How much does it cost to repair drywall?
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Repair Drywall Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Drywall is the foundation of most homes. The construction material creates ceilings, walls, entryways, and more. When drywall fails, quick repairs are critical to ensure the integrity of your home. Drywall is prone to different forms of damage—including scuffs, holes, and water damage.
Most drywall repair jobs cost a homeowner between $200 and $550. On average, expect to pay around $350 for a contractor to repair multiple holes and cracks in a single room using patches and compound. The project’s lowest cost would be around $75 to apply joint compound to a few small nail holes. The high cost for this project is $1,000 to repair water damage on a ceiling with sagging and cracked sections of drywall.
Drywall Repair Prices
|Drywall Repair Cost|
|National average cost||$350|
Drywall Repair Cost per Square Foot
Drywall repairs are not often charged by the square foot but rather by the hour, particularly for jobs covering large areas or multiple rooms. Some contractors charge by the square foot for small projects, including minor-to-moderate repairs like patching holes or cracks in a single wall. There is a wide cost range for repairs, with hourly costs being most common for repairing multiple small cracks throughout the home or replacing larger sections of damage. Square footage costs are most common for repairing multiple holes or issues confined to a single wall. You can expect costs per square foot to be between $60 and $80 a square foot to make repairs. The following are the average repair sizes and the estimated cost for repair per square foot.
|Size||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|2 sq.ft.||$120 - $160|
|4 sq.ft.||$240 - $320|
|5 sq.ft.||$300 - $400|
|7 sq.ft.||$420 - $560|
|10 sq.ft.||$600 - $800|
|15 sq.ft.||$900 - $1,200|
|20 sq.ft.||$1,200 - $1,600|
Cost of Drywall Repair per Hour
Most drywall repairs are priced out on an hourly basis. This is true if you repair multiple small cracks in several rooms or one large section. It can often be a better indicator of costs than the cost per square foot, particularly for jobs encompassing multiple rooms or square feet because the square foot charge can seem artificially high.
Most contractors charge between $70 and $80 an hour for drywall repair, but some very complex repairs like addressing water damage may cost as much as $100 an hour. Repairs have a minimum cost of one hour for small projects in most cases.
Cost to Repair Drywall by Number of Rooms
Many issues can occur with drywall, from doorknob damage to cracks due to settling. Sometimes, you have the same damage type in multiple rooms that you should take care of at once. This is often a more cost-effective way of dealing with small issues because minimum costs can mean you may pay more for multiple trips rather than having them all done at once. You may also want to have a contractor do a walk-through and repair multiple rooms worth of small nail holes and cracks before putting your home on the market. In this case, you can have a wide range of costs based on the number of rooms. Below are the average costs you can expect for the project.
|Number of Rooms||Whole Drywall Repair Cost (Labor Included)|
|1 Room||$75 - $300|
|2 Rooms||$150 - $600|
|3 Rooms||$225 - $900|
|4 Rooms||$300 - $1,200|
|5 Rooms||$375 - $1,500|
|Entire House||$450 - $2,000|
Average Cost of Drywall Repair by Type of Repair
Many types of repair are priced by the type of repair, rather than by the square foot or by the hour. This is for single repairs, such as fixing a hole where a doorknob went through or patching the cracks around a window. If you have multiple issues with your drywall, then it’s more likely that you will be quoted on an hourly basis how long they estimate the repairs to take.
|Repair Type||Average Repair Cost (Labor Included)|
|Crack||$60 - $330|
|Hole||$60 - $200|
|Anchor Hole||$75 - $105|
|Ceiling Hole||$75 - $115|
|Nail Pop||$75 - $140|
|Tape||$80 - $190|
|Torn||$95 - $300|
|Joint||$120 - $360|
|Mold||$160 - $350|
|Corner Crack||$220 - $315|
|Water Damage||$400 - $800|
|Flood Cut||$400 - $800|
|Vaulted Ceiling||$400 - $1,000|
Small hairline cracks fixed with caulk start at $60. Extensive cracks cost as much as $330 to repair using wood supports, new drywall section, adhesive, and multiple coats of compound. Cracks can occur for several reasons. Hairline cracks in joints may happen when fasteners pop out of the construction material. Cracks also occur when there’s some type of movement below the drywall. Homes settling could cause hairline cracks in the ceiling. Cracks can also occur due to framing lumber swelling and shrinking in humidity, particularly around windows.
