Drywall Repair Costs

The cost of hiring a contractor to repair damage to drywall ranges between $279 and $807, or an average of $543, depending on the extent of the damage. However, regional pricing variations can also affect the cost of the repair.

In general, if the hole can be covered with what handymen refer to as a "patch," the repair will be a flat rate. The most expensive part of the project is the labor. For minor repairs, expect to pay an average of $60 to $90 per hour for handyman repair, or about $50 to 75 per square foot. To make DIY repairs, the price of materials comes to around $45 for a job requiring only one 4 by 8 foot sheet of drywall.

Causes of Drywall Damage

The most common culprit of damage is the doorknob. Upon opening a door, the knob can bang up against the wall, causing a hole or crack over time. Fortunately, this can be remedied with a patch job, plus the addition of a door stopper to prevent the problem from happening again in the future.In addition to doorknob related holes, there are many ways that drywall can be damaged.

  • Small holes can be caused by rodents, household accidents.

  • Large holes can be caused by sporting equipment and accidents involving heavy objects.

  • Nails and popped screws

  • Stress cracks can occur because of settling foundation, seismic activity, foundation problems, and structural weight.

  • Water damage may require entire sheets to be replaced and can result in mold if it's not addressed quickly. Water damage can be found in a variety of places around the house, including the area between the walls and the ceiling (often a result of roof leaks) and the area around the tub or shower.

Patching Costs Per Square Foot

Patching drywall costs about $50 to $75 per square foot, unless the job is being completed as a DIY project.

Small Holes

Small holes, often caused by door knobs, screws and mice, may range in size from a few eighths of an inch to about 3 to 4 inches across. Professionals will charge about $50 to $75 to complete the project. DIYers may spend around $45 or less for the same project, but will have supplies leftover that could make future repairs even less costly. Homeowners may purchase a small repair kit for very small holes (no more than a few inches). These kits range between $10 and $30.

There are often additional costs when fixing drywall. For example, texture may need to be reapplied. Texture application professionals charge around $60 for one hour of work. If a painter is required to apply new paint, the cost to hire a painter is around $70 to $130 per hour, including the price of the paint. For small jobs, the painter may charge a flat rate.

Large Holes

The approximate cost to repair large holes is $50 to $75 per square foot. Additional tasks like removal and disposal of debris can increase the overall project rate. The average cost for removal of construction debris is $200, but this price may be lower for smaller jobs like this. A handyman may charge around $60 per hour for this project, while professional contractor rates are closer to $90 per hour. These prices may not include materials. See the detailed material costs below:

  • $9 per 8x4 foot sheet of drywall

  • $6 per pound of screws

  • $4.50 for each 150 feet of tape

  • $14 per pail of mud

Homeowners who perform their own repairs will only pay for the cost of materials (described above), unless the job is performed incorrectly, and a professional is hired later to repair the damage. These holes may be caused by various household accidents. A fallen floating shelf, accidents involving bowling balls, rough-housing children, and accidents caused by heavy furniture can all cause holes ranging in size from 5 inches in diameter and up.

Hiring a professional is recommended. While patch kits make small fixes easy for DIYers, bigger projects are more complex. Cosmetic defects due to poor drywall repair can impact a home's visual appeal, reduce the value of the home, and may require more work later. In addition, an experienced contractor may be able to spot damage to insulation, wires, and pipes inside the wall. If further work is needed, the pro can make recommendations.

Repairing Whole Wall

The cost for repairing or replacing a whole wall may come to around $40 to $60 per hour by eight foot sheet of installed drywall. This includes the costs of mud, materials, and labor. Fixing the wall may be cheaper (around $40), but in some cases, replacement (closer to $60) is the only viable option.

Filling in Cracks of Chips

Cracks and chips can easily be filled in with a kit or with basic materials like drywall mud, sand paper, and touch up paint. Kits cost between $10 and $30 each. Professionals will charge the rate of $60 to $90 per hour in addition to materials (which may be minimal). Cracks in drywall may be easy to repair, but will only return if they occurred because of foundation trouble. Homeowners who notice cracks may need to hire a professional to assess their foundation's condition. Contact a foundation professional for costs of foundation repair if other signs of foundation damage are noted, such as jammed doors or windows and cracks in the foundation.

