Are you planning to finish your basement? Do you have a builder working on a home now? Whether you are looking for estimates on new construction progress or want to know how long it takes to hang drywall yourself, it’s normal to think about drywall timelines.
The average DIYer will take 3 to 7 days to drywall a room, while pros can drywall an entire house in about a week. However, those estimates only account for hanging the drywall. Taping, mudding, sanding, and painting can easily double or triple the amount of time it takes.
From new home construction to DIY renovations, here is everything you need to know about how long it takes to drywall a house. We look at average drywall installation times as well as explain at the biggest factors that impact installation.
How Much Time Does It Take to Drywall a House?
The average time to install drywall in a house depends on the circumstances of your project. On average, it takes 1 to 4 weeks to drywall a new house. In comparison, installing drywall for an unfinished basement takes 6 to 14 days.
The two biggest factors in how long drywalling your house takes are the size of the space and the number of people working. For example, it will take much less time to drywall a 1,000-square-foot basement than 2,000 or more square feet of new home construction.
It will also take less time for a crew of four workers to install drywall than if you are doing it yourself. More people not only makes hanging drywall easier, but it also allows you to work on several steps at the same time. For example, on crew can be hanging and screwing in the drywall while another crew is taping and mudding the seams.
How Long Does It Take To Hang Drywall?
Strictly speaking, most drywall professionals can hang drywall for new home construction in just a few days. Even a small crew of just four people can cut, hang, and screw in whole-house drywall in less than a week.
However, installing drywall is more than just screwing it into the studs. It also includes taping, mudding, and sanding the seams and screw holes. Because the mud needs to dry for at least 24 hours in between coasts, that can easily add another week or more. And professional paint will usually take another 3 to 7 days, depending on the size of the area.
However, there can be delays between those key steps in new home construction. For example, the builder might wait until the house is almost done to paint the drywall. This could take several weeks or even months after hanging and mudding the drywall.
Installing drywall in an existing home can take even longer. Redrywalling an existing home is rarely necessary, removing the existing walls can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
The time depends on the size of the area you are working on and the type of wall material you need to remove. It’s relatively easy to cut or hammer out drywall, but lathe and plaster walls are time-consuming to remove.
Factors That Determine the Time Needed To Install Drywall
The size of your home, the number of cuts, and the size and experience of your crew are the main factors that impact how long it takes to install drywall. However, there are a number of factors to consider.
When it comes to how long drywalling a house takes, the size of the house is the major factor. Larger houses take longer than smaller ones, so an experienced crew can likely finish within a week if the house is between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet. However, larger homes usually require several extra weeks.
Complexity of the Installation
The complexity of your drywall installation plays a huge role in how long it will take. The complexity relates to the number of cuts, cutouts, corners, and more.
For example, it takes less time to hang drywall on a wall with two outlets and a switch than on one with multiple outlets and switches, several windows, and other special features.
Size and Experience Level of the Team
When it comes to drywalling your home, the number of people working is a major factor in how long it takes. A team of six or eight drywall pros can hang drywall in a 1,000 square foot house in just a few days. They can often tape and mud the walls in one to two days and sand them in just a day.
Their added experience means they make the most efficient use of the drywall sheets, make the fewest cuts, and require the least amount of drywall mud touchups to achieve a smooth wall.
On the other hand, doing the installation by yourself or with a friend can take significantly longer. You are more likely to take longer to hang each sheet, need to make more cuts, and spend longer mudding and sanding. As a result, you could spend significantly longer on installation.
Another factor to consider is the height of your walls. 8, 9, and 10-foot walls are the most common. Older homes may have 7-foot ceilings in basements, while newer homes often have walls that range from 12 to 20 feet tall or taller.
Why does the wall height matter? Well, drywall comes in 8-foot by 4-foot sheets. So, unless your walls are 8 feet tall, the installers need to cut sheets to form the walls. More cuts mean installation takes longer.
While drywall is naturally smooth, there are a number of textured finishes available. Common textures include knockdown, orange peel, slap brush, and popcorn. Although some are applied during installation, others are added during painting.
Spray or brush on textures usually add a few days to a week to the total installation time. Since they are mixed with either the primer or paint, paint-on textures usually add very little time to the overall process.
What does the weather have to do with drywall? Surprisingly, a lot. The humidity and moisture level of the air will impact drying times for the mud and paint. Mud will usually dry completely in 12 to 24 hours, but it can easily take twice as long if it is extremely humid or rainy out.
The same is true of paint. Paint will dry in 4 to 8 hours and fully cure in 12 to 24. But it can take two to three times longer if it is raining or excessively humid. Painting exterior walls during the winter can be especially challenging.
Warm air can condense on the walls while painting which thins out the paint. As a result, it can bubble or peel. To combat this, try to keep the walls within twenty degrees of the exterior temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Time It Takes To Install Drywall
How Many Sheets of Drywall Can a Person Hang in a Day?
Experienced drywall installers can hang 3 to 5 sheets each hour, depending on the number of cuts required. In an 8 hour work day, that averages out to 24 to 40 drywall sheets.
However, inexperienced installers and DIYers likely can only do 1 to 2 sheets per hour. Even if you push for 12 to 14 hours a day over a weekend, that’s only 12 to 28 sheets a day.
How Many Sheets of Drywall Do I Need To Drywall My House?
On average, you can expect to use around 325 sheets to drywall a 2,000-square-foot house. The total wall surface can easily add up to 8,000 or more square feet. Drywalling the ceilings can easily add several thousand more square feet.
Standard 8-foot by 4-foot sheets of drywall cover 32 square feet, assuming you can use the entire panel. Most of the time, you end up with a few square feet of waste per sheet.
Drywalling a 12-foot square bedroom with 10-foot ceilings will take roughly 15 or 16 drywall sheets, not accounting for closets and doorways. The average closet will take another 3 to 5 sheets.
To calculate how many drywall sheets you need for your house, multiply the length and height of each wall to get the square footage. Then add up the square footage of each wall and divide by 32. Since you will not be able to use every inch of the sheets, add one to two extra per room as an estimate.
How Long Does It Take To Finish a New Home Construction After Installing Drywall?
If you are having a new home built and you are wondering how much longer it will take after installing the drywall, you are roughly at the halfway point. However, it really depends on the builder.
Technically, they can start drywall installation anytime after rough framing is complete. However, builders usually wait until after running the electrical and plumbing to install the drywall. This means that the foundation, frame, roof, and at least parts of the exterior are already done.
However, some will wait even longer. For example, some builders completely finish the exterior before starting on the interior. In that case, it may only take a few weeks to complete your house.
Ultimately, ask your builder or project manager for an update on your new construction timeline for the most accurate estimate. With the exception of unexpected delays, they should be able to give you a detailed estimate within 5 to 7 days.