Drywall Cost

Welcome to the drywall cost estimator. Before diving into any do-it-yourself drywall project or hiring a contractor to have a project done it is often useful to know the cost so that you may budget for it.

Here we will lay out some basic calculations to estimate your drywall cost.

Listed in the chart below are prices of materials courtesy of our friends at RP Lumber. Prices may vary greatly from location to location and time to time.

Drywall Screws $3.50/lb
All-purpose Drywall Mud $11.99/ 5 gallon
Topical Drywall Mud $12.99/ 5 gallon
Drywall sheets 4x8 1/2 inch $6.88/ per sheet
Fiberglass tape 300ft $6.49/roll

Step One

The first step in our drywall cost estimator is to calculate the total area of the walls you will be drywalling. This includes the exterior walls and any interior walls (such as closets or partitions) that also need to be drywalled. Do not subtract for window or doorway openings.

Here is how to find the area:

  • Take the height times the length of each individual wall in the room.
    • Example: Wall is 8’ high x 14’ long. The square footage is the 112.

Add the areas of all surfaces to be drywalled together. 96 + 96 + 112 + 112 +112 = 528 sq ft

Now that you have your square footage divide it by the number of square feet per sheet to get the total number of sheets needed.

Example: 528 / 32= 16.5 sheets remember to always round up. 32 being the square footage a (8x4) sheet would cover. If you are using (12x4) divide the number by 48.

Now take the number of sheets and multiply it by the cost per sheet.

17 x $6.88= $116.96

Again using the number of sheets that you have multiply it by 30. Thirty being the average number of screws per sheet.

17 x 30= 510 (510 is the number of screws needed)

Now take the 510 screws and divide it by 150 which is roughly the number of screws per pound.

510/150= 3.4 lbs as with all projects round up to 4 lbs when purchasing.

Now that you have your poundage multiply it by the price per pound.

4 x 3.50= $14 dollars for the screws needed

We now move on to drywall mud. On average one gallon will cover 100 sq feet. So now take your square footage and divide it by 100.

In our example 528 / 100= 5.28 Gallons remembering to round up

Five gallons of drywall mud all purpose= $11.99

We finally move on to the drywall tape. Measure the length of all of the seams that must be covered. Then add the total and divide it by 300 ft.

example if your total length of seams is 645 / 500= 1.3 therefore you will need 2 rolls of tape

Now multiply the numbers of rolls of tape by the current price.

In our example 2 x 6.49= $12.98

Now that you have gathered all of the prices for the materials that are needed for your project let us add them all together.

Materials quantities Cost Total
Drywall Screws 4 $3.50 $14.00
Drywall 1/2 inch 17 $6.88 $116.96

All purpose drywall mud (5 gallons)

1 $11.99 $11.99
Fiberglass tape 2 $6.49 $12.98
Sales tax estimate 10%     $15.59
Total     $171.52

So in our example the material cost came out to roughly $175 without the purchase of any tools.

If you have decided that this is not the project for you and would prefer to hire a contractor for the same job, contractors on average charge roughly between $1.00-1.50 per square foot. To get a rough idea of what a contractor would charge we will use are example.

528 x 1 = $528
528 x 1.50 = $798

So an estimated drywall cost to have a contractor to complete this job would be between $530-$798. (Drywall contractor prices are typically higher in urban areas.)

Thanks for visiting our drywall cost estimator. Click here to return to the How To Drywall home page.