How Much Does Drywall Repair Cost?
The national average drywall repair cost is $573. Depending on the type of drywall repair required and its location, homeowners can expect to pay within a typical range of $294 to $876 for repairs.
- Drywall repair costs around $294 to $876, with homeowners paying an average of $573 nationally.
- The exact cost will depend on factors such as the cause and location of the damage, the scope of the damage, and the type of repair chosen.
- A homeowner may need drywall repair if there is water damage or mold. A wall with cracks, holes, or bulges may also benefit from drywall repair.
- Homeowners may be able to repair small holes and cracks in drywall as a DIY project, but for extensive damage it’s recommended that they call a professional.
Drywall is a building material that is used as a finishing layer on interior walls, and it can also be used as an exterior wall covering. Made of gypsum plaster and paper, with additives such as clay, resin, and mica, it is designed to help create walls, ceilings, and features like eaves and arches. Drywall helps reduce sound transmission and improves a room’s insulation. Over time, though, drywall can begin to sag, crease, crack, or even crumble.
Hanging a picture and moving furniture are examples of activities that can cause holes to pop up in drywall, and water from a burst pipe or flooding can also damage drywall, creating an ideal environment for mold growth.
Whether the problem is a hole, mold, or crack, homeowners will likely want to repair drywall quickly. How much does drywall repair cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the typical cost range of drywall repair is $294 to $876, with a national average cost of $573. The exact cost will depend on a variety of factors, including the cause of damage, type of repair, project size, and local labor fees.
This cost guide will cover these factors in more detail and explain the different types of drywall repair. It will also share tips on how to save money on a drywall project.
Factors in Calculating Drywall Repair Cost
Drywall repair cost is influenced by a variety of factors, including the project size, scope, location, and repair type. The national average drywall repair cost is $573, though this can differ from local averages. Understanding the following factors can help homeowners accurately estimate the cost of repairs.
Project Size and Scope
The size and scope of the project are the most influential factors in determining drywall repair costs. Generally speaking, the more damage there is to repair, the higher the final price tag will be.
Small holes or dents can be tackled with a DIY repair kit, costing anywhere from $10 to $30, while a large ceiling repair can cost upward of $1,300. Larger projects cost more because they typically require more materials, time, and knowledge. Further, while smaller projects can be tackled by a homeowner with drywall experience, a professional will likely need to handle larger or more involved projects. Working with a contractor will always cost a homeowner more than purchasing a repair kit or materials alone, but the finished product will usually look much more professional.
Damage Cause and Location
There are many different types of drywall damage, including dents, cracks, holes, and water damage. Some causes are more minor than others and can be fixed by a handy homeowner with a drywall repair kit. More severe damage is more likely to require more expensive repairs. For example, a small hole or dent can cost as little as $60 for a professional to repair, while a large crack can cost as much as $400. Water damage repairs costs range from $1,300 to $5,500.
The location of the damage can also influence drywall repair costs. For example, fixing a hole in a living room wall involves less labor and equipment than fixing a hole in a vaulted ceiling or above a flight of stairs.
Not all drywall damage is the same, and different types of damage require different repair processes, all with their own unique price ranges. From fixing a minor dent to repairing an entire wall, one drywall repair project can look and cost quite different from another.
The following are some examples of types of drywall repair and their average costs:
- Fixing a hole or dent: $60 to $200
- Fixing a crack: $60 to $400
- Fixing a ceiling hole or crack: $320 to $1,300
- Fixing water damage: $1,300 to $5,500
Depending on the geographic location of a home, drywall repair costs can be higher or lower than the national average. This is typically determined by local cost of living rates. An area with a higher cost of living is likely to have higher average drywall repair costs compared to an area with a lower cost of living. This is because contractors in some locales need to charge higher labor fees to remain competitive.
Geographic location can also influence the cost of materials. While drywall repair materials are relatively affordable compared to other home improvement project materials, contractors in locations farther away from manufacturing centers may need to charge more to help absorb higher delivery fees.
