How much does it cost to patch a wall?

Is drywall hard to patch?

How to Patch Drywall. Patching drywall is often a top concern when preparing for a move. Drywall is vulnerable to cracks, dents and holes, but you can easily repair it with drywall joint compound and a little sanding and painting.

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Hiring a plasterer

When it comes time to hiring a plasterer for your repair job, take time to make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask include:

  • Are you licensed or qualified?

  • Are you insured to work in my home?

  • How long will my job take?

  • Can you provide a written quote?

  • Do you have references I can follow up?

  • Can I see examples of your work?

Depending on where you live, your plasterer may need to be licensed. In NSW for example, there are separate licenses for dry and wet plastering, while in other states this type of work may need to be covered by a builders licence.

How much do plaster repairs cost?

As a rule, plasterers will quote on a square metre basis for any plaster repair job.

And while their standard rates may vary between $20 and $90 per square metre for drywall and wet plastering – repair jobs are likely to be more costly.

Why? Repair jobs are often more time consuming as they require old plaster to be removed, while resurfacing is fiddly. The same goes for decorative trim and finishes like cornices. At the end of the day the cost of your job will depend on the size and complexity of the job. 

With such variations in prices, it's always a good idea to get several quotes for plaster repairs. Some plasterers like to do small jobs and will offer more reasonable quotes than others, who specialise in new home or commercial plastering. Whomever you choose, you want to be sure they will do a professional job. The best way to ensure this is to check their track record. If they have a history of good service behind them, you can be confident they will do a good job for you.

Drywall Repairs to Bring in the Professionals for

handyman for around $60 per hourLarge holes larger than 7-inches can be repaired by a handyman for around $60 per hour and contractors around $90 per hour plus materials, debris removal, and painting. You can buy supplies from a big box store like Home Depot where drywall sheets (8′ x 4′) run about $12, screws are $6 per pound, 250-feet of self-adhesive mesh tape is about $13, and a bucket of joint compound is around $15. The cost for a professional painter to come in will be between $70 and $130 per hour but may be a flat fee for small jobs.

Water damage may require mold remediation, which will cost between $500 and $1,000 for a small area. This would ensure the mold won’t spread throughout the house. If the water damage is due to a plumbing leak, you may need to pay a plumber between $170 to $450. The cost of repairs to the roof or windows to repair leaks could be significant. 

As you can see, anything beyond simple drywall repairs can involve finding the root of the problem, bringing in a professional to rectify the issue, and then completing the drywall repair—which will add a significant amount to the project’s budget.

Repairs to drywall ceilings are labor-intensive and can cost between $500 and $1,200. This job should be handled by professionals due to the weight of the drywall and special equipment like ladders or scaffolding that would be needed. 

Typically, a handyman can handle smaller jobs like nail holes, small holes smaller than 6-inches in diameter, small cracks, and nail pops. A contractor should be called for holes over 7-inches in diameter, large cracks, water damage, mold growth, full wall drywall replacement, and ceiling repairs.

When hiring a handyman for drywall repair, make sure your professional is licensed and insured, and provides a full breakdown of all estimates.

Cost to repair drywall cracks

Repairing drywall cracks costs $100 to $400, depending on the crack’s size and location.

  • Repairing small hairline cracks up to 6″ in length costs $100 to $250.
  • Fixing medium-sized cracks from 6″ to 24″ in length costs $120 to $330.
  • Repairing large stress cracks or corner cracks costs $150 to $400.
Cost to repair drywall cracks
Crack size Length Average repair cost
Small / hairline Less than 6″ $100 – $250
Medium 6″ to 24″ $120 – $330
Large / corner Over 24″ $150 – $400

Drywall cracks larger than 1/8″ wide, multiple small cracks, or recurring cracks may indicate underlying structural or foundation issues. Foundation repair costs $2,300 to $6,750, depending on the extent of the problem.

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Frequently asked questions

Should I hire a handyman or drywall repair contractor?

Hire a handyman to repair small cracks, fill nail holes, or patch holes less than 6″ in diameter. Hire a drywall contractor to repair large cracks and holes, ceilings, or water damage.

Handyman repairs Contractor repairs
  • Filling nail and screw holes
  • Small holes less than 6″ in diameter
  • Small cracks
  • Popped screws in the drywall
  • Dry damage
  • Holes larger than 6″ in diameter
  • Large cracks
  • Cracks or holes in corners
  • Water damage
  • Ceiling repairs

Who can fix holes in walls?

A handyman can fix small holes in walls. Some painters also make minor drywall repairs. For large holes, hire a drywall contractor instead.

How long does drywall repair take?

Most drywall repairs take less than 1 day, depending on the repair size and type:

  • Patching a small hole takes 1 to 2 hours.
  • Fixing a large hole takes 2 to 5 hours.
  • Replacing an entire wall takes 1 to 3 days, including taping, mudding, and finishing.

Large drywall repairs may require multiple visits because each coat of joint compound takes up to 12 hours to dry, and most finishing requires 2 to 3 coats.

What causes drywall damage?

