Damage to a drywall ceiling due to a water leak

2019 Drywall Repair Costs

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National Average Price $500
Typical Price Range $100 - $1,000


If you have the knowledge, time, and tools repairing drywall damage could be a simple, inexpensive DIY project. To repair a spot less than 4’ by 8’ that requires one sheet of drywall, it will cost around $50 to $100, including painting the entire surface.

However, hiring a professional will typically cost between $35 and $50 per hour, plus materials. The national average for a drywall repair is $500, though it could be more, depending on several factors, such as the area that needs to get repaired, and the cost of labor and materials. The high-end is usually less than $1,000 total for replacement, prepping, and painting.

DIY & Small Repairs

The low-end small patch job usually costs $50 – $100 per square foot. Stress cracks, popped screws, or “remudding” drywall tape, and repainting are minor DIY or handyperson projects that usually cost $100 – $150. Hardware stores often offer a DIY drywall repair kit for small holes that costs less than $30.

Other common expenses include:

  • A sheet of drywall, $10 – $15.00
  • Drywall screws, $5 – $7 per pound
  • Joint tape, $5.00 for a 100’ roll
  • Joint compound, $15.00 a bucket
  • Paint, see our painting cost guide

Probable Causes of Damage

The first concern with damaged drywall is to find the cause of the blemish. Common forms of damage are typical dings and dents, water damage, and foundation issues.

Foundation Problems

Wide cracks in your walls or ceiling could point to a foundation or structural problems, and you should hire an engineer to find the reason. When it turns out the damage is caused by a damaged foundation, consult our foundation repair cost guide. Often cracks are formed due to natural settling.

Water Damage Repairs

A common cause of ceiling discoloration is water damage. Water damage repair costs are usually separate from finding the leak and repairing that, though you might find a local handyperson or contractor who will give you a price for both.

If it is a roof leak, check our roof repair cost guide to calculate costs. Although prices vary, due mostly to labor prices in your area, a simple repair averages around $150, and moderate repairs cost between $300 and $500 per square. When roofing contractors refer to a price “per square,” they are quoting a price for a ten by ten-foot area.

Mold Removal

Mold is a primary concern with water leaks. When there is mold present, you will need to get it cleaned up before making repairs to the drywall. Mold can be hazardous to your family’s respiratory system and presents grave health threats.

Get a professional mold removal service to prevent mold spores from spreading throughout your home. Mold removal services average $2,000 – $2,500 for major remediation projects. However, this is a necessary expense.

Plaster Removal & New Drywall

When you want to remove a plaster wall or ceiling in an older home, the price will include tearing out and removing the plaster and lathe. This removal process can be time-consuming and labor intensive so the expense will be much more than installing the new drywall.

If you are considering a DIY removal, including the cost of a dumpster to throw the removed material into will save a lot of cleanup. If you don’t have any, include the price of gloves, face masks, and goggles, as tearing out the plaster will create tremendous dust that could contain dangerous toxins and lead paint.

See our drywall calculator to determine how many sheets of drywall and supplies you will need, or use our drywall cost guide.

Getting Drywall Repair Estimates

Many homeowners wonder if they should use a handyperson or drywall contractor to repair drywall damage. A general rule is if the damage is minor, using a handyperson could save money. Minor damage typically includes small holes, cracks, and popped screws.

If the damage is more extensive than 6″ to a foot, there is water damage, or demolition required, use a contractor for a more professional result and quicker completion.

Another unwritten rule is to get at least three estimates from professionals in your area. Check our free contractor locator to find them. Make sure they are licensed and insured to do the repairs.

All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.