Small and simple drywall repairs can be completed by a homeowner, but to ensure that more complicated projects are finished accurately and professionally, a drywall contractor can be brought in. This will significantly raise the price of the project as a whole.
Because contractors with experience in drywall repair charge about $90 an hour, they are best reserved for larger projects. Handymen can typically tackle smaller drywall repair projects with success and charge a bit less at around $60 per hour. Hiring a local handyman can help homeowners save on labor costs.
Depending on the type of repair project, other types of professional contractors may be necessary. Homeowners can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per hour to hire a professional electrician and between $70 and $130 per hour to hire a professional painter.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When mapping out a budget for a drywall repair job, homeowners may need to consider additional costs, including texturing, painting, and repairing the foundation, that could come into play. While these are not guaranteed expenses, being aware of the following potential scenarios can help homeowners avoid costly surprises during a drywall repair project.
|Texturing||$1 per square foot|
|Painting||$2 to $6 per square foot|
|Foundation repair||$2,156 to $7,752|
|Mold remediation||$1,108 to $3,408|
Texturing is an optional step during drywall repairs, though it can positively impact the final look and finish of a space. Texture can hide taped drywall seams along with any other unavoidable imperfections. Texture also gives a wall a flat finish that reflects light and complements the room.
If a room’s walls already have texture, it only makes sense to retexture a repaired area. If dents and dings are a consistent problem in a space, adding texture to smooth walls can help hide future problems. Whether part of a repair or a first-time application, texturing costs about $1 per square foot.
One of the benefits of drywall is that it can be instantly transformed with a gallon of paint. Painting a room helps to improve its aesthetics and can increase the overall value of a home. It can also protect drywall against damage. Some types of paint can even improve air quality.
When repairing drywall, some drywall crack repair professionals include a paint touch-up in their services. But when a large hole or severe water damage is being addressed, it can be better to repaint the entire space rather than try to match the paint. Painting an interior wall costs between $2 and $6 per square foot, depending on the specific features of the space and its accessibility.
A home’s foundation is the load-bearing portion of the structure. It’s normal for soil beneath the foundation to shrink and expand, depending on its water content; this soil cycle creates constant movement beneath a home’s foundation and can lead to pockets and voids. These voids allow a home to settle and sink, weakening its overall structure.
Drywall cracks can sometimes be a sign of foundation issues, but not all cracks are serious. Vertical and horizontal cracks typically indicate normal drying and shrinkage after construction, but jagged cracks or cracks with 45-degree angles can signal serious settling issues.
If drywall cracks are caused by foundation issues, repairing the drywall won’t be enough: The cracks will simply come back. Instead, the foundation itself will need to be repaired. Foundation repair cost ranges from $2,156 to $7,752, depending on the severity of the problem.
Drywall is very porous, making it readily susceptible to mold when there is a sudden, prolonged, or consistent level of moisture present. Homeowners can address small sections of mold with the proper approach and equipment, but larger infestations of mold will likely require the help of a professional.
Homeowners can expect to pay mold remediation costs of $1,108 to $3,408, or $10 to $20 per square foot. This typically includes mold testing, removal, and containment. Mold remediation differs from mold removal, where just the mold is removed from the surface. Remediation removes both the contaminated material and the mold, making it more effective and safer than a DIY mold remediation attempt.
Types of Drywall Repair
Not all types of drywall repair require the same tools, experience, and processes. As a result, different types of repairs have different average price points. Most single types of repairs, like for cracks or holes, are charged by the job rather than by the square foot or hour. However, more widespread repairs tend to include hourly labor charges. The following information about different types of drywall repair will help homeowners better understand how each one influences the overall cost.
Chip or Crack
A chip or a crack in drywall is fairly common. Each problem can occur in both older and newer homes and is typically only a cosmetic issue. Chips are primarily caused by furniture or other incidents of rough contact with the wall; cracks are most often caused when a house settles, though construction issues can also be to blame.
Small hairline cracks and chips are simple fixes, typically requiring only a drywall repair kit. These cost between $10 and $30 each. Calling a professional may be necessary for more severe cracks of chips. Homeowners can expect to pay around $60 for a professional to repair a hairline crack or small chip and $400 or more to repair a large crack or corner crack.
