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Cost to Hang or Install Drywall in 2022 (Cost Per Square Foot)

stack of drywall

Drywall is a critical part of interior construction and figuring out the cost of installing it in your home is vital. Even if you aren’t building a home and want to add an addition, it will be helpful to know the cost of installing the drywall before you get started. If you need to work with drywall and wonder how much it will cost, keep reading while we look at several different types and the cost of each to help you make an informed decision.

divider 5How Much Does It Cost to Hang or Install Drywall?

The average cost of installing drywall for most homes in the United States is about $2 per square foot, but it can vary considerably, depending on several factors. It’s easier to install the drywall in rooms without many features like windows and archways, so they typically cost less. If you need to install tiling or another surface covering, you might need to prep the drywall, which can be more expensive.

A typical 12×12 room with 8-foot-high ceilings and one window will usually cost about $850 for the drywall alone. Labor and other supplies will be several hundred more, and you can expect to spend between $1,200 and $2,000 to have the drywall professionally hung for a typical installation. High-end installations can increase the cost closer to the $7,000 range.

man cutting drywall
Image Credit: Arturs Budkevics, Shutterstock

Cost of Hanging Drywall

A drywall installation typically costs between $1 and $1.50 per square foot for a basic installation with no extras. However, there is no finish included, so it’s only suitable for people that intend to finish it themselves. People also choose this option if they aren’t sure how they want to finish it and plan to hire someone later. When you purchase a drywall installation, you will tell them what level of finish you want. The levels range from 0-5.

Finish Level

Finish Level 0 – Typical Cost $1–$1.50

Finish level 0 is the most basic and the least costly. Purchasing this level will have workers come and hang the drywall to the wall frame. You will need to do any remaining finishing.

Finish Level 1 – Typical Cost $1.25–$1.75

Finish level 1 has workers hang the drywall to the wall frame, and they will add tape and joint compound to cover the tape.

Finish Level 2 – Typical Cost $1.50­–$2

Finish level 2 drywall installations have everything the previous levels have and add a coat of compound to the panels, which is needed if you want to add tiling to the wall.

Image Credit: Tuzemka, Shutterstock

Finish Level 3 – Typical Cost $1.75–$2.25

Finish level 3 drywall installations add a second coat of compounds, making the wall suitable for a textured top.

Finish Level 4 – Typical Cost $2–$2.50

Finish level 4 adds a third coat of compound, making the wall suitable for flat paint. It’s the most popular since it’s what you find in most rooms in a standard home.

Finish Level 5 – Typical Cost $2.25–$3

Finish level 5 is the most expensive, giving you the best finish. Drywall hung with a level 5 finish is ready to take gloss and enamel paint. You typically find this finish level in the bathroom or around kitchen counters where you might want a shiny finish.

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Cost of Drywall Per Sheet

Drywall is usually ⅝-inch thick, but it can come in a few sizes, affecting the cost per panel. Some panels also have added features like fiberglass to make them more fire-resistant. It can have other properties that make them more water-resistant or lightweight, among other things that can make them more expensive. Purchasing in bulk will also help reduce the cost, so a larger job may allow you to buy less costly panels. It typically costs between $13 and $35 per panel.

Standard Panel Sizes

  • 4×8 feet
  • 4×10 feet
  • 4×12 feet

Additional Costs Involved with Installing Drywall

Unfortunately, there may be more things you need to consider than just purchasing and hanging the drywall.

Framing

If you are building a new house or adding an addition, the wall framing may still need work. If you need workers to frame the room so they have something to attach the drywall to, you can expect to spend $4–$4.50 per square foot.

removing nail using Fiskars 750241-1001 Milled-face Framing Hammer

Removing Old Drywall

You can expect it to cost between $2 and $3.25 per square foot to remove the old drywall, especially if they need to carry it away. Removing the drywall may not be a problem if you build a new home, but most older homes will need to consider this cost.

Scaffolding

If the workers need to install the drywall in a difficult-to-reach place, there is a chance they will require scaffolding to do it safely, which will cost you more. Therefore, we recommend budgeting an additional $0.55 to $1 per hour to your labor charge for scaffolding in tall rooms.

Insulation

If you need the workers to install insulation in the wall as they are hanging the drywall, you can expect to pay an additional $0.75 to $1 per square foot, including the materials.

pink insulation solid foam

Complex Architecture

Most of the numbers we’ve discussed here are for standard rooms and building materials that most people will repair or add to their homes. If your house has unusually shaped rooms that require specialized drywall hangers, you can expect the cost to increase considerably. In some cases, the price of adding the drywall to your home can be double what we are suggesting here.

Smooth Ceiling

Requiring a smooth ceiling can also increase the cost of many drywall installations because to get them completely smooth, the worker must keep adding mud and sanding it back, which takes time. Textured ceilings can often look more attractive and are frequently less expensive.

Related Read: Plaster vs Drywall: What’s The Difference?

divider 5Summary

Most people will likely pay between $2 and $2.50 per square foot of drywall for a level four finish that they can paint over. The ceiling will be slightly less expensive because you can finish them to a level 3, but they may also require scaffolding to reach the framing, which will increase the cost. If you are purchasing the drywall for an entire home, there are often considerable discounts bringing costs down to almost $1 per square foot in some cases if the home is big enough.


Featured Image Credit: Potashev Aleksandr, Shutterstock

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