How To Estimate Drywall Job?

How to estimate a drywall job

What type of work is drywall?

Drywall job refers to the cutting and hanging of the panels of the wallboard. Drywall installers are also called drywallers or hangers. The common instruments that are used for this job are:

  • Tape measures
  • Straightedges
  • Utility knives
  • Power saws
  • Drywall sheets

For estimating a drywall job, a contractor must know all the expenses of a drywall installation. A cost estimate of a drywall job is based on the following factors:

Measure By Square Footage:

For drywall jobs, walls are measured by square feet.  You should measure all the surfaces that need drywall service and record the measurements carefully. 

The standard drywall service charges range from about $0.24 – $0.70 per sq. ft. discluding the labor markup. The price that contractors charge for drywall installation ranges from $1.50-$3.00 per square foot.

Drywall usually comes in 4×8’ (32 sq. ft.) or 4×12’ (48 sq. ft.) pieces, but it varies from job to job. If you want to estimate the pieces you will need, take the total square footage of the walls and ceilings that need drywall (let’s say it’s 650 sq. ft.) and divide it by either 32 or 48. 650/32=20.31, or 21 sheets of drywall.

Types Of Drywall:

There are different price points and types of drywall and the standard thickness and price of the cheapest drywall is, 1/4” thick drywall, which is $0.24-$0.32/sq. ft respectively. 

From there, the drywall goes up in thickness to 3/8, 1/2, and 5/8”, with an incremental increase in price ranging from $0.27-$0.41.

Moisture and fire-resistant drywall start in the $0.40+ range, but the most expensive type on the market is sound-proof drywall, which is $0.95-$2.25/sq. ft. before labor and markup.

The best estimate building tool is the one that helps you to easily customize your supplies and materials by type and price.

Drywall Finishes:

There are six levels of drywall finish (including 0 levels). Clients can choose any level depending on which one is right for them. 

These levels are:

  • LEVEL 0: The bare minimum. Drywall is hung to the wall with joints and fasteners exposed.
  • LEVEL 1: Basic finishing. The drywall is hung as in level 0, but the seams are covered with tape and the joints are covered with joint compound.
  • LEVEL 2: Similar to level 1, but the entire wall is covered in a compound. This is often done to prepare for tiling.
  • LEVEL 3: The panels receive a second layer of compound to ensure a smooth finish.
  • LEVEL 4: The panels receive three layers of compound to prepare for painting or light texture.
  • LEVEL 5: The highest level of finish. The panels get three layers of compound plus a skim coat. This is done to prepare for gloss-enamel paint or areas of severe lighting.

Other Cost Factors

Other than the common factors that affect the pricing and estimate of drywall jobs, there are some additional factors that may affect the pricing of drywall jobs. These include:

Transportation expenses (to and from the job site)

Site preparation 

Other non-standard features like curves or arches, and debris removal.

You must include all these factors in your estimate of a drywall job. All of these cost factors can be added to your estimate.

Assessing Labor:

Labor costs are one of the most important factors in estimating a drywall job. If you are hiring more than two workers for the job, you should add the amount you are paying to them in your estimate calculations.

In the case of paying per hour, you need to add the cost of labor to your estimate. It will allow you to estimate the job more accurately.

People may ask:

How Much Does It Cost To Install, Hang, Or Finish Drywall?

 The average cost to install drywall is between $1.60 and $2.35 per square foot. For a typical 12′ x 12′ room with a wall height of 8′, the average price is around $815 for just the walls, or a total of $903 if including the ceiling drywall.

What is the going rate for drywall finishing?

The ongoing drywall finishing rate ranges from$1,000 to $3,000. In case of a remodel, you can expect around $1,800 to use standard ½-inch drywall to finish a 1,000-square foot room.