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What Is The Average Cost Of Drywall & Sheetrock?

Typical Range: $830 - $2,750

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Installing drywall -- and in particular, sheetrock -- can vary according to several factors including availability of the material, square footage of the room and whether any structural changes need to be made ahead of time. The costs for all aspects of a 200-square-foot project can be estimated as follows:

  • Sheetrock: $200 - $700
  • Other materials: $400 - $500
  • Equipment: $30 - $50
  • Labor: $200 - $1,500

Total: $830 - $2,750

On This Page:

  1. Average Drywall Prices
  2. Sheetrock Prices
  3. Cost of Labor
  4. Drywall versus Sheetrock
  5. Should You DIY?
  6. Pros & Cons of Sheetrock

Average Drywall Prices

Drywall can be difficult to handle, so it's easier to buy the material and have a wall professional install it for you. You will buy it as sheets and they come in a wide variety of sizes. Home Depot and Lowe's offer sheets for between $10 and $20. Some sheet sizes and their prices include:

  • 4' by 8': $6 per board
  • 4' by 12': $10 per sheet
  • 4' by 8': $8 per board
  • 4' by 12': $11.00 per sheet
  • 4' by 9': $10 per board
  • 4' by 10': $11 per sheet
  • 4' by 14': $13 per board
  • 4' by 16': $15 per sheet
  • 4' by 9': $9 per board
  • 4' by 10': $10 per sheet
  • 4' by 14': $14 per board
  • 4' by 16': $16 per sheet

In addition to size, you need to be aware of the type of material you choose. If you select a weak type of drywall, there's a chance it can develop holes and cracks quickly. Types to choose from include:

  • Square-edged: Standard type of drywall used with walls and ceilings
  • Taper-edged: Has joint compounds that are good for finishing walls
  • Moisture-resistant: Ideal for areas with a lot of water usage (showers, bathtubs)
  • Foil-backed: Designed for cold climates because it protects against vapor. Not suitable for humidity or moisture.
  • Fire-resistant: Protects better against fire than regular drywall, so it's good to install in garages or stairwells.
  • Abuse-resistant: Ideal for garages because it can handle more hits and its material has more heat insulation than standard drywall.
  • Soundproof: This material is good for apartments or condominiums because it prevents sound from penetrating through it.

Drywall will vary by brand in quality and price, but you should purchase according to which room it is intended for and your individual preferences.

Ask a professional for their opinion on the best drywall for your today.

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How Much Does Sheetrock Cost?

Sheetrock, a registered brand of drywall by the U.S. Gypsum Company, is used in many remodeling projects such as restoring or adding a wall or finishing a garage or basement. Sheetrock is usually sold by the square foot. Prices can vary substantially from a low of $1 per square foot to a high of $3.50 per square foot. Other prices include:

  • 32-square-foot panel: $32 to $112
  • 200 square feet: $200 to $700

The variability in pricing is often due to location and the amount of sheetrock purchased. The material is heavy and expensive to ship because of how easily it breaks, so the closer a project is to a sheetrock source, the lower the price. In addition to the cost of the sheetrock itself, you can expect to pay for ancillary materials such as tape, fasteners and top compound. The fasteners used are specialized drywall screws that usually go for $6 per pound with 300 screws in each pound. A contractor will probably tell you that he will need one pound per 500 square feet, so most projects will cost $5 to $6 for the specialized screws. Additional materials include top compound or "mud" sold in 45-pound buckets for $12 to $15 each. One bucket should be enough for a 200-square-foot project. Average materials costs for a 200-square-foot project will include:

  • Sheetrock: $450
  • Screws: $5
  • Mud: $13
  • Tape: $4.50

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Labor Costs for Sheetrock Installation

Contractors who install sheetrock may charge for labor either by the hour or by the piece. If they charge by the piece, or panel, it is because they have a good idea of how long it will take their employees to install one panel of sheetrock. It usually ends up that half the total cost of a sheetrock project will be for labor, so a contractor that charges by the piece may charge $500 average for labor for a 200-square-foot sheetrock project. The cost of paying by the hour to have sheetrock installed can vary, according to what the local labor market will bear. You might also pay an additional fee if your carpenter is part of the local union -- known as a union wage -- which can range from $50 to $100 per hour. A 200-square-foot sheetrock project typically takes three hours for a carpenter to install, meaning the labor cost for the carpenter will range from $150 to $300. You may also have to pay for a laborer to clean up the site once the carpenter is finished. The cleanup does not usually take more than an hour or two with the laborer's wages between $10 and $20 per hour. Adding that up per hour, it's:

  • $100 for union wages
  • $300 for the carpenter
  • $20 for cleanup

This comes to a total of $420, or rounded up, $500 on average for labor per hour. Depending on how much sheetrock you're having installed, it might be wise to see if you can be charged by the piece instead of by the hour.

Equipment Allowance

To reduce the risk of breakage and waste, most sheetrock contractors use a specialized drywall hoist to move panels of sheetrock and place them where they are to be installed. A hoist helps the contractor ensure that a panel is installed accurately. The contractor will usually include a fee for the use of the hoist in the estimate and final bill. A 200-square-foot sheetrock project will probably cost $30 to $50 for the use of a specialized drywall hoist.

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Drywall versus Sheetrock

To reiterate, sheetrock is a branded type of drywall. The company that produces this type of drywall also owns other items with the term "sheetrock" on them, like panels, compounds and tape. While contractors and engineers use it interchangeably with the term for "drywall," it isn't the same thing. Drywall is actually a name for many types of boards, but originally it was the name for paper-faced gypsum panels. However, that was back when only one or two manufacturers were making the product. Now there are several manufacturers producing it, and they each have their own name for it -- Gibraltar Board, ceiling linings, Winstone Wallboards, Pladur and so forth. Sheetrock just happens to be the most common name among contractors.

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Doing It Yourself Can Be More Expensive

A standard 4 foot by 8 foot panel is 5/8-inches thick and weighs more than 70 pounds. The Home Depot lists special tools that are usually required to cut these panels into smaller panels when that becomes necessary. Cutting the sheetrock also requires training and skill. It is easy to break the panels while cutting or moving them, resulting in waste and adding to the overall cost of the project. A person experienced in installing sheetrock will know how to avoid breakage and, thereby, avoid waste or delay on the project.

If you don't want to tackle this project, then get a drywall professional out today.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Sheetrock vs. Plaster

Sheetrock is usually much less expensive to install than plaster. Plaster provides a more textured look to a wall, but requires a highly-skilled craftsman to apply the plaster to the surface of a wall properly. Plaster may be less prone to dents and holes as the finished surface does not have seams between panels. Plaster is more suitable for rounded surfaces and is more soundproof than sheetrock. Sheetrock is considered more stable than plaster, but not as durable. However, it is more easily repaired if it is damaged. Dents or holes can be quickly and easily repaired with joint compound or drywall patch. Drywall may be more suitable than plaster in northern climates because it is thicker and can be mounted over insulation. Plaster has poor insulating qualities.

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