01Measure Square Footage
Measure the total square footage of the areas where the drywall will be installed. Multiply the width times the height of each wall or ceiling where drywall will be installed. Prepare a spreadsheet identifying all walls or ceiling sections and add all the quantities.
02Estimate Drywall Boards
Calculate how many drywall boards you will need. After all areas have been totaled, divide those areas by 32 if using 4-by-8 sheets or by 48 if using 4-by-12 sheets.
This division will get you the numbers of sheets required to be installed. If you want to get the cost, just multiply the total amount of sheets required by the price of each one. Remember to add local taxes and delivery charges. Also, expect to need an extra sheet or two because of the potential for waste when cutting to fit odd shaped walls or ceilings.
03Estimate Drywall Tape
Now that you have the number of drywall sheets needed, multiply them by the perimeter of each sheet to determine the linear feet of joint tape for the drywall.
The result will be the total amount of linear feet for the project. Most rolls of tape contain 500 feet, so divide your total by 500 to determine how much tape you will need. Once that you know how many rolls of drywall tape is required, multiply by the cost per roll.
04Estimate Joint Compound
You'll probably need about .053 pounds per square foot of drywall. So, multiply the total number of square feet by .053 to determine how many pounds of compound you'll need. For example, if you are putting up 400 square feet of dry wall, you would need about 21.2 pounds (400 x .053) of compound.
05Estimate Drywall Screws
When estimating drywall you will also need to know how many screws are needed. To determine the pounds of screws required, divide the square footage of drywall by 300.
Generally, you will need about 3-4 pounds of nails for every 1,000 square feet, depending on how the drywall is being installed.
06Estimate Corner Beads
For corner beads, add the length of all outside corners. Corner beads usually come in 8- and 10-foot sections, so the total amount of corner beads will be the total amount of outside corners where drywall will be installed. Add up the total linear feet of soffits and purchase an equivalent amount of corner beads.
07Estimate Drywall Miscellaneous
In addition, remember to include waste removal costs, protecting finished areas, workers compensation insurance, permit fees, liability insurances, cleaning activities, small tools, and sandpaper and installation costs.
Keep in mind that prices of items vary in different locations. Finally, add your markup for profit and overhead. Small companies can set between 15 to 20 percent, while other companies should set between 10 to 20 percent, depending on location, size, and other factors that could alter your quote.
08Estimate Drywall Additionals
It is important to highlight that many other components and tools form part of putting up drywall and also should be considered in your estimate—even though they are reusable. Such items include drywall hammers, tape measure, drywall rasp, metal cutters (straight cut, razor knife, pipe hole knocker (preferably copper pipe), chalk line, T-square, router (optional), screw gun, drywall horse, kicker bar (for jacking up bottom sheets on the walls).
Learn How to Estimate and Prepare Drywall Take-offs
Many contractors have a tough time when estimating and completing take-offs for drywall works, but estimating the amount of drywall and other materials needed for a project is really a simple task. Follow the same steps that professionals and large companies do.