Last updated 31st July 2020
Want to know how much it costs to plasterboard? In this article we provide a breakdown of plasterboarding prices so that anyone can calculate an estimate for their job.
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 room 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|
Individual costs of drywalling a 12x12ft room - Total Cost: £550
Drywall is a good alternative to plaster. Drywall also known as plasterboard 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.
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.
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, drill, taping knife and utility knife. In terms of materials, you will need; drywall compound, metal corner bead, drywall screws, 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:
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:
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 fibreglass 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.
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.
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.
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.
You don’t actually need to plaster over drywall, though it can be a good idea as many new homes these days are not plastered internally at all! You often won't have a plaster skim applied on internal stud partition walls, or even to the inner faces of the exterior solid walls. Nowadays, it's common just to line with plasterboard or drywall. The problem with drywall is that without a skim coat of plaster or some sort of sealer, the surface is very absorbent and difficult to paint. Applying paint or wallpaper directly to drywall can be done but is not ideal.
A skim coat of plaster works well, but a cheaper option is to paint on a sealer product to seal the plasterboard before painting or wallpapering. Even to apply a skim coat or veneer of plaster, the drywall surface needs to be prepared by painting on a special adhesive compound.
Installing drywall without a protective coat of plaster is cheaper and easier for property developers, but not so good for the homeowners when they want to decorate. Without a skim coat, drywall really soaks up paint and if wallpaper is applied, great care is required when removing it so as not to damage the drywall (some have started to scrape off what they thought was wallpaper only to find it was actually the surface layer of the drywall!).
One of the fastest and cheapest ways to cover damaged or cracked plaster walls is to simply hang drywall over them. You can cover old imperfections cheaply without too much additional work. Drywall is always the less expensive and labor intensive option when sorting out messy walls, but drywall on its own is not quite as effective as a sound barrier, though you can add a layer of insulation underneath before finishing.
The traditional form of wet plastering has been practised for hundreds of years and creates a strong and durable finish which is perfect for painting or wallpapering on. Wet plasters use layers of hard wearing materials like lime, gypsum or cement to create a texture with levels of sound resistance and air tightness that simply can’t be replicated by drywall or plasterboard sheets. However, wet plastering also requires a lot more labour and specialised skill that fitting drywall sheets.
Drywall is much quicker to install as its large sheets of pre-rendered material that you can fit directly on the wall. Even though you still need to cover the drywall with skim coat or apply sealant, it’s still much easier than wet plaster. Though in terms of materials cost without labour, wet plaster is usually cheaper than drywall. The big cost of plastering is in the skilled labour required, whereas with drywall, labour and skill requirements are minimal. To wet plaster a wall the traditional way takes several days, whereas drywalling can often be done in hours!
In terms of thermal insulation, there’s not a huge difference between the two materials, the composition of the wall is more important. Though its much easier to add additional insulation with drywall than it is with plaster! One final (small) advantage with plaster is the lack of draughts. A coat of wet plaster is effectively sealed, whereas drywall is cut to shape and may not cover the wall perfectly, especially around the skirting boards. The best of both worlds is of course insulated drywall with a professional wet plaster skim coat finish!