After several years, your home’s ceiling drywall may start to wear and tear. It is at this point that you should consider repairing it to maintain the integrity of your home. Most common ceiling repairs include water damage, cracks, and holes. 

The national average cost to repair ceiling drywall is about $85, with a typical range of $110 to $250 per sq ft hole. You can pay as little as $25 for smaller gouges and marks.

The actual price depends on the job size, complexity of the job, location, and finish options.

repair ceiling drywall average cost infographic

The following table provides you with a summary of the average cost to repair ceiling drywall.

Cost per square foot$2.0 - $3.5
Cost per drywall sheet$50 - $150
Cost to per standard 12 x 12 room$288 - $504
Cost to repair cracks$200 - $300
Cost to repair water stains$200 - $350
Labor cost to repair drywall ceiling (per hour)$65 - $90
National Average cost$300 - $1,300

Cost to repair drywall ceiling per square foot

On average, it costs about $2.0 to $3.5 per square foot to repair ceiling drywall. However, you can pay an additional cost of about $0.50 to $1.0 because special equipment such as scaffolding may be required for complex repairs.

Difficult jobs such as vaulted ceilings, tray ceilings, and archways may push the cost towards the high end. Contractors may charge 1/3 more than the average cost for complex repairs. So, you may pay between $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot, inclusive of labor and materials.

Sometimes it may not be possible to salvage drywall if the damage is extensive. Water damage, for instance, may force you to replace the entire ceiling if the drywall is completely ruined. Replacing drywall will be more expensive than repairing it because you will need to buy new sheets.

Difference between drywall and plaster

Cost to repair drywall ceiling per standard 12 x 12 room

A standard 12 x 12 room is 144 square feet. To repair the drywall ceiling in such a room, you can pay about $288 and $504. If the ceiling is a bit higher than the standard, the cost may be higher.

The cost per square foot tends to be lower when the area increases. So, if you are repairing multiple rooms, the average cost may be lower than when repairing a single room. Therefore, it is essential to do all the repairs at once, if possible, because you will get a better price.

If you are planning to sell soon, a professional will inspect your home during an initial visit. The contractor will check for stress cracks, nail holes, nail pops, and soft spots on the drywall. Ensure you work with a professional contractor to ensure all the repairs are handled professionally. Unprofessional repairs may negatively affect the resale value of your home.

Cost to repair ceiling drywall cracks

Repairing cracks on your ceiling may set you back by about $200 to $300. The professional will use drywall and fasteners to repair both small and large cracks on the ceiling. Drywall cracks may be caused by temperature changes or when the house is shifting or settling.

As the temperature changes, the drywall may expand and contract, which leads to stress cracks. The cracks grow bigger over time and spread throughout the ceiling or wall. The contractor will measure the damaged part and give you the repair cost for the stress crack.

While you cannot do much to prevent cracks, you should always repair them as soon as they happen to prevent them from spreading. This is because cracks may compromise the house’s structural integrity and cause the entire wall to collapse. This may cause serious damages and injuries that will only cost you more.

Cost to repair ceiling drywall water stains

Ceiling drywall water stains are usually caused by leaking pipes or missing caulk. This kind of repair may set you back by about $200 and $350. Before you fix any ceiling drywall water damage, you should first address the plumbing issues that led to the problem. This is to prevent exposing the repaired part to moisture again after you fix it.

The actual cost will, however, depend on the size of the repair. So, if the damage is extensive, the cost will be higher. In case the drywall is not largely affected, the professionals will cut out the water-logged drywall and install new pieces.

Mold clusters start to grow after 24 hours. You should, therefore, repair water-logged drywall within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. After this duration, you may be forced to replace the drywall. Also, if the water seeps in and destroys the drywall fibers, or the drywall becomes contaminated with sewer water, you will have to replace it.