A dent is a slight hollow in a hard surface like drywall. A dent is caused by a sudden blow or pressure and can be minor or severe. Dents are more often than not a cosmetic issue, but in some cases, severe dents can signal hidden issues like water damage.
Doorknobs are common causes of drywall dents when a homeowner decides to forego the use of door stoppers. Families with children and pets are often more likely to find dents in their drywall; furniture is another common cause of these unattractive indentations.
Dents are relatively easy to repair and can sometimes be handled by a homeowner with a bit of joint compound, sanding, and paint for $30 or less. Bringing in a pro to fix a severe dent or multiple dents costs between $60 and $200, depending on the severity of the problem.
A hole in a room’s wall or ceiling can be unsightly. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scenarios that can lead to a drywall hole, including a jab by a doorknob, frequent knocks from furniture, damage caused by kids or pets, and removal of nails or picture hooks. Some holes are small and simple to repair, while others can be quite large and require patching before they can be spackled and repaired.
The average cost to fix a hole in drywall averages between $60 and $200 for a small hole and $50 to $75 per square foot for larger holes. Handy homeowners may choose to use a drywall kit, which will cost between $10 and $30. Homeowners are often advised to explore their entire home for drywall holes when having just one repaired. It makes more financial sense to repair multiple holes at one time.
Drywall is generally too weak to hang things from. Using a drywall anchor (a special type of self-expanding screw that spreads out on the inner portion of a wall for support) can help to securely hang items such as framed pictures, mirrors, artwork, shelving, towel racks, curtain rods, and clocks. However, drywall anchors can leave behind ugly holes once the hung item is removed.
Repairing an anchor hole involves patching the hole after it’s been cleared out, then adding compound, sanding, and painting. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere between $75 and $105 for labor and materials to fix an anchor hole left behind by a previous homeowner or after a room redesign.
Ceiling holes are often caused by impact or exposure to moisture. Not only are ceiling holes unsightly, but they can also signal serious structural damage. It’s best to have a ceiling hole without an obvious cause inspected by a professional.
Ceiling sheetrock repair often requires a bit more prep work and can be more challenging than standard drywall crack repair. Repairing holes in ceiling drywall costs between $320 and $1,300, depending on the severity of the hole and the accessibility of the ceiling. A hole in an 8-foot ceiling will generally cost less to repair than a hole in a vaulted or cathedral ceiling. If the hole was caused by water damage, plumbing or roof repair could be additional costs to consider.
As some homes settle, drywall nails can become dislodged and poke through the material; contractors refer to this as “nail pop.” This can also happen if nails that were too short to reach the framing were used to secure the drywall. Newer homes rarely experience nail pops in drywall, since modern systems use screws instead of nails, and screws rarely become dislodged.
Fixing nail pop involves a process similar to the process for repairing small holes in drywall. The nails are removed and the area is patched. The nails are also replaced with screws to prevent additional repairs down the road. Homeowners can expect to pay between $60 and $200 for nail pop repair.
Loose Drywall Tape
Drywall tape helps bond together adjacent sheets of drywall. This creates continuity and can help to reduce cracking or shifting. Without tape, it’s impossible to create a strong bond between two sheets of drywall.
Drywall tape can come loose over time, especially in rooms with high humidity levels. As it separates from the wall or ceiling, it will begin to bubble before peeling off. It’s generally recommended that homeowners hire a contractor to remove the old tape and secure the drywall with new tape. On average, drywall tape repair costs between $80 and $190.
Removing wallpaper or paneling from drywall can result in torn sections. Leaving torn drywall can result in lumps, unwanted textures, and an unattractive surface if it’s simply painted over. Repairing torn drywall can help homeowners achieve a smooth surface without having to pay the cost of new drywall installation.
Repairing torn drywall sometimes involves making the affected area look worse before it looks better. It needs to be scraped and cleaned before primer and new joint compound can be applied. Homeowners can expect to pay between $95 and $300 for drywall tear repair jobs, depending on how many coats of compound are required to hide the damage.
