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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Default How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    OK guys,

    Over on the tool talk forum, they are wondering why builders don't finish insides of garages except for fire taping the one wall that abuts the house. I have asked what do they think it will cost? After they respond, I thought I would share some of your responses. Single family homes or condos, standard 2 car garage, nothing fancy.


    How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage? Do you insulate and add a vapor barrier too? How about the roof? Insulate, drywall, install ridge vent or whirly bird vents? Just walls or wall and ceiling as well?

    Kirk

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Right on, Kirk. These garages sound like a goldmine to me.

    Insulate/vapor barrier/venting sounds like one for the Building Science geeks, I mean group.

    I'd be trying to sell an attractively finished area - walls and ceiling, rather than just walls. Weekend craftsmen might like you to set up a work area for them too - a possible extra needing electrics, plumbing, etc, before sheets go on. Or partitioned areas for storage, closeted shelving, etc.

    Costing would probably be approached hourly by most contractors. Naturally, they'd sting you a bit less if you had 50 of these jobs lined up instead of just one. If you'd be a drywaller's bread-and-butter with these projects, I'm sure they'd be willing to come out and look things over, and discuss the issues - hourly vs piece, who supplies, job readiness (cleaned out). Or hang the sheets yourselves and just hire a finisher if you don't like the mudwork. All I can guess at is this: Try to find out what a quality drywaller earns per hour in your area, add $5/hr so they'll make you a high priority, and quote accordingly.

    BTW, if most people's garages are like mine, the client might appreciate you supplying a lock box for the stuff presently stored in the garage. Most of it is probably too grubby to bring into the house, and they won't feel displaced by having their garage stuff stacked in their living space.

    According to George Carlin, the difference between stuff and **** is who owns it. "Hey! Move your **** so I can put my stuff down."
    “If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Mr. Red Green

  3. #3
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    Holly Springs, GA
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    3,287

    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Kirk-

    It's not the cost of drywalling "one" garage that the production builders look at- it's that cost x 500 houses that matters to them. They look at everything that way- +/- $400 to drywall a garage while the crew is there doing the house is nothing- but multiply it by 500 houses, and they just pocketed an extra $200,000 by eliminating something that most people aren't willing to pay extra for.

    Do that in 10 locations in a typical house, and you'll see why they think that way.

    Bob

  4. #4
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    Senatobia, MS
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    If you want a good builder extra to distinguish yourself with, add hot and cold water hose bibbs to the interior wall of the garage. We have done this several times and the homeowners love it. They usually first respond with "what's that for" and then later comment "how did I ever get along without this before". My 0.02

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by bkerley
    If you want a good builder extra to distinguish yourself with, add hot and cold water hose bibbs to the interior wall of the garage. We have done this several times and the homeowners love it. They usually first respond with "what's that for" and then later comment "how did I ever get along without this before". My 0.02
    With all due respect I would have to agree with Bob on this. As a former homebuilder competing in entry level and mid-priced homes I found that the clients that I sold to were more concerned with getting the most house for the dollar and what the total monthly cost of ownership would be rather than the little extras that distinguish you from the other builders. In my opinion your after sales service record is the single most important indicator of quality to home buyers. Many builders sell barebones models and will make money on upgrades and options such as finished garages after they have a deal. You can get a lot more for options as extras than if you offer them as an incentive to buy.


    dave

  6. #6
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    Houston & Washington Texas
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by bkerley
    If you want a good builder extra to distinguish yourself with, add hot and cold water hose bibbs to the interior wall of the garage. We have done this several times and the homeowners love it. They usually first respond with "what's that for" and then later comment "how did I ever get along without this before". My 0.02
    Great idea!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Thanks for the responses, but not the direction I hoped it would go. I see Bob's point about the savings. That is the rational offered on the other forum. What I was asking is how much would it take a bunch of drywallers would charge to do a garage while it was in new construction. Meaning there is nothing in there to move, no personal effects etc. They were tossing around the $400 dollar figure, but I think it would be a lot more, especially if you do the ceiling and/or insulate.