Common causes of drywall damage include:

  • Nail or screw holes
  • Doorknobs or handles bumping the wall
  • Scratches and dents from children or pets playing
  • Leaks, water damage, and mold
  • Rodents and pests
  • Cracks from foundation settling or shifting
  • Electrical or plumbing repairs or renovations

Still have questions? Ask a drywall pro. View Pros

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Repair vs Replace Drywall

If your drywall becomes damaged, you have two options – repair the damage or replace the section. The one you choose comes down to the damage’s extent, type, and cost.

Superficial damage is easily repaired, such as nail holes and hairline cracks. Even moderate holes can generally be patched and repaired easily without needing to remove or replace the damaged section. However, very large sections of damage and sheetrock that are no longer structurally sound, such as drywall that has experienced water damage, should be replaced to address damage behind the wall and prevent further issues. Very old drywall may also not be repairable because the material can become more brittle. In this case, a damaged section may need to be removed and replaced.

Generally, replacements may be done if most of a panel or section must be repaired or the damage could extend beyond the sheetrock, such as water damage. Otherwise, the damage can usually be repaired without removing and disposing of the old one. Below are the average costs to repair and replace a section of damaged drywall.

ProjectAverage Costs (Labor Included)Repair$200 -

ProjectAverage Costs (Labor Included)
Repair$200 – $550
Replacement$400 – $800

Cost to Repair Drywall by Number of Rooms

Many issues can occur with drywall, from doorknob damage to cracks due to settling. Sometimes, you have the same damage type in multiple rooms that you should take care of at once. This is often a more cost-effective way of dealing with small issues because minimum costs can mean you may pay more for multiple trips rather than having them all done at once. You may also want to have a contractor do a walk-through and repair multiple rooms worth of small nail holes and cracks before putting your home on the market. In this case, you can have a wide range of costs based on the number of rooms. Below are the average costs you can expect for the project.

Number of RoomsWhole Drywall Repair Cost (Labor In

Number of RoomsWhole Drywall Repair Cost (Labor Included)
1 Room$75 – $300
2 Rooms$150 – $600
3 Rooms$225 – $900
4 Rooms$300 – $1,200
5 Rooms$375 – $1,500
Entire House$450 – $2,000

Getting Drywall Repair Estimates

Many homeowners wonder if they should use a handyperson or drywall contractor to repair drywall damage. A general rule is if the damage is minor, using a handyperson could save money. Minor damage typically includes small holes, cracks, and popped screws.

If the damage is more extensive than 6″ to a foot, there is water damage, or demolition required, use a contractor for a more professional result and quicker completion.

Another unwritten rule is to get at least three estimates from professionals in your area. Check our free contractor locator to find them. Make sure they are licensed and insured to do the repairs.

All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.

How to Repair a Hole in Drywall Yourself

  1. Fix a small hole by applying a drywall patch that’s a little larger than the area you’re repairing. 
  2. Apply drywall spackling compound over the patch with a putty knife and feather the edges. 
  3. Allow the mud to dry for 24 hours, wear a mask and safety goggles, and lightly sand until it’s smooth. 
  4. Catch dust with a drop cloth and vacuum up drywall dust. 
  5. Repeat steps if necessary. 
  6. Apply touch-up paint to the repaired area.

Causes Of Drywall Damage

There are a number of common causes that damage dr

There are a number of common causes that damage drywall. These include:

1. Doorknob banging against the wall: Over time this will create a dent or a hole in the drywall. Once you repair that spot, it is a good idea to put a door stopper there and everywhere else in the house, where the doorknob hits the wall.

2. Leaking roof: water from a roof leak can infiltrate the ceiling drywall and damage it. One way you can notice this is happening is if you have some water stains on the ceiling. Similarly, water damage can also be caused by leaking pipes.

3. Making home improvements: sometimes repairs or home improvements, such as removing old wiring, or installing a new electrical outlet can create holes in the drywall.

4. Mold sometimes your drywall may be damaged by mold. In this case, you will need to spend money on mold remediation, in addition to the cost of fixing the drywall itself. This can run anywhere from $1,500-3,000 depending on the size of the area affected by mold and the extent of the damage.

DIY Small Repairs

The low-end small patch job usually costs $50 – $100 per square foot. Stress cracks, popped screws, or “remudding” drywall tape, and repainting are minor DIY or handyperson projects that usually cost $100 – $150. Hardware stores often offer a DIY drywall repair kit for small holes that costs less than $30.

Other common expenses include:

  • A sheet of drywall, $10 – $15.00
  • Drywall screws, $5 – $7 per pound
  • Joint tape, $5.00 for a 100’ roll
  • Joint compound, $15.00 a bucket
  • Paint, see our painting cost guide

What is the fastest way to fix a big hole in the wall?

Large Holes

  1. Cut a piece of drywall into a square a little bit bigger than the hole.
  2. Hold the square over the hole in the drywall and trace around the edges.
  3. Cut along the lines on the wall with a drywall saw. …
  4. Inside the hole, attach a furring strip, a small, thin piece of wood, to either side of the hole with screws.

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