Drywall is a major concern during any type of remodeling project. Whether you only need a few sheets of drywall or enough to cover an entire room, knowing the average prices and the other costs can help you set a realistic budget for your project. In addition, it may help you determine whether or not you want to tackle the job on your own or hire someone to do it for you.
The Basics of Drywall Pricing
Before you start considering whether the job is a do-it-yourself or hired out type, there are a few things that you should think about. It is not simply a matter of grabbing drywall and screwing it to your wall, after all.
Here are some of the things that you should consider:
- The cost of the demolition before you even get started. If you have a fair idea of what you are doing, you can do this on your own.
- The cost of hauling away all of the debris that is created during the project. You would be shocked by how much of a mess that can be created from start to finish.
- You need to know what type of drywall you are going to be using.
- You also need to know what additional materials you will need plus the tools that you will be needed. The fewer tools you have on hand, the more your expenses will grow.
- The more sheets of drywall that you need, the more likely you are to need them delivered to your site- another expense that you should budget for.
There are several kinds of drywall that you can consider for your project. Drywall is a gypsum core which is covered by paper or fiberglass. But, there are some variations to that which include:
- Paperless: as the name implies, this drywall type does not have paper which makes it more moisture resistant. It is recommended for use in the bathroom or other high moisture areas.
- Soundproof drywall
- Moisture resistance
- Green board. This is covered by a thicker type of paper which has an additional coating of wax making it more water resistant as well.
Estimating the Cost of Do-it-Yourself Drywall
To estimate your cost of drywall for a room in your home, here are the basic steps:
- Step One: measure your room to determine how many sheets of dry wall you will need. You measure to get the area of the room by measuring the height and the width of the room and then multiplying. Length (height) x width-=square foot.
- Step Two: once you know the square footage you can get a rough estimate of the number of sheets that you need. It is always advisable to add at least two to four sheets in case of damage, miscalculation or cutting mistakes. You multiply the number of sheets that you figure by the cost per sheet for the basic cost of the drywall but you are not done yet. In addition to drywall, there are other materials that you are going to need.
- Step Three: take the number of drywall sheets and multiply by thirty, this is the number of screws that you will need for your project. There are about 150 screws per pound. It is far cheaper to buy the screws by the pound.
- Step Four: Joint compound, also called “mud” by drywallers is another expense that you will need. One gallon of joint compound will cover 100 square feet.
- Another expense will be drywall tape. The most common length of this tape is 500 feet.
In addition to the raw materials that you will need, there are a number of tools that you will need. These include: a measuring tape, a chalk line, a drywall saw, drill or electric screwdriver, ladder, ceiling jacks. It is important to remember that drywall can be very fragile and trying to do the installation completely on your own can be very trying. This is a project that you should not consider to be solo.
What Affects the Drywall Prices?
Drywall tends to be the highest in the eastern parts of the United States but the cost can be affected by a number of different things including fluctuations in the housing market. Drywall price is tied directly to demand so the higher the demand the lower the price. How you look at your pricing may also affect the cost. For instance, for a small repair project you should be looking at the per sheet price while a larger project that needs far more sheets, you might ask for a bulk rate price.
Some suppliers sell by the contractor’s price for any project that requires more than a certain number of drywall sheets, for instance. Remember though, this discount might not matter that much after you figure in the cost of delivery.
A note about delivery: some suppliers will only deliver your drywall or other items to your site but will not unload them once they arrive. You will have to have someone there to handle this task.
Hiring Someone to Do the Drywall Job for You
If you have decided that the idea of doing your own drywall is too daunting, it might be time to consider hiring it out. There are a few things to keep in mind when you hire a contractor:
- Only consider local, bonded contractors. Most states require a contractor’s license – this should be displayed in any advertising and listings.
- Ask for free estimates before hiring anyone to do contracting work in your home.
- Get all estimates in writing before proceeding with the project. This contract should spell out the time line for when payments will be made, how long the project should take, the cleanup expectations and other considerations for your project.