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Drywall is an item that depends on product availabilty, and on the labor rates that vary throughout the country. When receiving a quote, your prices will reflect these costs, and, on the dimensions of the areas and their distributions being bid, the grade of finishing that will result, the thickness of the sheets being hung, such as 1/2" or 5/8" thick, and the types of board being installed. Along with external factors like the current status of activity among the building and remodeling industries. Drywall is usually quoted in terms of a square foot price though many contractors refuse homeowners such pricing.
Materials. The claim to fame of the drywall business, the 4' by 8' sheet at 1/2" will cost about $6.00 per board. The same in 4' by 12' screwed to ceilings will run about $9.00 a sheet and there are more options for drywall cost (sheets). Which represents not only a cost advantage, but a ceiling with less seams to deal with, something that is tto be appreciated when the finishing takes place. Expect to put more on the table if green board or purple board is on the schedule, like for kitchen and bathroom areas.
Other materials are screws and nails -- sold by the small box or the pound at hardware stores and home centers -- and drywall compound and tape; either paper tape or fiberglass tape, which is a bit more expensive. Corner beads to treat the outside corners amount to a modest amount, around $3.50 a piece or less than $20.00 for a job of several rooms or less.
Labor. Again this depends on job size, as contractors that handle large scope projects are setup for production and they can really rap the boards out. Particularly for taping and finishing where their auto tapers help process runs of lineal feet, part of the finishing that is most labor intensive. In 2010 if you arrange installation at $12.00 per sheet you are at the low end. Add to this, taping/mudding and finshing which should be slightly more than for hanging in itself.
Extras costs include delivery to the jobsite and sealing the drywall after sanding. Although many factors go into the the drywall cost estimate as a whole.
Note: hanging and finishing drywall is an important skilled trade with many ins-and-outs, and the quality of the completed finishes will be seen as much as anything when the job is done. So all hanging, finishing, and cleanup should be accomplished within a reasonable time frame and to a set of quality standards (for example: whoever hangs the board should be familiar with and excercise the maximum placement of screws while minimizing nail and screw pops). Therefore, it definitely pays to consider workmanship along with each proposal you accept, which is truely a built-in cost.
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