Cost to Drywall hang/finish...please read, good explanation
My first post in this wonderful forum, and it's a big one, sorry for the rant that's coming ;)
I have googled it trying to find some recent posts about cost to hang and finish drywall for my basement. I live in the metro Detroit area. I haven't been able to find many recent posts (this year to late last year), and given the state of the economy, especially in MI, I'd think prices would be very competitive.
So far I've gotten 2 quotes, one for 1500 (including materials, hang, mud/sand, ready to prime), and 2800 (including materials, hang, mud/sand, prime included).
Now I don't get it. Something isn't right. How can one be double the price of the other? The guy who quoted me at 2800 broke it down like this:
Just to hang it: 1450 (ABSURD)
Just to finish it and prime: 1350
I'll admit I'm a newbie to drywall (never done it), but I'm not an idiot. I did some looking around, talked to some people, and never did I hear anyone tell me, or did I read, that HANGING drywall will cost MORE than finishing and priming it. Needless to say I'm getting 2 more estimates.
Anyways, the area I'm needing is 23x33' room with 7 foot ceiling. To estimate, approx 1600 sqft of drywall. Can someone, preferably who knows the Michigan area prices, give me some kind of range I should expect? Needless to say I have 2 more estimates on the way, but wtf?
The company that gave me the estimate of 1500 broke it down as such:
Hang/tape/mud/sand (walls at .45 per sqft): 403.20
Hang/Tape/Mud/Sand (ceiling at .50 per sqft): 384.00
They discounted me 5% for some special referral deal they had...came out to 1500. Now this seems alot more realistic.
I'm still perturbed by that second estimate. Only thing I can think of is the guy was trying to charge an hourly rate, which I"D NEVER agree to. If i was charging hourly, I'd work slower myself!
So if someone could make some sense out of it for me and give me some idea on what it'd cost to hang and finish drywall in my area, I'd appreciate it.
PS. Home Depot sells 4x8 sheets 1/2 inch for 5.44. I figured jsut over 300 bucks for 60 sheets if I do it myself.
Attention K-Mart shoppers... we have a special on...
OK, I can see it now. You've already talked yourself into going with the $1,500.00 bid. Its clear to see in the way you've written your post. You've spoken with some 'people', gotten two bids, priced 1/2" sheet rock at Home Depot, and you're suddenly an expert on what is and isn't an absurd price to hang drywall.
OK, I can live with that. But, do us a favor, post pictures as the project progresses so the real drywall hangers in here can tell you if you got a good job, as well as a good price.
Oh, and do yourself a favor while you're doing all this research.... ask for a certificate of general liability and workers compensation insurance from each of your bidders... and you might mention something about a business license, use tax permit, state contracting license and any of that other junk people are supposed to have to do business in your area.
Anyway, I really don't want to go with the 1500 dollar offer because I have a funny feeling about the company, but it's definitely close to what I was expecting this to cost. (given what i've seen, heard, talked to people about, etc).
If you have other ideas, please post them. How much do YOU think a fair estimate is to simply hang drywall? If you think to hang 1600 sq foot of drywall it should cost 1450, then please say it. Maybe I am completely off my rocker...it's possible. Point being is the dude told me he estimated 700 bucks in drywall. I did the math and came up with less than half that AT RETAIL PRICES. Don't need to be an expert to approximate how much drywall is going on a wall.
Well, all drywall is not drywall. In some areas, you cannot use something as thin as 1/2" on the ceilings. In other areas you can. What is allowable by code in your area? Are both companies specifying their work to at a minimum, be code compliant?
As far as drywall hangers go, they really make the life of a finisher harder or easier. The fewer joints there are, the faster the finishing goes. Joints in the right place, and on the long sides of the panels are easier to hide, as this is where the factory edge is. A good hanger that supplies his own material will make sure to use the biggest panel he can get in the room to take advantage of this.
In addition, HD carries 8' and 12' lengths. They don't have all the sizes available that a supplier would. The person that orders the drywall can make or break a finisher's day.
As far as fair estimates go, I'd check it out myself. Getting a schlep to do drywall for minimum wage might make you a water cooler hero at the office, but its not going to get you a good job. Fair is what you and your contractor decide on.
You're going to decide if the price is fair based on the reputation of the company, their presence in your community, and the service they offer for the price.
Your contractor is going to decide its a fair price based on his expenses and profit goals.
Where those two expectations meet, you've found fair. Anything else is just someone trying to be a water cooler hero.
There's not alot we can tell you about how much your 1600 sf of drywall should cost.
We are not in your region, and do not know what the going rates are for Drywall.
The guy that gave you the low price, may not have all the insurance the other guy has.
