Cost of Drywalling a House
A guide of the process of drywalling, including how much labour and materials costs and what the job entails.
Drywall, also known as plasterboard or gypsum is an important part of your construction process. If you have decided to install drywall, use this guide to understand what you can expect when you drywall your home.
Costs involved with drywalling a house
The average cost of drywalling a room is around £350 - £600, dependant on the size of the room. Each panel costs around £40. A typical room may require around 12 panels. you can then multiply this figure by the amount of rooms that require plastering.
Installing drywall will typically require plasterers, who usually work at the cost of around £100-£150 per day.
What drywalling a house involves
Drywall is a versatile material made from flattened gypsum that can be used to quickly create ceilings and walls inside a building in a short space of time. Its use for a range of purposes means that drywall installation could involve a couple of panels for a garage or the drywalling of an entire house. As a result, the question of whether you could do it yourself or not is likely to come down to the amount of space that you need to drywall. If it is more than a panel or two, then you will want to hire a professional to do the work for you.
What to expect when planning to install drywall
So, what should you expect when planning to install drywall? Firstly, the amount and type of drywall will need to be decided and ordered. Once it arrives, the drywall will be measured and where necessary, cut to fit the space. It will take at least two plasterers to install the panels, which must be positioned with the edges placed perpendicular to the strapping or joists.
The panels are fixed into place with screws, placed at least ½ inch from the edges and evenly spaced across the panel. Panel corners should be overlapped for outside corners so that the corners are completely covered in drywall, then finished with a metal corner bead. Likewise, electric cables within the walls should be protected from damage with self-gripping steel protection plates.
Once the drywall is fitted, the joints are sealed with scrim tape and then filled; your builder should make sure that there are no screw heads penetrating out of the recently installed panels. Then it’s time for your installer to clear away all of the debris and your finishes to be applied.
If you’re working with older walls, you’ll need to think about health & safety procedures for things such as asbestos and lead paint. Before you begin any work, get in touch with your local council to find out about health & safety procedures, while verifying over any building regulations or planning permissions at the same time.
The shape of the room will influence the final cost of the work because architectural features will make fitting the drywall more complex. Additionally, preparing and finishing the walls, as well as insulation and clearing up once the work is finished will all contribute to your overall costs.
There is a vast range of options for finishing your drywall once it is installed, so you might find that you also need to hire a decorator, carpenter, tiler etc. With your walls exposed during the installation, it is possible that your builder will notice other elements that need some attention, such as wiring or damaged timbers which you will want to address before the drywall is sealed. You will want to include all of these extra factors in your budget, as you cost the job.
Drywall panels come in a range of sizes and thicknesses, with a range of features such as mould resistance. Thicker panels tend to be more fire-resistant, although this does not mean that you won’t still need robust insulation or that the drywall is fireproof. A standard drywall panel measures 8 x 4 feet. The tallest panels are used to create a smoother finish, although they require more workers to hang, which will increase your costs.
Also, there is an assortment of finishes available for your panels. The drywall finishes span between a Level 0 finish (meaning the drywall is left completely exposed) to a Level 2 (the surface is finished with a compound coating prepared for the last finish with tiles) or the most popular Level 5 finish (includes three compound coatings).
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding fitting drywall.
Q How long does it take to put up drywall?
It takes a couple of days to install drywall. However, the larger your home, or the more awkward the architecture, or the more doors and windows present, etc., the longer the work will take.
Additionally, drywall panels are heavy so you will need at least two builders, to transport, lift and hang the drywall panels. The thicker the panel, the heavier it is, so if you choose longer panels, with greater thickness, they will require more workers to hang – although longer lengths produce a better finish.
Q Can you hang drywall vertically?
Yes, the direction in which you hang drywall affects the final aesthetic. Although you can hang drywall vertically or horizontally, horizontal is the most popular way that most builders favour.
Hanging drywall horizontal is quicker and easier. When you hang drywall horizontally, the seams are more accessible than if they had been hung vertically, providing a better finish free from visible wall seams or the possibility of a sagging ceiling over time.
Q Should you drywall ceilings or walls first?
When installing drywall, the order in which you hang the drywall does matter, so the drywall should be hung on the ceiling first, then the walls.
Always aim to use the longest panel suitable for your ceiling length so that you keep seams to a minimum for a better finish. Most drywall is hung on ceilings so that it is perpendicular to the overhead framing members for a more robust installation that prevents sagging long-term.