The average cost to install drywall is $1,800.
Hiring a drywall pro runs $50–$100 per hour.
Drywall type, thickness, and finish will impact price.
You might be considering drywall installation if you’re restoring an old home, adding a new room to your existing home, or making your basement into a liveable space. Generally, it costs $50 to $100 per hour to hire a pro to install drywall, with an average total project cost of $1,800. No matter the reason for your project, drywall installation costs can vary depending on several factors, including the size and shape of the room, the material type and thickness, and the desired finish.
Drywall Installation Costs Near Your Neighborhood
The cost of home renovation projects and repairs can vary depending on where you live. If you want a rough idea of how much it would cost to install drywall where you are, the averages outlined below illustrate how prices can differ across the U.S.:
How Much Does It Cost to Install Drywall per Square Foot?
The average cost to install drywall, including the finishing, taping, labor costs, and materials, is between $1.50 to $3 per square foot. This cost works out to around $60 to $90 per drywall panel. So, for a standard 12-foot-by-12-foot room (using 18 panels), you could expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $1,600 in total.
Hiring a pro for this job typically costs around $50 to $100 per hour. An experienced local drywall installation contractor will provide you with a customized quote. It’s always a good idea to contact more than one pro, so you can compare their pricing and previous work examples.
How Much Drywall Can I Get on My Budget?
If you have a limited budget, you might need to make some compromises in your drywall installation. Take a look at what you can expect at various price points.
If you have had a small utility room built onto your home and just want to cover up the exposed timber, you could request a basic drywall installation. The contractor would hang the drywall, but for this price, the job likely wouldn’t include taping, mud, or finishing.
A typical living room is around 200 square feet. Providing you aren’t looking for the most luxury finish or the most expensive type of drywall panel, it isn’t unreasonable to budget around $1,500 for this type of job, including installation.
For drywall installation in a large basement, you could expect to pay a local basement remodeling pro around $5,000 for a 1,000-square-foot space, provided you’re not looking for specialized panels.
If your basement is over 1,000 square feet and you’re looking to use moisture-resistant panels and have a high-quality finish, it could cost as much as $10,000 to install drywall.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Installing Drywall?
The type, thickness, and finish of the drywall and the age of your home can all impact the cost of installing drywall.
Type of Drywall
Standard drywall is the most economical option, but more expensive types may be worth the additional investment in some scenarios.
Moisture-resistant panels: Useful for humid rooms, like the bathroom or kitchen
Mold-resistant panels: If the room you’re drywalling is susceptible to high levels of moisture, then opting for a mold-resistant material could be worth it. They’re more expensive than standard moisture-resistant panels, though, and still won't cope with saturated, flooded conditions.
Fire-resistant panels: Using non-combustible fibers of different ratings, these are common in commercial settings. They are, however, required in a garage if it shares a wall or ceiling with the main home.
Soundproof panels: Ideal for a music room, a baby’s room if you want to dampen external ambient noise, or even a teen’s bedroom if they enjoy listening to loud music.
Eco-friendly panels: Drywall panels made from recycled materials are available, but sustainable materials typically cost more.
Drywall panels are available in four main thicknesses. As you would expect, the thickest of these is the most expensive option. If you’re on a minimal budget, you might want to opt for the thinnest quarter-inch panels. Three-eighths-inch and half-inch are the most common varieties. Soundproof and fire-resistant panels are usually five-eighths-inch thick.
Level of Finish
Your drywall installation costs will vary depending on what level of finish you agree upon with your contractor.
Level 0: Contactor hangs the drywall and no more
Level 1: Drywall has the seams sealed with tape and then covered with mud
Level 2: Has one coat of compound, typically to allow tiling on top
Level 3: Has two coats of compound for a smoother finish
Level 4: If you plan to use matte paint, pros recommend the application of three coats of compounds
Level 5: A very high-quality finish which is the best option for enamel and gloss paint application
Age of Your Home
If you have a home that’s over 40 years old, there’s a chance that asbestos or lead paint is present. Mold problems are also a more common issue. If you have concerns about this risk, it’s sensible to have a home inspection before any work hanging new drywall begins. If any of these are present, you could end up paying anything from $1,000 to $3,000 or more for lead, mold, or asbestos removal near you.
Shape and Height of the Room
If your room is higher than average, has rounded corners, complex overhanging cornices, or arched doors, this could mean additional work cutting the drywall for your contractor.
Cost to Install Drywall Myself
You can save a lot of money by installing drywall yourself, but it’s not usually a job for a DIY newbie. The cost of purchasing the panels (without the additional labor and finishing costs) is around $0.40 to $0.65 per square foot, so about two-thirds less expensive than professional installation. You’ll also need to invest in joint compound (commonly called mud), paper tape, screws, and outside corner beads.
If you just need to add some paneling for additional insulation and neatness in a garage, it may be worth giving it a go. To achieve a high-quality finish in a large room, you might be best leaving it to the pros. It’ll cost a bit more but save you a lot of hassle and potential backache.
FAQs About Drywall Installation Costs
Is installing drywall better than plastering walls?
Drywall is so popular because installing it is considerably faster and cheaper than plastering. Because plastering involves applying a wet material, it’s more time-consuming, takes longer to dry, and is more prone to cracking. It doesn’t tend to be as insulating either. If you need resurfacing work done on the walls, it's not unusual for local plastering contractors to charge $10 per square foot.
If you’re looking for good soundproofing and want a high-end look in a historic home, for example, then plastering may be the better option.
What other projects should I do at the same time?
If you’re installing new drywall, you may want to take the opportunity to have exposed electrical wiring or plumbing pipes inspected at the same time. While you may have additional costs for upgrades or new installations, it’s preferable to having problems further down the line and having to make repairs to the damaged drywall.