Drywall is one of the most common materials used in the construction of homes these days, meaning the chances are extremely high that the walls and the ceiling in your home are also constructed from drywall. Of course, as you’ve probably heard from fellow homeowners who have faced drywall issues before, it can be damaged quite easily.
If you’ve never had to deal with this problem before, then you may not know exactly how to go about getting issues with your drywall fixed. Do you need to call a professional drywall repair crew, or is there a chance that you could handle the repairs yourself by taking a DIY approach?
Which Route is Best for You to Take?
Choosing whether to attempt to handle the repairs yourself or hire a professional team is all a matter of how much damage you’re looking at, and what your budget is. Examine the damage to your drywall and be realistic about the amount of work you could potentially be looking at.
- For minor damage: Minor damages to drywall are typically not very high on price when it comes to repairing the issue. Minor issues are also a lot simpler to handle by yourself if you choose to go DIY with the job, and shouldn’t take you any longer than a few hours to get finished.
- For bigger problems: If you have major damage to the drywall, it may not be something you can handle yourself. Major damage that require a little more finesse from a professional will definitely carry with it a heftier price tag, but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that the professionals are on the case for bigger issues.
Think carefully about which way you want to go. If you have the budget but not the time to handle it yourself, then hiring professionals could be a no-brainer regardless of what the damage looks like. If, however, the damages are minor and you have the extra time to spare, you could definitely knock it out by yourself if you know what you’re doing.
How Much Would Repairs Cost Me?
This is one of those questions that really doesn’t have an easy answer. All drywall damage is unique, and the cost to repair it is going to depend on how bad the damage is, how long it is going to take to get it fixed, and who handles the job.
For small drywall repairs, you could be looking to pay somewhere in the $200 to $300 range to get it fixed. If the problems are a little bigger, however, and you end up needing to call in the professionals, keep in mind that you could be paying the repair team anywhere from $60 to $60 an hour.
What Sorts of Drywall Damage is There?
Drywall can be damaged in all sorts of ways, including:
- Tiny holes can be knocked into your drywall when things like doorknobs, nails, or other small objects accidentally ram into it.
- Bigger holes can be the result of collisions with furniture, television sets, or other heavy items.
- Cracks, also known as stress cracks, can form in your drywall as the result of phenomena like earthquakes or your foundation beginning to settle.
- Mold or water damage can also contribute to drywall issues, with problems like pipes leaking, windows leaking, and more.
There are all kinds of things that can pose a threat to your drywall, so the chances that you’ll have to repair it sooner or later are quite high.
What Kind of Drywall Problems Could You Handle?
If you notice a smaller issue with your drywall that you think you could probably handle by yourself, without spending too much time and money on the project, then you’ll be happy to know the process isn’t that difficult.
As an added bonus, the amount of money you will need to spend on supplies is mercifully a lot less than you would be paying to a professional crew. The only caveat is that you’re going to be investing your own time into fixing the problem as opposed to hiring the professionals, but by fixing it yourself, you’ll not only learn a thing or two about repairing drywall, but you’ll also have a feeling of accomplishment.
For the most basic of drywall repair tools, you won’t be spending much more than $20 or maybe $30 depending on the stores you go to and the brands you choose. Your basic supplies for tackling this task should be items such as sandpaper, paint, and drywall mud.
How Do You Fix it By Yourself?
So, you’ve got the supplies in hand to attempt to fix the problems with your drywall yourself, and you’re ready to get started. Assuming your issue is a smaller hole, the process to handle fixing it yourself would look something like this:
Apply a drywall patch to the area
Ensure the drywall patch is just slightly bigger than the hole you’re working on fixing.
Add some spackling compound
Using a putty knife, apply some spackling compound over and around the patch, skimming the edges as you go.
Let the drywall mud sit to dry
You want to let your drywall mud sit to dry for at least 24 hours before you move onto the next step.
Sand it down
With a mask and safety glasses on for face protection, sand the new patch in the drywall down until it is nice and smooth.
Utilize drop cloths
To catch drywall dust that could be falling on the floor, lay down some drop cloths to avoid having to pick up more of a mess than you bargained for.
Touch up the patch with paint
When you’re finished with the rest of the repair process, apply some touch-up paint to the newly patched area to blend it back in with the rest of the wall, if you would like to.
When Do You Bring in the Professionals?
Unfortunately, some bigger issues are going to be nigh impossible to take care of yourself. For large problems like bigger holes in your drywall, water damage, or repairs to drywall material in the ceiling, your best bet is going to be to call in a professional repair crew to handle the job.
These types of jobs are a little more labor-intensive and time-consuming, which, of course, will equal more money you will be spending to get the job done. You’ll want to make sure you have enough money in your budget to handle these bigger jobs.
Luckily, though, most repair teams will be happy to come over to your home, assess the damage to your drywall, and give you a free cost estimate for the job before any work begins on your project.
Frequently Asked Questions
For people who have never handled this sort of issue before (especially trying to do it by themselves), they might have all sorts of questions going through their minds about drywall repair. It can be a complicated topic, so it is only natural if some questions pop up in your mind. Check out some of these common questions about drywall repair to see if your question has been answered already:
How long should it take to fix the drywall?
This depends entirely on the severity and scope of the situation you are currently facing with your drywall. For smaller issues that can be easily taken care of, it could take as little time as a single day. For larger problems, however, it could take upwards of a month to fix the problem. This includes prep time for the job and the removal of debris when the job is done.
How many coats of drywall mud are actually needed?
If the cracks or holes are still visible after the first coat, or if the first coat didn’t quite offer the coverage you needed, you might need to perform a few more coats to get the area efficiently patched. Generally, you’ll be looking at one coat to fill in the spots and up to three more when taping is done.
Can I use a spackle instead of drywall mud?
You can, but you might not want to. You see, heavier spackle can be difficult to use efficiently when compared to regular drywall mud. This is because it tends to dry harder and be a bit more difficult to sand down comfortably. In comparison, drywall mud is much easier to apply and sand down later.
It’s Patch Time!
Now that you know the basics of how you can repair small drywall issues yourself, how much it might cost on average whether you’re handling it yourself or calling in the pros, you’re ready to begin tackling the task of repairing the issues with your drywall. Whether you go DIY or call a repair team, you’ll be so glad when it’s finally repaired, and you don’t have to look at unsightly holes and cracks in the walls or ceilings anymore.