How much does it cost to replace an old ceiling?

$50 $100 Per Square Foot $200 $500 Minor Repairs $400 $1,200 Extensive Repairs

Ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot. Plaster and drywall ceiling repairs cost $200 to $500 to fix holes or cracks. Ceiling replacement costs $400 to $1,000 to repair sagging or extensive damage. Ceiling water damage repair costs $500 to $2,500 to fix the leak and replace drywall.

Get free estimates from ceiling contractors near you or view our cost guide below.

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Ceiling Drywall Cost Factors

Ceiling drywall cost factors are meant to help you narrow down what your cost will be when you do it yourself or hire someone to do the work.

  • Who Does the Work – Most of the cost to drywall ceiling is labor, so you can save up to 70% by doing it yourself.
  • Ceiling Height – Ceilings 8’ to about 12’ can be done on stilts, a drywaller bench or ladders. Higher ceilings might require a lift or scaffolding, and that will push the cost toward the upper end of the price range.
  • Ceiling Size – The more ceiling space, the more the total cost will be, but ceiling drywall cost per square foot goes down. Also, most contractors have a minimum labor fee of $200+ for bathrooms and other small ceilings.
  • Ceiling Difficulty – The more corners the room has and the more ceiling cutouts for fixtures there are, the higher the cost will be for both material, due to added waste, and labor. The average price above accounts for 1 cutout per 100 square feet and a room with 4 or 6 corners.
  • Ceiling Prep – If you’re covering an old ceiling, you might have to prep it first – such as scraping a popcorn ceiling. When this approach is taken, the installer will also have to take time to use a stud finder to locate studs for installing drywall screws. This kind of prep costs up to $1.00 per square foot.
  • Drywall Thickness and Type – There are slight cost differences between 3/8”, 1/2″ and 5/8” drywall. Mold and moisture-resistant drywall, or greenboard, costs a bit more. Retail costs are below.
  • Drywall Removal – Removing old drywall adds 30 to 80 cents per square foot plus possible disposal costs. When you get estimates for the cost to sheetrock ceiling, compare the cost of covering vs removing the old drywall.
  • Drop Ceiling Removal – Expect additional costs of 75 cents to $1.25 per square foot for removing false ceiling tracks and panels and disposing of the materials.


How much does it cost to skim a ceiling?

The average cost to skim a ceiling can range anywhere between £200-£500 for a professional plasterer. Prices will depend on the size of the surface area and the complexity of the task. If you’re replastering your ceiling to remove Artex, it’s worth getting clued up on the costs with our dedicated guide.

Emergency Ceiling Repair

In some situations, you might need the ceiling repaired immediately. If you have a leak and water is dripping through the ceiling or a ceiling section broke away after something or someone fell through it, it is usually best to get the damage repaired soon. Many contractors and companies offer emergency same-day repair services, but you must pay $100 to $200 extra for this.

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.

Average Cost of Drywall Repair

So how much does drywall repair cost? The answer is dependent on the severity of the damage, accessibility and who does the work.

According to the home improvement experts at, homeowners on average spent between $200 and $280 for small drywall repairs in 2019. Minor repairs that can be done by a handyman will cost an average of $60 to $90 per hour, or a drywall repair cost per square foot of $0.40-$0.80 which amounts to about $30 per sheet.

Paint Finish

To make the ceiling look finished, you will need to repaint it. If you hire a professional, expect to spend $150-300 to paint an 8 ft ceiling in a 10×12 room. Creating a textured surface can cost 30-50% more depending on the complexity of the design.

How much does it cost to Sheetrock a 1000 sq ft house?

The national average cost to install drywall is between $1,500 and $2,000, with most homeowners spending around $1,750 on 1,000 sq. ft. of standard ½” drywall, hung and finished in a remodel.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Ceiling by the Type of Repair?

The kind of repair you need can influence the project’s overall cost. Here’s a quick breakdown of each common repair type and how much you can expect to pay:

Water Damage

Discovering water damage in your home can be frustrating, especially if it’s on your roof. If you notice water stains, peeling, or cracks on your ceiling, you must contact a local roofing contractor right away. Otherwise, the damage can start to affect other parts of your home’s structure.

Before repairing a water-damaged roof, ensure the affected area is completely dry. Otherwise, persistent dampness can lead to mold growth. Water-damaged ceilings from leaking roofs, clogged gutters, or burst pipes are frequent causes of mold infestation.

You can also scrape off any loose materials with a knife and clean the patch with a wet cloth.

Minor water damage on the roof can cost around $500, whereas major damage can be upwards of $3,000. The faster you take action, the less you’ll need to fork out for repairs.

Leaking Pipe or Roof

No matter the age or size of your home, chances are you’ll encounter a leaking pipe at some point. Pipe leaks are typically the result of faulty plumbing or aged piping. In that case, you’ll need to get in touch with a plumber who can inspect your current plumbing systems before repairing the ceiling.

A roof leak is likely due to broken shingles. The cracks or holes in your shingles allow water to pass through your roof and leak into other areas of your structure. These leaks might start small but can lead to severe issues if not addressed right away.