Repairing Water Damage

Water damage repair may have its own costs in addition to the average hourly rate of $60 to $90 plus materials. For example, mold remediation may have a separate charge if professionals are needed to remove mold spores and prevent the spread of mold to the rest of the house. The average cost for mold remediation is $2,300. If water damage was caused by a plumbing leak inside the wall, cost of a plumber may range from $170 to $450.

Estimated Cost for Fixing Drywall Ceilings

The overall average cost to repair a drywall ceiling is between $320 and $1,300. Labor for a basic ceiling patch job run at about $65 to $90 per hour. For a simple patch, materials and supplies may cost around $30, including tape, fasteners, and mud. Ceiling repair is best performed by a professional because physical strength and special tools (including properly sized ladders or even scaffolding) may be required. In addition, fixing high ceilings can be dangerous for an untrained professional.

Sheetrock Repair Cost

Sheetrock is a drywall brand name. The cost to repair Sheetrock is comparable to the cost of repairing drywall since the materials used are the same. However, these sheets generally cost more than its generic counterpart. An eight by four sheet is priced at around $14 or more. Sheetrock is a well-known and respected brand that may be more durable than other brands. Homeowners who install this brand name product in their home may not need maintenance as frequently as those who install a generic product.

What to Expect with Drywall Repair

To get started, a contractor will prep the area to minimize mess. Upon surveying the damage, they will choose the right type of compound. The two most common types available are lightweight and all-purpose. The best option depends on the severity of the damage.

  • A lightweight compound is best for smaller projects. It dries more quickly, weighs less, and is easier to sand.

  • All-purpose compound is stronger and more durable, so it is best for larger fixes. It takes longer to dry, which extends the overall project time. Can be about 30% more expensive.

To patch the hole, the professional will first apply the compound and smooth it with a putty knife. Depending on the size, several layers of compound may need to be applied.A dryer can be used to speed up the drying process. Once the compound is dry, it is sanded until it is indistinguishable from the rest of the wall. This is done using an electric sander or a piece of sandpaper. Professionals take the time to sand down the edges of the compound (a process known as feathering). This creates a seamless finish.To add durability to the repair, the contractor may apply an adhesive patch made of aluminum screen.

If working with a larger hole, the contractor will typically start by cutting the hole into a square shape. Once the screening is attached, the contractor applies another layer of compound. The last step, which could be completed by the contractor or homeowner, is to paint over the patchwork with a color that matches the rest of the wall. If done correctly, most people will not even be able to tell that there was a hole.

Overall, repairs can be very inexpensive when hiring a handyman, but it gets pricier if a drywall contractor is hired. It is a good idea for homeowners to carefully consider which option is best for them. To get the best deal, shop around and get estimates from at least three professionals.

Handyman or Drywall Contractor?

There is a rule of thumb used to determine whether a homeowner should hire a handyman or a contractor. In general, if a hole in the drywall is less than an inch in diameter at its largest point, the project can be completed by a handyman. If the hole is larger, a contractor is best. Hiring a professional to do any repairs may cost more; however, there are benefits, such as:

  • Faster completion time

  • Professional quality

  • Reduced mess

  • Debris is hauled away at the end

Homeowners need to determine if the added benefits outweigh the extra expense. See the chart below to find out which pro can help get your drywall repair done:

What Needs Repair Who to Hire
Hole less than 1 inch diameter Handyman
Crack Handyman
Filling-in nail or screw holes Handyman
Hole over 5 inches Contractor
Water damage Contractorg
Ceiling work Contractor


How do you fix a hole in the wall?

To fix a small hole in the wall, apply a patch that is slightly larger than the hole. Apply drywall mud to the patch, feathering the edges. Allow the mud to dry, then sand it until smooth. Paint over the mud when the job is finished. To fix a large issues, hire a professional.

How do you fix a plaster wall?

Plasterboard is another name for drywall; however, plasterboard is very different from actual plaster. This project involves mixing plaster and applying it to the blemish. When the plaster dries, it is sanded smooth and repainted.