The Cost of Drywalling a House

A comprehensive overview of everything to consider when drywalling your house, from costs to construction, we’ve got it covered.

drywall installation

What is Drywalling?

Drywall is a good alternative to plaster. It is hung against bare ceiling joists or wall studs to create a flat surface covering that will be suitable for finishing with paint or wallpaper, so no plastering is needed. After the application of the drywall sheets, the joints and screw holes are sealed with tape and joint compound. Once the compound has dried, all that needs to be done is to sand down the areas with fine sandpaper to ensure there are no lumps or obvious joins. As the sheets usually come in a 4 x 8-foot size and weigh between 20kg and 35kg each, you must take care when carrying and installing them, which is why it is a good idea to get a tradesman to carry out this kind of work.

What else might I need to do?

Once the drywall has been installed, the joins have been sanded down, it will be ready to paint or wallpaper. It would be a good idea to hire a professional painter and decorator. Rolling some paint on the walls sounds like an easy task, but there are professional painters out there for a reason! Professionals paint trim on a daily basis so they have the skills to get crisp straight lines. They also know how to paint the big areas so they aren’t patchy or blotchy. After your investment in installing drywall in your home, it would warrant getting an experienced decorator to finish the job properly.

DIY? Or not to DIY?

If you are considering doing this work yourself for small installations or touch ups, you shouldn’t need planning permission unless your property is listed. You don’t need many tools; all you need is a bucket, mud pan, sanding block, taping knife and utility knife. In terms of materials, you will need; drywall compound, metal corner bead, paper drywall tape, fine sandpaper and setting-type compound.

You should also prepare yourself with some priceless advice from people that have already made the mistakes. Below are some great tips:

  • • Make customised batches of filler, thinner batches for hand taping and thicker for final coats.
  • • Mix your filler with a potato masher to get out the bubbles of air
  • • Prefill gaps from top to bottom with setting compound
  • • Cut a “V groove” down each join, then fill the “V” with setting-type joint compound before you cover the seam with joint compound and tape. This will really help out with the toughest taping challenge—butt joints.
  • • Dampen the drywall tape; Wetting the tape before you embed it in the joint compound can help eliminate troublesome bubbles that show up after the joint dries.

Drywalling problems

There is a myriad of potential problems that could arise when carrying out DIY drywalling. These problems could seriously strain your budget, especially if you have to take a few steps back.

Some of the problems that could arise are:

Oversanding - In an attempt to achieve a perfectly smooth surface, a lot of DIY drywallers aggressively sand the dried mud compound and joints. But when you sand too far, you risk the chance of exposing the paper or fiberglass tape covering the seams, or even into the surface of the surrounding drywall. One way to overcome this is to place a light low down on the floor to highlight any lumps or bumps.

Overscrewing - When screwing the drywall in place, you can easily crack the surface of the panels by driving the screws in too far. Once this is done, the ability for the drywall to hold on to the screw with strength is compromised.

Joints are too tight - Getting a snug fit between panels sounds like a good thing, but it’s not. When placing the drywall panels too close to each other you risk the possibility of cracking due to seasonal expansion. Try to make sure there is about about 3mm of room between each sheet of drywall.

Drywall tape shows through the mud - If this happens, you may be missing something. Make sure you have at least three coats of mud: tape coat, filler coat, and final coat. It might be that you are excluding the final coat.

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The Cost of Drywalling a House

To give you an approximate guide to the costs involved, including material and labour costs, the cost per panel is around £4-5 when using good quality panels. So, on this basis a standard 12x12ft surface would cost around £550. This can fluctuate depending on the quality of materials and the professional you hire to install the drywall. It’s always a good idea to go with a professional that has accreditation and provides you with a comprehensive quote.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a professional plasterer to supply and drywall a home:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
6x12ft room with panels and drywalling £250-£400 1-2 days
12x12ft room with panels and drywalling £500-£600 1-3 days
12x24ft room with panels and drywalling £1000-£1200 3-6 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of drywalling a 12x12ft room - Total Cost: £550

60%

Materials
£330

30%

Tradesmen
£165

10%

Waste Removal
£30

FAQ's

There are a number of benefits for hiring a professional drywaller. It will save you time, hassle and the job will get done perfectly, and that’s simply naming a few advantages. There is only really one if you do it yourself - Saving money. However, this isn't’ always the case. It may be a case that you carry it out incorrectly and have to spend more money on repairs or hiring a professional to complete the job to perfection. Consider all these possibilities before you take on the work yourself.
Drywallers need access to every corner of the room. It needs to be clear, clean and easily accessible from outside your home. Drywall panels are big, the last thing the contractors want is to have to navigate over your furniture when accessing the project room. Also, the next contractors, such as painters and decorators should not have to deal with scraps of drywall, dropped joint compound, filled electrical boxes, and piles of dust. Ensure the rooms are as clear and clean as possible so the professionals you are paying can carry out their work as effectively as possible.
Most drywall is 100% recyclable, as long as all the screws, nails and paper has been removed, and there is no mould present. Always ensure that you protect yourself by wearing a respirator and gloves when removing old drywall.
When hiring a painter and decorator to make your rooms look beautiful, make sure you ask them to use a high quality paint. All paint looks the same in the can, but that’s where the similarities end. High quality paints contain better ingredients and less fillers which equates to a longer-lasting paint job. Low quality paints tend to chalk, fade, peel, and crack; Not something you want after spending money on an attentive drywaller preparing you flawlessly smooth surfaces to paint on.