Drywall Joint Damage
A drywall joint is created when two pieces of drywall are installed next to each other. Joint compound alone isn’t enough to fill the gap; instead, paper or fiberglass tape is used to cover the joint, and then joint compound is applied over the tape before the area is sanded, primed, and painted.
Drywall joints can crack, separate, or even lift away from each other due to improper installation, house settling, water damage, and wear and tear as people and furniture come into contact with the area. Drywall joint repair costs between $120 and $360, depending on the repair required.
Mold repair for drywall can be an expensive process. Mold on drywall quickly penetrates the surface, so simply wiping it away isn’t always enough. If the problem is caught early and the moisture source is on the exposed portion of the drywall, mold can sometimes be removed with a bleach and water solution. However, if the mold is coming from inside the drywall or has been allowed to spread for too long, drywall replacement and mold remediation are typically required.
Mold remediation includes mold testing, removal of the affected material, sanitization of nearby areas, and containment. The cost of removing mold and preventing spread to the rest of the house averages $2,242; simply removing and replacing a section of affected drywall costs between $160 and $350.
Corner drywall cracks can be the result of an installer applying too much joint compound or shifting walls. If settling and shifting are to blame, cracks are likely to reappear even after they are repaired. Mother Nature can also cause corner cracks, either from wind loads from storms that create structural stress or from seismic activity.
Drywall corner cracks are quite common, with some repairs being quick and painless and others requiring a few more steps in the process. Since the area being repaired isn’t flat, repair costs start a bit higher than average at $220. Homeowners can expect to pay as much as $400 for a corner crack repair.
There are many potential causes of water damage to drywall, including burst pipes, broken appliances, roof leaks, sink overflow, flooding, or other natural disasters. Even if drywall exposure to moisture seems minimal, proper precautions should be taken to avoid structural damage, mold development, or both.
Homeowners will want to keep an eye out for signs of drywall water damage, including discoloration, bulges, sags, and mold. If a homeowner suspects water damage, the first step is to remove the moisture source. But in many cases, drywall replacement is needed. Drywall or ceiling water damage repair costs start at $1,300 and can be as much as $5,550, depending on the size of the affected area.
A flood cut is a type of drywall repair completed when the material takes on water. A cut is made in the drywall approximately 12 to 18 inches above the waterline. This is a severe repair approach and completed only when there is a health or structural risk to consider.
For example, a storm or burst pipe can cause flooding that quickly saturates drywall. The risk of mold development is high in this scenario. Water damage from sewer water is also a health issue. Saturated drywall also becomes soft and can quickly lose its structural integrity.
Flood cut drywall repair costs an average of $400 to $800, depending on the size of the affected area.
Vaulted Ceiling Damage
A vaulted ceiling is any ceiling constructed with a self-supporting arch. Vaulted ceilings angle up past the typical 9- to 10-foot flat ceiling height. As they draw the eye up, they help create a sense of volume and spaciousness. They also add an element of drama to what would otherwise be an ordinary space.
But because of the height and accessibility challenges in vaulted ceiling, these drywall repairs are some of the most expensive types for homeowners. Vaulted ceiling repairs start at $400 and can cost as much as $1,000, since contractors often need to charge for additional labor and equipment to complete the job.
Do I Need Drywall Repair?
There are many different signs that point to the need for drywall repair. In some cases, the signs may be obvious, but in others, they may be a little more difficult to spot. It’s likely time for a homeowner to schedule a drywall repair if they notice any of the following signs.
Drywall can warp, swell, or sag in response to water damage. Stains and discoloration are also strong indicators that drywall has been exposed to moisture.
There are many different possible causes of water damage when it comes to drywall. Heavy rains during a storm can find their way inside, quickly damaging drywall. A leaking pipe may slowly create drywall damage and remain hidden until the area starts to bubble or sag.
Even high levels of humidity can cause discoloration spots on walls or ceilings. If moisture is consistently present or heavy enough, mold growth can occur in a matter of days. Drywall that gets wet enough will also quickly deteriorate.