Repair Drywall Holes
The average cost to fix holes in drywall is about $60 to $200 for labor and materials. You’ll likely make multiple hole repairs at the same time. A commonly requested repair is to fix nail holes. Nail holes come from picture hooks and usually measure less than ⅛.” Holes can also occur for other reasons, including doorknobs, walls being punched, or bumping the wall with furniture. Sometimes, the hole may appear as a dent or depression where the paper did not completely tear away. Holes are usually filled the same way, with small holes being spackled and larger holes being patched then spackled to repair.
Fixing drywall anchor holes averages between $75 and $105 for labor and materials. A patch is needed to repair an anchor hole after the hole is cleared out of any debris. Anchor issues are common in homes. Anchors are used for many household items, including paper towel holders, towel racks, and curtain rods. Holes can occur in a wall due to expanded anchors. Once the expansion occurs around the anchor, the piece is likely to become dislodged from the hole.
Ceiling Hole Repair
Most nail holes on the ceiling that measure less than a ¼” cost under $75 to fix. Larger holes will likely cost $115 or more to repair each section. Ceiling holes are typically caused by moisture exposure or impact. Before any ceiling repairs, use the home breaker to turn off power to the ceiling circuits. Prep work will involve using ceiling tape to mark ceiling joists. Since working overhead is more challenging, ceiling hole repair costs slightly more than wall holes. Large hole repair is likely to have a higher average cost than small hole drywall repair.
Nail Pop Repair
The average cost for drywall nail pop repair is $75 to $140. Nail pops have become a less common household repair. In decades past, drywall was secured with nails that could become dislodged due to impact or the home settling. Using nails that were too short is another reason that drywall nail pop occurs. Modern systems use screws, which are rarely dislodged. Fixing nail pops is similar to repairing damage from holes. The nails are removed. The area is patched up with compound, and the nails are replaced.
Drywall Tape Repair
The average cost for a fix, including drywall joint tape repair, will be $80 to $190. A common problem in certain rooms of the home is tape issues, including the need to repair the drywall tape seam or the tape becoming loose from the seam on a wall or ceiling. Tape will often separate from the wall or ceiling in rooms with high humidity levels. The wall will first start to bubble before strips of the tape appear to peel off. A contractor is needed to help repair peeling drywall tape. They can remove the old adhesive and secure new taped sections.
Expect to pay an average of $95 to $300 for drywall tear repair jobs. Tears in your drywall paper or sections where the paper is peeled away should be repaired before you paint it. The loose paper is stripped away before patches are used for cracks or holes. Tear repairs may require multiple coats of compound to hide the damage.
Drywall Joint Repair
The average cost of drywall joint repair is between $120 and $360. Drywall joints and seams become damaged for several reasons, including improper installation, house settling, and water damage. The joints or seams may crack, separate, or one section may lift away. Contractors will use tape to secure the damaged joint before using compound to fill in any joint gaps that may have occurred.
Mold Drywall Repair
To remove and replace a section of sheetrock with mold, expect to pay around $160 to $350. Mold remediation efforts involve removing sections of drywall with mold present. Before removing the moldy sections, contractors need to address any underlying causes of the mold. Mold is often caused by too much humidity in the air. The humidity level can be reduced by using a dehumidifier. Addressing any plumbing and roof leaks also prevent future mold issues. If certain rooms are not getting enough ventilation and causing mold to form, you may have to run fans or install additional vents.
Repair Drywall Corners
The average cost to repair drywall on interior corners starts at $220 and goes up to $315. Corner crack repair may be more costly than other types of wall damage since the area will not involve fixing flat seams. The most common issue with fixing the area is the failure to use enough mud or compound on the interior wall corners.
Drywall Water Damage Repair
For a single room, you can expect the cost to repair drywall water damage on walls or ceilings to be around $400 to $800. Water damage is one of the most costly to fix in a home. If exposed to water it becomes soft and must be removed before new pieces can be installed. Moist pieces are also prone to mold buildup. The prices of repair due to water damage are determined by the size of the affected area.
Flood Cut Drywall Repair
Flood cut drywall repair costs an average of $400 to $800. Flood cut is a type of remediation used after a home has become water damaged. For this type of repair, the contractor removes the sheetrock approximately two feet above the waterline of the flood. This repair is needed after an area has been submerged due to a flood or broken appliance. It becomes soft and loses its structural integrity when exposed to water. Sections may become loose and fall off.
Vaulted Ceiling Drywall Repair
Expect to pay between $400 and $1,000 to make professional repairs on a damaged drywall vaulted ceiling. A vaulted ceiling is one of the more expensive repairs. Contractors charge for extra labor and equipment since a specialized fix will be needed to repair holes, tears, and water damage.