Leaking pipe or roof repairs can range between $150 to $500, depending on the severity of the problem.

Sagging Ceiling

Several things can lead to a sagging ceiling, such as termites, water damage, or earthquakes. You can prevent a sagging ceiling by hiring reliable contractors to ensure your ceiling is installed correctly and well-maintained. If it’s too late and you already have a sag, your home needs repairs as soon as possible.

The cost to repair a sagging ceiling can range from $25-$1,000, depending on how bad the damage is.

Cracked Ceiling

Cracked Ceiling

While ceiling cracks can look scary, they usually aren’t a sign of severe structural damage. However, you should still treat them as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to your roof or other parts of your property. Ceiling cracks are typically a result of excess moisture, faulty drywall, or an aging foundation.

The average cost of repairing a cracked ceiling is $300-$1,200.

Ceiling Holes

Finding a hole in your ceiling can be alarming, and sometimes the exact cause is unknown. Rodents and pests are a likely suspect if the holes are small and you have space above your ceiling. In that case, you’ll need to hire pest control to remove the unwanted tenants from your property.

Luckily, small holes are usually inexpensive to fix ($50-150). However, larger holes can rack up to around $400 if left untreated.

Peeling Paint

Peeling paint on the ceiling is typically caused by poor paint application. Whether due to the wrong kind of paint or incorrect technique, the paint will peel off faster than usual.

Moisture can also cause paint to peel off your ceiling. Moreover, excess moisture can also lead to mold—which can be harmful to your respiratory system.

The cost to repair peeling paint ranges from $1 to $3 per square foot. If the patch of peeling paint is small, you can fix it for next to nothing.

However, repairing the entire ceiling could add up. Therefore, it’s best to fix what’s causing the paint to peel to avoid future damage.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

I’ve hung ceiling drywall in a bathroom and bedroom after a leak in an upstairs bathroom caused water damage to the ceilings below. Both rooms have 9’ ceilings.

A friend helped, and we were able to work off of step stools. The demand for skill isn’t very high, but working overhead for hours on end isn’t much fun. Expect sore shoulders and neck if you tackle the job.

The keys to success I discovered include:

  • Wear eye protection and a mask, and go slow when removing old drywall – cut along edges with a utility knife, and cut out pieces of drywall in 4×4 to 4×8 sections. This will reduce falling dust and debris.
  • Remove all fasteners from the previous drywall (preferred) or drive them into the studs so that the new panels fit snug to the studs.
  • Start hanging new panels where the old panels started. This will ensure that drywall sheet edges will fall on a stud. If you start in a different location, this might not happen, and you’ll have to add a “nailer,” a section of stud between ceiling joists to fasten the edge to.
  • Align tapered edges. Panels have tapered edges that form a small channel for drywall compound. Aligning tapered edges, rather than a tapered and cut edge, will make the finisher’s job easier and improve the finished look. If you have to join a flat edge to a tapered, use a utility knife to taper the flat edge before hanging the piece.
  • Measure twice, and cut once. This is doubly true when measuring for a cutout like a vent fan box or fixture junction box. For cutouts, measure to its center from two directions. Then measure the total size of the cutout, and use those dimensions to create the hole with a scroll saw.
  • Watch a video tutorial or two like this one to see how experienced drywallers tackle the job and the techniques they use to get it right.

Videos will also help you decide whether it is a project you want to do yourself or hire it done.

Top Drywall Suppliers

If you’re thinking of attempting Drywall DIY, then the following suppliers are just about the best out there.

Labor Cost to Repair a Ceiling

If your ceiling needs repair, contact ceiling repair companies, experienced contractors, or handymen with ceiling experience. Depending on who you choose to hire, expect to pay between $50 and $150 per hour in labor costs for ceiling repairs. Some companies and contractors have call-out fees of between $50 and $100, which may be waived if you hire them, and others charge extra if you live far away.

DIY Ceiling Repair

DIY drywall ceiling repair and patch kits cost $9 to $25 and are feasible to fix holes and surface damage 6″ or less. Holes larger than 6″ require a more complex procedure best performed by a licensed contractor.

How To Fix A Ceiling

Here’s how to fix drywall ceiling damage in 5 easy steps.

  1. Cut the patch to fit over the crack or hole in your ceiling.
  2. Stick the patch on and smooth it flat with the adhesive provided.
  3. Spread drywall joint compound on top of the patch and all around it. Try to spread the compound evenly in a couple of layers to avoid creating a bulged surface.
  4. After the compound has dried, sand it smooth.
  5. Then apply primer and paint over it to fix your ceiling.

For larger ceiling repairs, contractors cut out the damaged section of drywall, attach extra framing supports, and install a new piece of drywall. Contractors fill the gaps with two coats of drywall compound and allow it to dry. Then, they sand it smooth and apply primer and paint.

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One comment on Costs of Ceiling Repair

  1. Amy Winters Amy Winters

    Thanks for pointing out that the cost of replacing a drywall ceiling is usually around $700. My husband and I need to replace a drywall roof in our home. I wasn’t sure what price to expect for the supplies, so thanks for sharing that info here!

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