Whenever there are signs of water damage, a homeowner will want to schedule a repair sooner rather than later.
Drywall mold can be a serious problem. As mold spreads on drywall, it can rapidly multiply if favorable conditions promote growth. Mold spores on drywall can become airborne and spread to other areas within a home through the HVAC system.
Mold isn’t just unattractive; it can be a severe threat to human health as well. If allowed to persevere, mold can irritate allergies and cause symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Residents with preexisting health conditions could even develop serious illness due to mold exposure.
Mold also eats away at the organic materials in drywall, weakening its structural integrity. Whenever a homeowner spots mold on drywall, they’ll want to call a professional immediately to assess the situation and determine what type of repair is needed.
Drywall cracks tend to form in the weakest part of a wall, like above a door or window. They can also run the full length of a wall or break off into a spiderweb pattern. While small cracks are often cosmetic, others can indicate serious structural issues or damage.
Drywall cracks larger than ⅛-inch wide are usually signs of significant structural concerns. Recurring cracks can also signal the need for urgency. Only a professional can evaluate the crack, foundation, and nearby structural elements to determine what is causing the crack and what type of repair work is required.
Hammering in a nail too hard or aggressively moving furniture while clearing space to clean the floor are examples of scenarios that could result in drywall holes. Small holes are typically harmless and more of an aesthetic issue, but larger holes can weaken the structural integrity of a wall or ceiling, creating more than just a visual problem.
Homeowners generally won’t want to put off drywall repairs for too long. While small holes can often be easily patched by a handy homeowner, holes larger than 5 inches across may require full drywall replacement. This may also be the case if there are multiple small holes in a single area. If the repair requires more than a patch, a professional is likely better equipped to handle the job.
There are two main reasons that drywall bulges. The first is loosening drywall or drywall that begins to pull away from the studs. Bulging is more common in ceilings than in walls and will likely be more prevalent along the seams, creating quite the aesthetic eyesore.
Water damage can also cause bulges in drywall. While it’s possible to patch bulges or simply paint over them, neither approach is likely to fix the issue. When bulges, bumps, or blisters suddenly appear in drywall, calling in a professional to evaluate the situation is generally the best approach for homeowners to take.
If the bulges are caused by insufficient fastening, the drywall may be refastened with more screws. But if water damage is to blame for a drywall bulge, replacement of the material is likely the only safe solution to prevent mold growth. Working with a professional who knows how to replace drywall is highly recommended.
Drywall Repair: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
A handy homeowner can likely complete their own drywall repair, especially if it only involves a minor crack, slight dent, or small hole. Not only does DIY drywall repair save the hassle of calling out a professional, but it’s also more affordable.
For most small DIY repairs, a homeowner can expect to pay between $10 and $55, depending on whether touch-up paint needs to be matched and purchased. Repair kits typically have everything needed to get the job done, including spackle, wall patches, sandpaper, and a putty knife.
Larger repairs may require the purchase of an actual sheet of drywall, but DIY repair costs should still come in under $100, with materials left over for any potential future repairs.
Hiring a professional drywall contractor also has its benefits, though. Professionals bring plenty of experience to the table, ensuring the finished product is smooth and seamless. A drywall contractor can also typically get the job done faster than a novice and also avoid mistakes that could drive up the repair cost.
Hiring a professional will certainly cost more than taking on a DIY approach. Most drywall contractors charge between $60 to $90 per hour or a flat rate based on the repair type. But the additional cost ensures a drywall repair job will be completed professionally, quickly, and safely.
For homeowners who are confident in their ability to learn on the job or who have previous drywall repair experience, handling their own drywall repair is likely a safe and money-saving option. But for a homeowner without the time or knowledge to get the job done, hiring a professional drywall contractor is likely the best route.
How to Save Money on Drywall Repair Cost
Saving money on any type of home improvement project is always ideal, but it’s not necessarily easy. Luckily, it’s possible to save on drywall repair costs in a few different ways, including the following.
- Receive multiple quotes. When working with a drywall contractor, get at least three quotes from three different professionals. This makes it easier to spot an unreasonably high or concerningly low quote.