There may be additional factors (difficulty level) on your job that can raise the costs over just a sf price.
etc, etc, etc....
There's also a VERY IMPORTANT factor that Many, many people never take into consideration. They only look at the price. Different companies, provide an all-together different type of service:
Do you want professional service, done quick, done neat, fully insured, problem free, and warranted work? Are you willing to pay a little more for that?
Do you want the lowest price, which may mean, lack of professional service, messy work, late starts, problems and complaints, short-cuts, lack of insurance policies, no warrantees?
Bottom line: Get a few more bids,
Do your reference checks.
Make your decsions, NOT just based on pricing.
Get your final contract in writing.
Labor is the reason hanging costs more. I can finish a dry wall job solo. As I discovered when drywalling my 120sq ft laundry room/bathroom I cannot hang dry wall on the ceiling solo. Tried but couldn't do a 1/3 sheet. I did the rest of the room solo but there was only 1 sheet that was close to full size.
Professional hangers often work alone. One told me that there were two of them on opposite ends of this apartment complex,,,each hanging 16' drywall ,,,I think he said,,,alone,,,in a 2 story stairwell ceiling. Said it cost him alot of hair off his head but he got it done,,,tough job it was I guess,,,even if it was 12 ' sheets!!
A diy'er could hang 12' rock with a couple weaker helpers,,,like kids even,,,with the aid of some homemade prop T's. Homemade props can be 2 2X 4's screwed together one ceiling height,,,other 4'. 3 or 4 of those wedged up there makes the rest easy!! depends how many horses in YOUR tank!!
I and my kids did that,,,they got such a kick out of me forgetting a saw once(on top of the ceiling) and had to lower piece a bit to reach it. Or one COULD always go first class and rent one of those drywall jacks!!
As to drywall jobs,,,not ALL drywallers or those who think they are ,,,are created equal! Contractor who did the addition on the house I live in right now OUGHT to be shot,,,for attempting to drywall finish,,,half arsed job at best!! can see every seam and nail head,,,YES its old enough to be NAILED on!! he SHOULD stick to tinning shed roofs,,,better suited!!
let me say that right now I am doing a remodel of a basement for my mother inlaws doctor. He had a man who would do the job for 1/5 of what I am charging. he got what he paid for, why do you think I am there now? We had to tear out everything he done. He was going to install 3/8 plywood on studs 24: OC turned sideways! The drop ceiling lights were just sitting in the hole, no wires to secure them and when I jiggled the drop ceiling, the lights fell. Good thing too because he had BX tied into Romex with wire nuts and they were not even in a junction box! Watch Holms on Homes, cheaper is not always better!
Check out this thread
Has some recent cost info in it.
The price of sheetrock and other materials is not the same, as when that post came out, or when the thread was started in 2006.
Also, if hiring labor for any aspect of the drywall work, those costs WILL vary be region. Drywall labor rates have also changed: becoming much more competative presently.
Sorry - I suppose my basement drywall project is still sort of fresh in my mind. A friend recently used the same company and pricing was the same. Also, around here drywall prices are DOWN compared to when I made that post.
I just bought 1/2" 4x8 sheets for $6.49 each. In that post the suppler my installer used was charging $13 a sheet and Lowes, if I recall correctly, was about $11 a sheet. I'm not sure if the recent (about 2 weeks ago) price I got was a special or a sale or what. I needed some and bought it.
Anyway, all this to say - Prices vary, week to week, year to year, location to location. From what I see - They guys that only do drywall, are good and fast at it and buy materials at commodity prices are going to give you the best price and the best job.
Bottom line - Get a few quotes.
Thanks guys, so far 3 numbers have come in.
When I started looking, i was hoping to get something 1500-1800. Anything over 2000 is just not going to sit well with me. Id' rather take a shot at it myself at that point (I think i coudl do it, but I'm so anal and hard on myself I'd probably end up driving myself insane).
I should get another number tonight, and then there are 2 more guys coming out (one tonight, another tomorrow). I am shocked at what you guys are paying for drywall, or did. Right now it's 5.44 here for 1/2" 4x8, and 6.18 for 4x12 sheets 1/2" at Home Depot and Lowes. I was thinking maybe I should go ahead and buy all the material so there's no excuse as to why someone's overcharging the drywall and charging a fee to deliver it in their costing.
Either that or go with the cheapest offer I got, which had all that included lol. Hmm decisions decisions...my wife is the one pressing me to get the estimates. I was about ready to tackle it on my own but she knows I'll drive myself crazy with every little detail (especially since it's visible, i was anal enough with the stud work!)
Just got a 4th estimate at 1800 including prime job.
Let us know what you finally decide and why and then let us know how the job progresses and finally turns out. Make sure to check insurance, licensing and references.
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