    I periodically get asked to clean up and drywall a garage. I do put in plugs and lights, and insulate, drywall, mud, tape, prime and paint. This adds up to thousands of dollars and they pay it.

    If we think about a 22x22 garage with a double car door(16x7) 8 foot ceiling height. That is 1076 sq feet of drywall, to install, insulate and paint. About 34-4x8 sheets even though I expect we would all use larger sheets, but all the estimating programs work better on this size sheet as far as calculating materials(mud, tape and nail/sscrews).

    So how about it? New construction, already on the job, how much more to just drywall and finish the interior of the garage. Leave the insulation and vapor barrier questions for later. For those who can't wait R-13 in walls and R-30 in ceiling which is 484 sq ft by itself.

    I find myself occasionally having to explain why it costs so much more later rather than the few hundred dollars some people expect. At a $1.50 a sq ft. it is $1632. I don't think I could survive on that price as I don't have employees to hang and even Labor Ready charges $28-$35 per hour for their guys.

    Kirk

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    In a new house, I'd expect to get the same rate per square foot as on the rest of the job - whatever that might be in your area.

    If you want to hang alone, Telpro makes a drywall lift which, although slower than simply throwing sheets with a partner, is easier than throwing by hand on your own. Of course, you still need to be able to manipulate the sheets alone, and load them onto the jack.

    A 22'x22' garage would require a butt anyway, so a delivery of smaller sheets might make the job possible.

    If you're going to hang, get an autofeed gun. I like the Makita with Ramset collated screws.

    Also, for $28-$35/ hr, couldn't you contract a hanging team? They'd surely do better than labor hire ditchdiggers. And $1.50/sqf materials supplied sounds like a bargain. Your HOs are nuts.
    “If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Mr. Red Green

  9. #9
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Jason,

    You gathered some of my points exactly. Wasn't exactly looking for an explanation on how to do the job, just what it might cost in various localities.

    I myself, living in LA, could not do the job for 1.50/Sq Ft materials included and yet that is what many of the estimating books add up to and some less. I think they are just out of touch of reality. The multiple trips for hanging and taping and waiting to sand the last coat, etc., make it not cost effective to me.

    So here we have a group of people guessing that it would only be $400 more and me saying I couldn't do it for $1600 and you saying that is cheap! Even if you drop out the ceiling, it is $888.00 @ $1.50/sq ft.

    Kirk

  10. #10
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Walls and ceilings, hung, taped, finished, primed, and textured are about $1.75 per SF of board around here, materials and scrap-out included. It could easily run $2000+ to do the average two-car garage, which I'm guessing would require about 1200 SF of board. Add another $1.00 per SF for blown-in insulation in the walls and lid and you're approaching $4000 to finish the thing.

    Oh, did you want some wiring with that? Maybe $500 worth of lights and switches?

    Honestly, I don't know how people afford this stuff, but I'm glad they do!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    Thanks David,

    That is more in line with the type of answer I was looking for. Does that seem about right to the rest of you?

    Kirk

  12. #12

    Default Re: How much would you think it would cost to drywall a garage?

    i recently taped, textured and painted a home for a couple who, when i was pricing the job, didnt want to include the finishing of the garage. when we got to the job, they had insulated and hung the garage and had decided that they would like it finished and painted. i explained to them that i would do this including the materials for $2.10/ square ft (floor footage) the same as i was doing the living area of the house for. if you take into consideration that the garage door and opener were installed and would need to be covered, the ceiling height was an additional foot taller, the floor would need to be covered as it would remain unfinished, i thought that i was giving them a bargain. the garage measured 24 x 30 so, 720 sq ft @ $2.10 = $1512. they thought i was way too high and had thought it would be more like $700 or so! after all, they said, "its only a garge" go figure!

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