- DIY the project. Drywall repair is a home improvement project you may be able to tackle yourself, especially if a crack or hole is on the smaller side. This eliminates labor costs, though the project may take a little bit longer for those who lack experience.
- Work with a handyman. If DIY seems too risky but working with a contractor seems too expensive, a handyman can offer an affordable yet professional solution. Many of the best handyman services offer drywall repair and painting at fair prices.
- Avoid repairs in the first place. Once drywall damage happens, repairs must be completed. That’s why one of the best ways to save on repair costs is to avoid the need for them in the first place. Use caution when hanging pictures and moving furniture to prevent knocking holes in the drywall. Routine household maintenance can help prevent water damage from leaking pipes or from foundation issues before they cause cracking or crumbling.
Questions to Ask About Drywall Repair
Finding the best drywall repair service involves a bit of investigating. Those in need of drywall repair can use the following list of questions as a guide on what to ask a drywall contractor before, during, and after a repair project.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- How long have you been in business?
- How much experience do you have with drywall repair?
- Do you have a portfolio of past projects?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- What’s included in my detailed estimate?
- Will you complete the work yourself or refer it out to subcontractors?
- Who will be my primary point of contact?
- When can you fit my project into your schedule?
- How long will the project take?
- Do you require a downpayment?
- Do you offer a payment plan, and is so, what are the details?
- Do you offer warranties on materials or workmanship?
- How do you handle disputes?
- What do you recommend for drywall maintenance after my repairs are complete?
Drywall is a very important part of any home. It provides soundproofing and insulation while helping a space look neat and tidy. Drywall repair cost is well worth the price, since it can raise the value of a home, make the space more aesthetically pleasing, and ensure a home is safe for its inhabitants. For those who still have questions about patching drywall, the following FAQs may help.
Q. Can I repair drywall myself?
Drywall is an easier DIY project than many other home improvement tasks. However, it still requires a professional approach. Homeowners will need to know the dos and don’ts of drywall repair before starting the project, which include checking for electrical cords, sanding before and after applying compound, applying thin coats of compound, and using drywall patches when appropriate.
Q. Is it expensive to fix a hole in drywall?
It costs between $60 and $650 to repair a drywall hole, depending on the size of the hole and its location. Smaller holes cost between $60 and $200 each to repair. For a cluster of holes, homeowners can expect to pay between $200 and $650. Homeowners may be able to fix small holes themselves using a DIY repair kit, which costs between $10 and $30.
Q. Does drywall repair include painting?
A reputable drywall ceiling repair company will likely include painting as part of the drywall repair process. The amount of damage being repaired will determine the painting process. Small repairs will likely need only a small amount of primer and paint applied by a roller or brush, while larger repairs may require full priming and painting of the entire wall to ensure a smooth and professional finish.
Q. What causes drywall to deteriorate?
Drywall is thin, so any sort of impact can leave behind noticeable damage. Moisture is another main cause of drywall deterioration, either from a plumbing leak, roof leak, major water spill, or flooding from natural disasters. Foundation settling can also lead to drywall damage, first showing up as long hairline cracks and potentially leading to more severe cracking and crumbling. Termite infections can deteriorate drywall as well.
Q. Does water-damaged drywall need to be replaced?
In most scenarios, yes, water-damaged drywall needs to be replaced. Wet walls can grow mold, leading to loss of structural integrity. In severe cases, mold growth on or inside drywall can lead to severe health problems for the residents of an affected home, including wheezing, sneezing, coughing, headaches, and fatigue.
If water exposure is minimal, damp drywall may dry quickly enough to prevent mold growth, but drywall that has been saturated or wet for an extended period of time should always be replaced.
Q. Why does drywall break so easily?
Drywall isn’t indestructible. In fact, most drywall is less than an inch thick. Over time, drywall can crack or crumble for a variety of reasons. Most drywall issues form primarily due to foundation settlement or sinking or shifting in the base of a home. Drywall can also break due to fluctuations in temperature, humidity levels, and even seismic activity. Anything that creates uneven pressure and stress can lead to compromised drywall.