The Cost to Drywall a Garage
Drywall isn’t essential in a garage, but it adds a finished look, and it can raise the market value of your home. In some developments, a homeowners association may require the installation of garage drywall. The materials needed to install the drywall are relatively inexpensive, but if you hire a contractor to do the job, your cost will increase considerably. When estimating the cost to drywall your garage, you will figure how many drywall panels you will need and the cost to rent or purchase drywall installation and drywall finishing tools.
Drywall Panel Cost
To figure how much money the drywall panels will cost, you will have to measure the area of the interior walls and ceiling in your garage. For example, to drywall a standard, two-car garage that measures 24-feet by 24-feet, you will need 12 sheets of 4-foot by 12-foot drywall panels for the ceiling and an additional 12 sheets of 4-foot by 12-foot panels for the three solid walls. Construction material costs fluctuate frequently, but as of Oct 2011, a 1/2-inch thick panel of the specified dimensions runs about $10.36, so 24 panels are necessary to do the three main walls and ceiling. This would cost $248.64 before tax. If your garage has a standard 16-foot door, you’ll need at least four 4-foot by 8-foot drywall panels to do the sides of the front wall. At $6.98 per panel, this adds an additional $27.92 for a total drywall panel cost of $276.59. A box of drywall screws runs less than $10.
Drywall Taping Costs
To tape out a standard two-car garage, you’ll need a couple five-gallon buckets of premixed joint compound at about $13 apiece and a 500-foot roll of Drywall Joint tape that runs less than $5.
The cost of the tools needed to install and tape drywall vary widely, due to the quality of the tool and the retailer’s markup. To install the panels, you’ll need a drywall screwgun that runs around $100 or less. You’ll need a six-inch taping knife and 12-inch taping knife that each cost between $8 to $12. The biggest tool expense will be a drywall lift that holds and elevates the large panels so you can safely attach them to the garage ceiling. Buying one will set you back between $200 to $300, but you can rent one for much less from a construction rental store. You may be able to rent the drill and taping tools, as well.
If you install the panels and tape them out, you’ll save a lot of money, but hanging large drywall panels requires the skill to hang the panels tightly together to reduce taping, and the ability to install the largest panels you can safely handle. You’ll need two or more strong workers to assist you. If you decide to hire a drywall contractor, he can give you an estimate of how much he charges per square foot to hang and tape the garage, or you can request a firm bid, which is generally a bit higher.
Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.
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