Can you repair your damaged drywall yourself? Should you call a professional? And how much will it cost?
Drywall is one of the most common materials used in construction, for several good reasons. There’s a good chance at least some of the interior walls and ceiling in your home are drywall.
Drywall does have some disadvantages, mainly that it can be damaged rather easily. And once it does, what would you do – do you need to call a professional drywall repair crew, or is there a chance that you could handle the repairs yourself?
Which Route is Best for You to Take
Whether to attempt to handle the repairs yourself or hire professionals is mainly a matter of how much damage you’re looking at, and what your budget is:
- For minor damage: If the damage is minor than you shouldn’t have to pay much for a professional repair. Minor issues are also a lot simpler to handle by yourself, and shouldn’t take you any longer than a few hours to get finished.
- For bigger problems: A major damage to a drywall may not be something you want to handle yourself. It will definitely carry a heftier price tag, but a professional will save you a serious amount of time and frustration.
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.
However, if the damages are minor and you have the extra time to spare, than this might not be the hardest DIY job.
How Much Would Drywall Repair Cost?
This is one of those questions that really doesn’t have an easy answer. All drywall damage is unique, and the cost to repair drywall 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 $90 an hour.
What Sorts of Drywall Damage are 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.
Drywall Problems You Could Handle Yourself
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:
1. Apply a drywall patch to the area
Ensure the drywall patch is just slightly bigger than the hole you’re working on fixing.
2. Add some spackling compound
Using a putty knife, apply some spackling compound over and around the patch, skimming the edges as you go.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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?
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 drywall 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 drywall 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.
Do painters repair drywall?
You will get a better outcome from your paint application when you repair your cracked, dent, or holed drywall. The entire appearance and feel of your home interior can be enhanced by a smooth, quality paint application done by a professional painter.
Drywall repair keeps the element away where it ought to be, and painters do it better. You can imagine hiring a drywall repairer and later hire a painter to paint, as you cannot leave it without painting finishing. The good news is that painters are now expertise in drywall repairs.
Is a DIY approach or hiring someone to repair drywall a better option?
If you have access to the essential tools and equipment needed and are eager to do it yourself, you could definitely tackle the repair yourself. On the contrary, you may just hire a nearby drywall company or painter in order to save time and energy, also to get a better result from aesthetic look of your home after repair.
How much would a professional drywall repair cost?
When you opt for a professional drywall repairer to handle the job, you can easily predict the drywall initial installation cost which is at an average from $1.5 to 2.00 per sq-ft, and the replacement also cost right about the same amount excluding the cost associated with getting rid of damaged materials.
However, the magnitude and type of drywall problem will determine its cost of repair drywall. The price will be given based on the number of workers per hour and the necessary supplies.
What is the estimated time for drywall replacement?
Installation of drywall can take from a day up to four weeks plus the prep duration and debris clean up. The factors that determine this duration include framing requirements, level of finish, and project size.
Is damaged drywall recyclable after it has been removed?
Yes, in most cases. It might require you to do some findings of a recycling center in your area that will assist you with it, especially if it contains asbestos. However, drywall infested by mold cannot be recycled and should be properly disposed of by putting on gloves, goggles, and a respirator when removing it. Dispose of in a plastic bag that is nicely sealed and secure to further protect you.
Is repairing of drywall expensive?
In some cases, homeowners are faced with the repair of drywall rather than a complete wall. Experts suggest that you should prepare to pay between $50 and $75 for each hole you repair. This implies that the approximate overall cost to $150 to $225. There are some handymen and drywall contractors who consider the location of the holes as a factor before estimating the drywall repair cost.
What are the tools and supplies needed to handle the repair work myself?
All or some of the following tools will be needed:
- Electronic stud finder
- Flexible knives
- Pry bar
- Sanding sponge
- Drywall saw
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Hand sander
- Inside corner knife
Also, try and buy fresh drywall for patching, joint compound, drywall tape, drywall nails, and screws. You may also get spray-on elastic crack coating as it may come in handy.
You can also get full kits for drywall repair on the market, including patches that are available in various sizes and shapes to fit perfectly with your needs. Visit your nearest hardware store or any home center in your area.
Should I repair or replace my damaged drywall?
This depends on the type and magnitude of the damage. You can simply and quickly repair minor damage, such as a small crack on the wall. However, when the damage is too severe such as an infestation of mold or water damage, you may have no other alternative but to replace the drywall. You also need to make sure you properly clean the origin of the mold or completely drain the water from the surface before you apply new drywall.
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.