Drywall Repair Prices by Solution
The method your contractor uses to make a drywall fix impacts the final price of the job. Many issues may be fixed in similar ways, such as using spackle or joint compound to fill small holes and cracks and smooth the surface. Sometimes, this may be combined with patching for larger holes and sanding down excess compound for a smooth surface. Many repairs use multiple things at once, so your final cost may include several steps and solutions to get your sheetrock to the final finish, ready for painting. The following are the most common solutions and the average cost for each.
|Solution||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Sanding||$60 - $70|
|Spackle||$60 - $80|
|Patch||$75 - $115|
|Taping||$75 - $145|
|Mud||$85 - $175|
Drywall Repair Sanding
To hire a professional to sand, you’ll pay an average of $60 to $70. When it comes to drywall repair sanding, the method is usually coupled with another technique to fix holes and cracks. Compound is used on the damaged section and then sanded down to match the texture of the surrounding wall.
Expect to pay between $60 and $80 for a professional to spackle a small area of repaired sheetrock. Spackle is a different compound to use instead of mud and is a better choice for small nail holes. Spackle has a faster drying time and won’t shrink significantly after application. Mud, on the other hand, is better for large coverage areas because of the longer drying time. Contractors don’t want mud to dry before the area is fully repaired. Along with spackle, a contractor must sand and paint a repaired area.
The average cost to patch drywall is between $75 and $115 when done by a professional. Patches are often used to make many home repairs. You can patch ceiling after a leak or patch corner pieces in hard to reach areas. Contractors use self-adhesive patches to cover up small to mid-sized holes. The final cost to patch the hole depends on whether the area needs additional coats of compound. In many cases, if holes measure over six inches, patches are not a recommended method.
The cost to use tape on drywall during a repair is between $75 to $145. When you tape, you also need to prime the damaged area that has any holes and cracks. Debris is removed, and the area is covered with a layer of compound. Tape is then placed over the mud. The area would later need to be sanded to even out the texture.
For a professional to mud a damaged section of sheetrock, the cost will be around $85 to $175. Mudding cost per square foot is between $0.40 and $0.70. The cost per square foot to mud and tape increases by $0.45 to $0.75. The average cost to mud depends on the amount of compound needed and the type your contractor plans to use. With the mud technique, large amounts of compound are applied to hide seams.
Signs You Need Drywall Repair
Drywall issues are almost always visible on the surface. This can take the form of small hairline cracks forming under and around windows, bulges or cracks at the seams or joints, cracks in the corners, or bubbling and peeling beneath your paint. Some of these issues are cosmetic and do not harm the walls or cause structural issues. Other times, they can be an indication of a larger problem, such as water damage or shifting of your home’s structure. If you are unsure of what is causing the issue, have it checked out. If you only repair it without addressing what caused the issue, the problem may return.
Other times, you might notice that it needs immediate repair. For example, if your doorknob dents or punches a hole into the drywall or you remove a picture from the wall to find the nail hole. These issues can be repaired right away, or you may want to take care of them at once before selling your home or painting a room.
Another indicator of the need for repair is visible water damage. It may have discoloration in spots. The area may also appear soft and feel damp to the touch. It’s especially important to check for water damage following any type of home leak. A musty smell seeping out of the drywall could alert you to hidden mold buildup. Any time you suspect water damage - whether due to a leaking roof or pipe - get it checked out right away. Water damage can spread and lead to other issues if not treated right away.
Causes of Drywall Damage
Drywall is a sturdy, durable material, but it is also brittle and can be easily damaged by several things. Damage can be done by nailing items through it or accidents, such as pushing a door open too quickly or bumping a chair against it too hard.
Sometimes, it can be damaged through normal use and time. Houses settle as they age, which may cause it to shift and crack. Humidity can also cause frames to swell and shrink, which can also cause cracks in the sheetrock.
Leaks from a roof or pipe can cause water damage to the drywall, causing it to soften and discolor, and any type of flood can also do the same. If it has been hung improperly, it can also have issues with peeling tape or cracking at the seams or corners.
Most types of damage may not impact the drywall’s structure and are cosmetic only. However, major cracks and water damage can be signs of a larger problem and should be checked and repaired quickly.
When you have drywall repaired or purchase a newly built home, you can take preventative measures to prolong the lifetime of the sheetrock. For example, drywall nails can pop out due to the home settling. Remove popped out screws and replace them immediately to prevent further damage. Contractors may recommend replacing old sheetrock ails with modern screws during repairs to prevent future issues. You should also consider hiring an exterminator to perform routine pest inspections to look for signs of wood-boring pests like termites.
