Drywall Estimator

Simply follow the instructions below to use our drywall estimator. This will give you an accurate look at how many sheets of drywall you’ll need for your project.

You’ll also get an estimate on how many drywall screws you’ll need and the amount of joint compound you’ll need to purchase.

When preparing your drywall project, one of the first questions to ask yourself is “how much drywall will I need?”

It is always a good idea to overestimate how much drywall you will need. Our drywall estimator has this factor built into it. How much waste drywall you end up with is dependent upon a couple of factors, such as the actual size and shape of the room in comparison to the size of the drywall sheets you select.

Add in an extra sheet or two for simple do-it-yourself drywall mistakes such as mis-measurements and common accidents. People who hang drywall for a living screw things up on occasion, so prepare and don’t get frazzled when it happens.

Simple Drywall Estimator

The first step in our drywall estimator is to calculate the 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. Area of wall is 112’. Do this for every wall, ceiling, or partition to be drywalled.

Add the areas of all surfaces to be drywalled together. For example in 12’ x 14’ x 8’ high room. 96 + 96 + 112 + 112 + 168 (ceiling area) = 584’ total area.

Now in order to estimate how many sheets of drywall you need, you need to decide what size sheets of drywall you intend to use. Drywall is typically sold in 4’x 8’ sheets, though 4x10 and 4x12 sheets are relatively easy to find.

My advice is simple. Use the longest sheets that are feasible for your individual job. Sometimes there are factors that make longer sheets out of the question, such as having to turn tight corners to get into a room, etc…, but longer sheets mean fewer sheets, which in turn means less taping, plastering, and sanding later – and that is the really time-consuming part of drywall construction.

One 4’x 8’ sheet of drywall covers 32 square feet. So simply divide your total square footage by the square footage of the drywall sheets you intend to use. In the example case, 584 / 32 = 18.25 sheets. If you end up with a decimal, round up to the next whole sheet.

Then add, at a minimum, 10% - 15% extra for waste, 20% if you want to comfortably account for minor mistakes. In this case that would be 4 extra sheets. So your drywall estimator for this space would be 23 four-by-eight sheets.

Simply change the variables to account for your individual room.

Estimating Drywall Screws & Joint Compound

Estimating the amount of drywall screws needed is fairly simple (I always suggest screws as opposed to drywall nails). But the number of fasteners necessary may vary according to local building codes, so this is a general estimate only.

I always use 1 5/8” screws. Screws are sold by the pound, and you can assume approximately 150 screws per pound. Make the assumption of 300-350 screws per every 500 square feet. A five-pound box of drywall screws will do all but the largest rooms with a fair amount leftover.

When hanging drywall I use 5 screws per stud this accounts to roughly 30 screws per sheet. 

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