Drywall Calculator – Estimate Cost and Material
Calculate drywall or sheetrock panels, screws, joint compound, and tape needed for your project by entering your room’s dimensions. Optionally include the ceiling if you’re drywalling that as well.
Drywall Material Estimate:
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How to Calculate Drywall
Drywall, also referred to as sheetrock or wall-board, is used to cover walls in modern construction. When you’re completing a renovation or construction project, you’ll likely need drywall to cover the raw framing components of the home.
There are a few ways to estimate the amount of drywall and materials you’ll need for the project.
The first method is to use the drywall calculator above.
Enter the size of your room, and the drywall calculator finds the square footage of the walls, estimates the amount of drywall needed to cover those surfaces, and estimates additional supplies, including screws, joint compound, and tape.
Find Qualified Drywall Professionals in Your Area
How to Estimate Drywall Without a Calculator
To estimate the amount of drywall needed for your project, you need to calculate the square footage of the walls and ceilings that you’ll be sheetrocking. Square footage of the walls is the length in feet times the width in feet of each wall.
You can calculate square feet just like calculating area, by multiplying the length times the width. Do this for each wall, then add them all together to get the total square footage.
If the walls are complex and not rectangular, then it may be easiest to split the walls into smaller sections and calculate each section individually, then add them together.
For example, to measure walls that have a vault, it will be easiest to determine the square section and vault separately.
If you have doors, windows, or other areas where you won’t be installing drywall, you may want to find the square footage of those areas and subtract it from the total square footage figure. This will help your calculation be a bit more accurate and reduce excess materials and waste.
After you find the square footage of drywall needed, simply divide by the square footage of the sheet size you will be using to find the number of sheets needed. For example, if your wall surface is 1,000 square feet and you’re using 4′ x 8′ sheets, then the number of sheets needed is 1,000 ÷ 32, or 31.25.
We suggest ordering about 10% additional materials to account for cuts and material waste.
How to Estimate Joint Compound and Tape
Estimating the amount of joint compound and drywall tape you need starts with finding the square footage. Different joint compound or mud products have different coverage levels, so it’s best to check the product you intend to use to verify the coverage.
If you’re using a lightweight joint compound (not premixed), then you’ll probably need 0.053 pounds of mud per square foot of drywall. If you’re using a quick-setting product, then you’ll likely need 0.073 pounds of mud per square foot. Drywall tape typically covers about 2-3 square feet of sheetrock per foot of tape.
How to Estimate Drywall Cost
To effectively estimate the cost of a drywall project, you need to calculate how many sheets you’ll be installing, the tape and joint compound required, and how many screws are necessary for the project.
The calculator above can estimate the material costs for the project, but every drywall project needs one critical component – a skilled laborer to install and finish the project.
The cost of labor varies drastically based on your geographic area and the skill of the craftsmen. We suggest getting several quotes in your area to get an accurate cost estimate for the project.
You can also use our drywall cost calculator to estimate the cost of the project in your area.
Bear in mind that more complex framing, layouts, or exclusions will require manual estimation of materials, any automated estimation will have a reduced level of accuracy as the complexity of the framing or exclusions rises.
Sheetrock Panel Size Factors to Consider
- Long sheets require fewer seams and cost much less to finish, but are more difficult to install.
- Long sheets may not fit in tight spaces or through stairwells.
- Long sheets are significantly heavier to lift and transport. A 4’x8′ 1/2″ sheet of drywall weighs 54 pounds, while a 4’x12′ 1/2″ sheet weighs 82 pounds.
Don’t forget to consider transportation and delivery requirements when ordering materials. Drywall products are very heavy, and you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate tools for moving large amounts of sheetrock.
We recommend using a panel carry tool, which basically adds a set of handles at just the right height to make carrying large sheetrock panels very easy.
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