How to Price Drywall Jobs: Everything About Drywall Pricing & Estimation

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To increase the likelihood of your drywall proposal getting accepted you must determine the precise price and create an accurate estimate. And, that’s what we are going to discuss in this blog.

The drywall industry is steadily growing year after year. In 2022, there are 20,046 drywall & insulation installer businesses operating in the United States, a 2.4% increase over the previous year. Over the course of five years, from 2017 to 2022, the number of businesses in the US drywall & insulation installers industry increased by 2.4% annually on average.

One of the easiest things in any construction project for contractors to complete is drywall installation or repair. But it might be difficult to estimate how much the drywall installation costs. Since every job is unique and most expenses are determined based on measurements, you should provide each potential customer with a customized estimate or bid.

So, in this guide, we’ll discuss how to price drywall jobs and what factors you should consider as a drywall contractor when estimating drywall costs.

How to Price Drywall Projects?

An hourly rate or a flat rate are the two pricing options available to drywall contractors when it comes to drywall installation.

For most drywall contractors who estimate large drywall jobs with probable revisions, hourly rate pricing could be a reasonable decision. For drywall projects that anticipate few changes and can be quickly estimated by the general contractor, a flat-rate pricing technique could be more appropriate.

How to determine an hourly rate for drywall services?

How to determine an hourly rate for drywall services

When determining an hourly rate, take into account your intended profit, your desired profit margin, and your project timeline.

To determine the hourly rate for a drywall project, follow the below steps:

  • Calculate your yearly business expenses along with the overhead costs.
  • Establish the annual income you desire or require to generate.
  • Calculate your expected annual billable hours by taking into account the error margin.
  • Establish a profit margin that is separate from your yearly salary.
  • Calculate the hourly rate of your drywall project by adding overhead expenses, yearly salaries, and estimated profit margins.
  • Then, divide the total by the number of billable hours.

How to determine a flat rate for drywall services?

To set flat pricing for drywall jobs, keep in mind the predefined hourly rate along with billable hours.

  • Determine the number of billable hours needed to complete the drywall job, allowing for a margin of error.
  • Calculate project-specific overhead expenses, including those for labor, supplies, transportation, and administration.
  • To determine fair pricing, multiply the projected number of billable hours for the project by the hourly rate or the project’s square footage.
  • Next, add the overhead costs and a reasonable markup or surcharge to create your flat rate.
  • To guarantee fair pricing, compare your newly determined rate to that of your competitors.

How to Estimate Drywall Jobs?

You should make a comprehensive drywall estimate so that your potential consumer can understand everything. The following variables will affect the final drywall project cost estimate:

  • Whether the project is related to drywall installation or repair
  • How many drywall sheets you’ll need
  • Drywall material cost
  • Drywall labor cost
  • Size and location of the project

When it comes down to pricing, taking all of these variables into account may prove to be difficult. You may simplify this process by using a drywall cost estimator or drywall estimation template provided by InvoiceOwl for free.

If you are a general contractor, you can find industry-specific invoice templates at InvoiceOwl. Try these templates and create an accurate invoices at ease without using calculator.

The project’s size is among the main determining variables in a drywall cost estimate. Let’s discuss it a bit more.


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  • Pricing a large drywall job

    A large drywall job often calls for more than 75 sheets. In order to accurately estimate the price of the entire project as a drywall contractor, it is important to start with the total square footage.

    Keep in mind that a square foot only refers to the area that the gypsum board will cover, not the size of the entire building.

  • Pricing small drywall jobs

    A drywall job is typically regarded as small by contractors if it just involves one or two residential rooms. Additionally, drywall repair may be involved, which might range from patching a crack to replacing complete panels.
    Even if the project is small, it is still crucial to divide your estimated costs into labor costs and material costs in order to secure all the bases.

    It could be more economical to base your estimate on the number of hours the task will entail instead of the cost per square foot. However, it mainly depends on the scale of the project.

Things to Consider When Pricing and Estimating Drywall Jobs

The majority of your drywall estimates will include a list of the materials you will need to get the work done.
The task of figuring out how much material you need to install drywall is not too difficult. But it does need you to examine the work area and take measurements.

So, in the following sections, we’ve outlined all the measurements you must take for a drywall project. Along with this, we’ve also provided instructions on determining the materials you’ll need for installing a drywall and completing the project.

Square footage measurement

The first step in calculating the amount of material required for drywall installation is to calculate the total square footage of the spaces. The wall and ceiling drywall height can also be a part of this.

For determining the total square footage, all you have to do is multiply the width and ceiling height of the walls and add all the results. You can use this as a starting point to calculate the overall square feet, total material costs, and cost per square foot.

If the task involves repairing drywall, you must measure the space that you’re going to either patch in or replace.

Drywall sheets

While making an estimation, the question “How many sheets will be needed to complete the job?” is frequently a source of confusion.

Here’s how to figure out how many drywall sheets you’ll require:

  • In case you are using a drywall sheet of size 4 x 8, then you have to divide the total square foot area by 32.
  • In case you are using a drywall sheet of size 4 x 12, then you have to divide the total square foot area by 48.

The resulting figure is the number of sheets you will require to get the job done. It is preferable to add 10% more to the drywall sheet cost in order to account for wastage when determining prices.

Drywall tape

How much drywall tape will be required for the whole project? It is a common concern for those who are new to the field. The short answer is that it is usually more than you think!

Drywall tape

Although most drywall tape has 500 feet on it, you’ll probably require more for a sizable drywall project.

