Labor Cost to Hang and Finish Drywall

labor cost to hang and finish drywall


When planning a home improvement or new construction project, an often overlooked but crucial element is drywall installation. The process of hanging and finishing drywall can be both a science and an art, one that requires skilled labor to achieve seamless results. This comprehensive guide aims to break down the labor costs associated with hanging and finishing drywall, offering insights and tips to help you budget accurately.

Table of Contents

  1. Importance of Professional Drywall Installation
  2. Components of Drywall Installation
  3. Factors Affecting Labor Costs
  4. Average Cost Breakdown
  5. Regional Differences
  6. When to DIY
  7. FAQs
  8. Conclusion

Importance of Professional Drywall Installation

The quality of drywall installation significantly impacts the aesthetic and structural integrity of your space. A professional drywall contractor will ensure that the walls are smooth, even, and ready for paint or wallpaper. Poorly installed drywall can result in visible seams, uneven surfaces, and long-term issues like cracking.

Components of Drywall Installation

Drywall installation consists of several steps:

  • Preparation: Clearing the area and setting up a workspace.
  • Measuring and Cutting: Customizing drywall sheets to fit the area.
  • Hanging: Affixing the drywall to the structure.
  • Taping: Applying joint compound and tape to the seams.
  • Sanding and Priming: Smoothing the surface for painting or wallpapering.

Each of these steps involves labor costs that vary based on project size, location, and level of expertise required.

Factors Affecting Labor Costs

Several variables influence the labor cost to hang and finish drywall:

Type of Drywall

Standard drywall is generally cheaper to install than specialized types like moisture-resistant or fire-resistant drywall.

Complexity of the Project

Complex projects involving curved walls, archways, or high ceilings usually cost more due to the skill and time required.

Experience of the Contractor

Experienced contractors may charge higher rates but often deliver superior quality.

Project Size

Larger projects may offer a reduced “per square foot” cost but will still be more expensive overall.

Time Constraints

Rushed projects can incur additional labor costs.

Average Cost Breakdown

To provide a ballpark estimate, the average labor cost to hang drywall ranges from $1 to $3 per square foot, and the cost to finish it typically ranges from $1 to $1.50 per square foot. These figures may vary based on the factors mentioned earlier.

Regional Differences

Location plays a critical role in labor costs. Contractors in urban areas with a high cost of living often charge more compared to those in smaller towns or rural areas.

When to DIY

Although drywall installation might seem like a good DIY project, it’s crucial to evaluate whether you possess the skills to achieve a satisfactory result. Small errors can result in significant problems down the line, costing more in repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it cheaper to hang and finish drywall myself?

While you can save on labor costs, lacking expertise can result in a subpar finish requiring expensive fixes later.

Q. Does the cost include the removal of existing walls or old drywall?

Generally, no. The removal of existing structures usually incurs additional charges.

Q. Can I get a flat fee instead of a per square foot charge for drywall installation?

Some contractors offer flat fees for smaller projects but usually prefer per square foot charges for more extensive work.


Understanding the labor cost to hang and finish drywall is essential for budgeting your home improvement or construction project accurately. Numerous factors influence these costs, from the type of drywall used to the contractor’s experience and the project’s location. While DIY might seem tempting, the skill and expertise that professionals bring to the table often justify the investment.