depending on the type of wall you want to build.

National Average CostMinimum CostMaximum Cost
$1,900$980$2,900

Cost of Building a Wall Near You 

The average cost to install a wall depends on where you are. Here are the average prices in different cities across the board to help you understand how the cost near you compares to other locations.

CityState
Kansas City, MO$1,760
Chicago, IL$1,700
Las Vegas, NV$2,560
Los Angeles, CA$2,000
New York, NY$2,280
Tampa, FL$1,540
Dallas, TX$1,730
Manchester, NH$1,500
Salt Lake City, UT$2,250

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Wall Per Material?

7 wall building material costs, with wood averaging $10 to $40 per square foot

The cost to install a wall varies depending on the material of the wall. Walls come in a wide range of materials, from brick, plaster, stone, and concrete.

Material Cost Per Square Foot
Drywall$1 – $3
Plaster$3 – $10
Glass$25 – $75
Concrete$5 – $12
Wood$10 – $40
Stone or stone veneer$10 – $80
Brick or brick veneer$5 – $45

Drywall

A worker plastering the wall indoors
Photo: saravut / Adobe Stock

Drywall is the most common material for walls, consisting of boards made from material bonded to a gypsum plaster core. The price of building drywall runs between $1 to $3 per square foot. A typical panel is 4 feet by 8 feet or 32 square feet. Interior walls framed with drywall cost $20 to $30 per linear foot.

Drywall sheets can be used for both your walls and ceilings (and can be built simultaneously). Drywall is heavy, and installation usually requires at least two workers.

Plaster 

Plaster is great for curved interior walls and decorative touches to get older house styles or textures. Expect to pay $3 to $5 per square foot for plaster walls, though it can sometimes get as high as $10 per square foot

Glass

Expect to pay $25 to $75 per square foot for a tempered glass wall installation. You will pay an extra $1,000 to $3,000 or more to add a glass door, depending on the location.

Stone

Stone walls are mostly used for outdoor walls and are great for building retaining walls.

For indoor walls, veneer stone is lighter and more cost-effective. The cost to install a stone wall can be anywhere from $10 to $80 per square foot

Brick

Brick is used for both indoor and outdoor walls. Brick walls cost about $5 to $45 per square foot. You’d use a thin veneer brick for interior brick walls, which runs $5 to $15 per square foot.

Concrete

A worker plastering cement on wall
Photo: lovelyday12 / Adobe Stock

Building a concrete wall costs $5 to $12 per square foot. They’re durable and easy to maintain. And unlike other materials, concrete walls never rot when exposed to moisture.

Wood

Wood paneling costs $10 to $40 per square foot. Wood upholstery or paneling is a great and cost-effective way to personalize the design of your home. You can hide flaws in the walls, exposed cables, and wiring with wood paneling.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Wall Per Function?

Whether you want to install a partition wall for privacy or a load-bearing exterior wall, the function of the wall you build determines the final cost.

Exterior vs. Interior Walls

While framing is almost the same for both interior and exterior walls, some other aspects of finishing an exterior wall will be different. Building an exterior wall will require additional insulation, load-bearing elements, and doors or windows.

Walls with windows or doors requiring a beam for support will increase costs. Some walls also need plumbing or electrical work, which will add to the final price.

While insulating load-bearing walls can cost $1 to $5 per square foot, studs and bracing can cost $1 to $2 per square foot.

Partition Walls 

The cost to add a partition wall depends on the type and size. They come in different materials, including glass, panels, and half walls that don't reach the ceiling.

Partition Wall TypePrice Per Square Foot
Glass walls$25 – $75
Panel walls$1.50 – $2.50
Drywall half wall$10 – $20

Load-Bearing Walls

Framing load-bearing walls can cost slightly higher than non-load-bearing ones because they need more studs throughout. External walls need additional studs at the corners plus insulation, increasing material costs by 30%. 

Installing a Wall Cost Breakdown

When estimating the cost of building a wall, you’ll need to consider several factors, including the size of the wall, materials, and the addition of doors or windows.

Permits

Structural changes in your home require a building permit. Expect to pay $100 to $300 for a permit to build a simple interior wall, but it can vary significantly depending on what you're building and your location.

Materials

The material you use to finish the wall makes a huge difference in the final cost. Interior walls are often built from various materials such as wood, drywall, and insulation. 

Framing 

The cost to frame a wall is a major factor in determining the cost of building a wall in your home. Different framing materials and whether the walls are indoor or outdoor are elements to consider.

The cost to frame an interior wall is $7 to $16 per square foot, while framing exterior walls can cost $2 to $5 per square foot.

Doors, Windows, and Pass-Throughs

Walls with openings such as windows, doors, or pass-throughs can cost an additional $120 to $200 per opening. An opening needs studs and beams to carry the weight of the wall. In addition, you’ll pay $300 to $1,000 for the trim, frame, sill, doors, windows, and other materials. 

Arched Walls 

An arch may cost $1,000 to $5,000 to install, depending on the size and whether the wall is load-bearing. Larger arches or rooms with arches at every opening will cost more.

Electrical and Plumbing

Most of the walls in your home contain some electrical wiring, which powers your outlets and lighting. You may have to hire a local electrician to add electrical work such as a light switch or a power outlet when building a wall, which can increase the total cost. A licensed electrician may charge a flat rate for their services or $50 to $100 per hour.

If you're adding a wall in the bathroom or kitchen, you’ll also need to hire a local plumber, who can charge $350 to $1,750.

Additional Costs

Some additional factors might count to the final cost of building a wall.

  • Soundproofing: It can cost an extra $400–$600 for a standard-size room.

  • Texture: Adding texture is a quick, easy way to finish an interior wall. The cost to texture is $1 per square foot

  • Paneling: If you want to install paneling, you can pay $5–$25 per square foot, depending on the material you choose.

  • Trims: Additional decorative features such as trims will also add to the final price. 

Can You Install a Wall Yourself?

You might think building a wall is a simple project, but it isn't a DIY task. Find a local drywall contractor to ensure correct installation according to local codes, proper plumbing and electricity, and a beautiful finish.

Tips to Reduce Costs While Installing a Wall

Building a wall can get pricey, so here are some money-saving tips to follow when building a wall:

  • Use recycled materials.

  • Interview potential professionals and use these tips to hire the best contractor based on their portfolio and references. They’ll get the job done fast and in the best quality possible.

  • Use economical materials such as plaster or drywall.

Installing a Wall Questions and Answers

What other home renovation projects can I do at the same time?

While having contractors at your home, there are a few projects you can work on simultaneously when building a wall. You can upgrade to energy-efficient windows or doors to increase sustainability, tear down walls to have an open-concept home, or build a home addition.

What is house framing?

Framing is the shell of the house. It includes several steps, including studs, plumbing, and electricity. A professional will ensure the wall frame is secured for the house’s structural integrity. 

Framing prices change depending on the material and whether the wall is load-bearing. Most contractors use wood to frame a home, but metal is another popular choice.

How does a pro build a new wall?

  • The contractor will mark the potential location for the new wall.

  • They’ll start building a wall frame depending on where they want to put studs, doors, and windows.

  • They’ll put the frame straight up.

  • An electrician will add electrical wiring, including outlets and switches.

  • The builder will nail the drywall down to the studs and plates.

  • The builder will paint the wall and put cladding or panels for the finishing touches. 

  • The builder will install trims, doors, and windows.

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