Preventing water damage is another part of maintenance. Fix any leaks immediately by getting in touch with a plumber. Also, check the exterior of your home for water issues since this could eventually cause sheetrock issues. Inspect the roof for leaks and clean the gutters routinely. Without proper drainage, water can seep inside and compromise drywall on the walls or ceiling.
Stop it from cracking by not nailing anything into your walls. Instead, use a sticky putty or adhesive to hang pictures. Patch holes made from nails or anchors instead of reusing the hole and making the puncture larger.
Repair vs Replace Drywall
If your drywall becomes damaged, you have two options - repair the damage or replace the section. The one you choose comes down to the damage’s extent, type, and cost.
Superficial damage is easily repaired, such as nail holes and hairline cracks. Even moderate holes can generally be patched and repaired easily without needing to remove or replace the damaged section. However, very large sections of damage and sheetrock that are no longer structurally sound, such as drywall that has experienced water damage, should be replaced to address damage behind the wall and prevent further issues. Very old drywall may also not be repairable because the material can become more brittle. In this case, a damaged section may need to be removed and replaced.
Generally, replacements may be done if most of a panel or section must be repaired or the damage could extend beyond the sheetrock, such as water damage. Otherwise, the damage can usually be repaired without removing and disposing of the old one. Below are the average costs to repair and replace a section of damaged drywall.
|Project||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Repair||$200 - $550|
|Replacement||$400 - $800|
Drywall vs Sheetrock
Many people use the terms drywall and Sheetrock interchangeably. However, Sheetrock is the name brand of a manufacturer of drywall made by the U.S. Gypsum Company. Much like other brands, such as Kleenex and Jacuzzi, many people have begun to use the brand name as the generic name for the product.
Therefore, even if you know that what you have in your home is Sheetrock, you still need to repair drywall if it develops cracks, holes, or other damage. There is no functional difference between brands, and the costs of Sheetrock and other types are comparable for installation, repair, and replacement.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
As part of a repair job, you could ask your contractor to enhance the appearance of your existing drywall. All drywall is given a skim coat of compound as part of its installation, and you can also opt for heavier texture types. If desired, you can change this, but it is generally easier to go from a heavier texture to a smoother one. This costs $1 to $3 a square foot.
After repairs are made, it’s standard practice to ask the contractor to paint the repaired area to match the rest of the wall or ceiling. You can either choose to paint the entire area a new color or use the same paint shade on the repaired drywall. On average, you pay between $990 and $1,320 to have a professional paint a single room.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Licensing. Although some repairs can be carried out by a handyman, some states require a license for any installer working with drywall. Check your state’s requirements through the Institute of Justice.
- DIY. Small nail holes and some hairline cracks can be repaired DIY. Larger repairs should be left to professionals to help prevent further damage.
- Value. Fixing drywall damage helps your home maintain its value. Buyers may not be attracted to a home with visible cracks and holes in the ceilings and walls.
- How much does drywall repair cost?
Expect to pay between $200 and $550 for most drywall repairs in the home with the work performed by a professional contractor.
- Do painters repair drywall?
Most painters will make small drywall repairs to a room before painting the area, such as filling small holes or hairline cracks.
- Is it better to repair or replace drywall?
Talk to your contractor about whether the room needs a new drywall installation or just a modest repair. In some cases, like when a room has been water-damaged, replacement is a necessity, but even moderate holes can often be repaired. Always check with your contractor for more information.
- How much does it cost to repair drywall cracks?
The cost of fixing a drywall crack depends on the crack and what is causing it. Hairline cracks can be fixed for as little as $60, while more extensive cracks may cost $330 to repair.
- How much does it cost to repair water-damaged drywall?
Water damaged drywall typically involves removing the old sheets and replacing them with new sheetrock at an estimated cost of $400 to $800 on average.
- How much does it cost to patch drywall?
Drywall patches are used to fix dents and holes with an average cost of $75 to $115.
- Bob Vila. “Dos and Don’ts of Repairing Drywall."
- Craftsman Book Company. National Renovation & Insurance Repair Estimator, Ed. by Jonathan Russell (Carlsbad, CA, 2021).
- Craftsman Book Company. National Repair & Remodeling Estimator, Ed. by Joshua Paxton (Carlsbad, CA, 2021).
- FIXR Cost Guides and Cost Database.
- Institute of Justice. “License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing.”
- Lowes. “How to Patch and Repair Drywall.”
- Popular Mechanics. “How to Repair Drywall: Common Ways to Fix Damaged Walls."
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- The Spruce. “Common Drywall Issues and Fixes.”