Calculate the perimeter of each sheet of drywall and then multiply the result by the required number of sheets.

For a total of three rolls of drywall tape, it is recommended to add the price of an additional roll to allow for probable waste.

Drywall mud

Now that you have determined the number of drywall sheets you require, you can easily estimate how much joint compound (drywall mud) you will require.

When calculating drywall mud, most contractors have their own specific preferences. You may require different amounts of drywall compound based on a few variables:

  • The kind of drywall tape you are using
  • Whether it’s a new drywall installation or existing drywall repair
  • How much mud you usually use

So, how will you calculate the total amount of drywall mud you’ll need for a project? Simply divide the amount of overall drywall compound you think you’ll require by the total square foot of area the compound will be applied on.

Drywall screws

Several elements will affect how much drywall screws cost and how many are needed:

  • The distance between frames
  • What kind of studs are behind the drywall—wood or metal
  • Screws’ required length in relation to drywall thickness
Drywall screws

Estimating one screw per square foot of drywall installed is the simplest approach to figuring out the total number of drywall screws you require.

Corner beads

Applying corner beads is among the last steps when you install drywall. It completes the installation and gives the wall corners a clean, finished appearance.

Estimating the number of corner beads is quite simple. You just have to count the outer corners for the overall project. Plan to utilize one whole corner bead in each corner.

Man hours required

Typically, it takes around three days to complete drywall finishing projects and approximately six to seven labor hours.

Often, these drywall finishing projects take many days to complete. It doesn’t take long to tape and mud drywall seams, but you have to wait between 12 and 24 hours for the joint compound to settle before putting on another layer.

Estimating labor costs

When it comes to drywall installation costs, one of the major drywall costs that set you apart from your competitors is drywall labor costs.

Estimating labor costs is crucial as precisely as you can in advance to save your customer from being surprised by unexpected costs.

When determining labor costs, keep the following things in mind:

  • Time duration: The duration of time needed to accomplish drywall work is crucial in calculating the total cost of labor. Do note that if you are working on more than one project, then carefully break down the time duration that each of the projects will need.
  • Project type: Completing a difficult drywall job that requires expert talent may demand a higher labor rate than a straightforward drywall repair.
  • Crew: A crew of two people can normally complete a drywall project, although larger jobs might require more personnel.
  • Pay: In addition to the salary you provide your employees, you must also think about how you make payments to them. Based on whether you hire employees or subcontractors, their salaries may vary. You can decide whether to give your employees an hourly wage for a bigger project or a flat rate for a smaller one.

For the purpose of estimating labor costs, you need to charge in accordance with the square foot of the area you are covering for drywall installation. However, on the basis of the project’s scale, this method might not provide you with an estimate that is as precise as you need to aim for.

Using your workers’ hourly labor rates to generate a base rate can help you incorporate labor expenses more accurately into your drywall estimate.

Miscellaneous costs

Costs should be taken into account beyond just basic supplies. There are several additional expenses that you can incur based on various aspects, including the delivery of the equipment as well as the current building codes.

Additional costs that you could be required to pay include:

  • The costs of getting to and from the employment place through transportation.
  • License and insurance costs.
  • Project management cost.
  • Cost of Sandpaper.
  • Cost of cleaning and removing clutter.
  • If you are additionally hired to paint the drywall area, paint costs will apply.

Estimating overhead costs and profit markup

Once you are done estimating the costs of drywall materials and miscellaneous items, you need to determine the overhead costs and profit markup.

Do note that the soft costs that are not connected to any one work are included in overhead costs. For example, equipment, tools, vehicles, and marketing and accounting costs.

Naturally, your business’s profit is what remains after covering all of the drywall installation costs and overhead expenses.

The profit margin you decide to set is determined by a few things, which include the project’s location, job scope, and business size.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What should I charge for finishing and hanging drywall?

    A drywall contractor can charge between $1.50 and $3 per square foot for drywall installation. Depending on the complexity of the project and level of skill, a contractor can select between one of the various pricing options within the range of $1.50 and $3 per square foot.

  2. Should I use an Excel document for my drywall estimate?

    Excel is a fantastic tool for estimating. To ensure consistency and minimize mistakes, it is advisable to use a drywall estimate template or estimating software like InvoiceOwl.

    Using InvoiceOwl drywall estimating software, you can:

    • Create an estimate and download it in Excel format.
    • Share more precise drywall price estimates.
    • On-the-go estimation creation.
    • Avoid duplicate data entering to save time.
    • Quickly transform quotes into invoices.

    Utilizing software will speed up the estimation process, allowing you to start engaging with customers and delivering bids and quotes more quickly.

  3. How to bid on a drywall job?

    You must prepare a proposal and make an offer to the client in order to bid on a drywall project.
    One of the best methods to secure a contract is to bid on drywall work. But you might have to compete with other contractors to receive the project.
    Make sure your pricing estimate is fair and can still turn a profit to increase your chances of getting a drywall contract.


The demand for drywall services has been high. As more and more drywall installation tasks enter the pipeline, you’ll need your business operations and pricing estimation to stay in check to fulfill client expectations. The creation of a drywall service proposal, estimation, or bid is now simpler than ever, thanks to InvoiceOwl’s estimating & invoicing software.

Because everything is done from a single platform, drywall installers focus more of their time on drywall tasks rather than searching for information. Without a mountain of paperwork taking up office space, you can focus on running a professional drywall contracting business.

Start a FREE trial today and find out how InvoiceOwl can benefit your business, and get in touch with the InvoiceOwl team right away to get answers to your queries.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More