People sometimes use the terms “sheetrock” and “drywall” interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. Drywall is the industry term for prefabricated sheets of wall, while Sheetrock is the brand name of a type of drywall. Depending on what room is being built, your drywall installation pro will select different thicknesses or grades of drywall. Standard residential drywall is ½-inch thick. Garage walls adjacent to a living space are typically ⅝-inch thick and serve as a firewall. For a garage ceiling, most contractors will use firewall-grade drywall materials to keep your home as safe as possible.
Different types of drywall can be color-coded to indicate their purpose. Purple or green drywall boards are often mold-resistant (MR) and are applied where moisture tends to accumulate, such as in bathrooms and basements or behind tile backsplashes at sinks. These mold-resistant sheets have a fiberglass instead of a paper facing finish to prevent water absorption. Regular drywall is gray or white. The drywall industry is constantly adapting with technology to provide safer and more targeted materials. You can even install soundproofing drywall to help prevent noise transfer through rooms.
The national average cost to hire a drywall installation professional ranges $375-$1,500, depending on the job at hand and where you are in the country. Your drywall installation cost will often be lower if the professional is installing the drywall in a new construction with open access as opposed to a remodel. The square footage of the job, the amount of materials, and the labor required also determine drywall prices. According to drywall pros, materials costs can range from 15 percent to 50 percent of your total project cost, depending on the work you’re having done. Request several quotes from drywall installation companies to find the right fit for your construction project. The quotes may be based on the company’s standard cost per square foot or a calculation of the time estimated to complete the job plus the size of the job plus materials and any travel fees. For example, drywall installation for one or two standard-size rooms could cost $900-$1,500. The cost to hang and tape an outbuilding with approximately 40 drywall sheets at 75 cents per square foot could total $1,450, including 3.75 days of labor for the drywall crew.
The national average price range to repair drywall is $210-$300. Drywall prices can vary greatly depending on the size of the hole or crack that needs repair, the amount of materials required, and other factors. Cracks can appear at the seams in your drywall due to uncontrollable factors like your house settling or even minor earthquakes. Drywall, although sturdy, will break with enough impact, so if a dresser falls and crashes into a wall or your have a mishap hammering in nails for artwork, you could need drywall repair. Drywall repair professionals may have a minimum service fee of $100-$150 regardless of the size of the job. This ensures that their business expenses are met anytime they send their crew out to a job. Here are some additional examples of average drywall repair prices:
- Sand and texture five wall patches: $200 (45 minutes of labor and $40 of materials).
- Repair a 4x8 section of wall: $225 (labor $150 and materials $75).
- Replace drywall in an entire bedroom: $1,500 (price varies depending on the number of windows, whether there’s metal trim, etc.).
Pros may need to obtain a license to fix and install drywall. It’s always worth checking with your local government about whether a drywall company or contractor has to be licensed before they work on your project.
A general contractor, handyman or a drywall contractor (or company) can usually install and repair drywall. It’s recommended that you call one of these types of pros when your drywall needs to be repaired, such as after a plumber or electrician has completed their work.
Look up local pros online and compare their profiles, paying extra attention to their ratings, reviews, experience and list of services. Contact three to five pros to get cost estimates for your project.
Depending on what type of service you hire, your drywall contractor may only hang the drywall. In this case, they will measure, cut, and install the large pieces of drywall on your interior walls, cutting out doorways, outlets, light fixtures and more. Your drywall service may also mud, tape, and sanding the drywall to create a smooth surface.
A drywall contractor focuses on drywall. If you want to install insulation (or upgrade your existing installation), you should hire an insulation contractor. It's possible that your drywall contractor may be able to offer basic insulation services, but for more advanced insulation installation (such as spray foam), go with a professional who specializes in this.
The best way to find a good drywall contractor is by searching for the top-rated contractors near you on Thumbtack. View their ratings, and read their reviews to see how they did on past drywall projects. Pay attention to the photos uploaded by the customers and contractors, so you can analyze their quality of work.
After you found a few contractors you like, ask them for price quotes. For more tips on how to hire contractors, read our in-depth guide.