Labor cost to repair drywall ceiling

The approximate labor cost for repairing ceiling drywall ranges between $65 and $90 per hour. For minor repairs, you can pay about $100 to $150 per patch for the labor, while the cost for materials ranges between $15 and $ 30. The rates may differ from one contractor to another, that is why you should get at least three quotes to compare the price. With several quotes from different professionals, you can easily determine the price range of the project.

Although you may wish to do the job yourself, it is recommended to leave ceiling repairs to professionals. This is because the repairs are usually intense and may require larger ladders or scaffolding. More so, it can be dangerous to fix high ceilings, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

Cost to repair ceiling drywall hole by size

On average, you can pay about $50 to $300 per hole to repair the ceiling drywall hole. The cost varies widely depending on the size of the hole. The cost to repair holes in the ceiling is similar to walls, but an additional 20% charge is added. This is because it is challenging to patch ceiling holes from below, unlike walls which do not need much straining.

More so, if the height of the ceiling increases, the repair cost also increases because the professionals must use special ladders or scaffolding. Below is the average cost to repair holes by size.

Small (4 – 6 inch)

Repairing a small hole on the ceiling will set you back by approximately $50 to $80 per hole. Small holes may be caused by bumps or nails. It is essential to repair the holes immediately to prevent them from enlarging. Failure to repair them in time may cause more problems such as infestation by cockroaches and other small insects.

Small holes are easy to fix, so you can fix them yourself without a big hassle. However, since you must buy all the repair materials such as tape, mud, and fasteners, DIY repair costs for a tiny hole may be unreasonable. So, unless you are repairing a larger area, it may be more economical to hire a professional to repair the hole. Small holes are usually less than 4” – 6”.

Medium (6 – 12 inch)

On average, it costs about $80 to $130 per hole to repair a medium hole on the ceiling drywall. A larger hole may need to be patched, so a sheet of drywall will be needed. A medium hole is usually less than 6” – 12” but larger than 6” x 6”. You can buy a repair kit at about $10 to $30 and a sheet of drywall to DIY the repair.

However, for professional results, safety, and peace of mind, it is better to hire an expert for the job. Also, you should factor in the repainting or retexturing cost when patching ceiling holes.

Large (12 – 24 inch)

Large holes may be up to 12” – 24”, and they may be challenging for DIY repairs. It costs about $100 to $150 per hole to repair large holes. The cost, however, depends on the scope of the ceiling damage and the size of the hole. Since the repair is more detailed, you should consider hiring a contractor to do it.

Usually, drywall contractors come with all the required materials for the repairs and may charge between $50 and $75 per square foot to do the job. If you calculate the price of all the materials you will need plus tools, and working gear, DIYing the repair may be costlier.

Cost to repair ceiling drywall hole by size big hole

Can you repair a hole in the textured drywall ceiling?

Yes, you can repair a hole in textured ceiling drywall. You will, however, hire a specialized contractor that can patch the damaged area and try as much as possible until it matches the surrounding texture. After applying drywall joint compound, the professional must scrape off all excess mud before painting the area.

The repairer should also try to transition the new drywall to blend seamlessly with the old drywall. Since this kind of repair is a bit complex, a professional may charge you about $150 per patch or more, depending on the hole’s size.

DIY vs. Hiring a Contractor

Ceiling repairs are more complex than regular wall repairs. While it is possible to DIY the project, you may consider hiring a professional for more complex repairs. You can easily patch small holes, but larger holes, cracks, or water damage should be done by an experienced contractor. There are several benefits and drawbacks of both DIY repairs and hiring a professional. Below is a summary of both options.

Do it Yourself

If you wish to handle the repairs yourself to save on the costs, you can spend about $50 to $200 for buying the tools and materials. You will need drywall mud, tape, fasteners, screws, putty knife, drywall sheet, sandpaper, face mask, eye protection, and gloves, among others.

Pros

  • The overall ceiling repair cost will be lower
  • You will have the final say on the project
  • You will have a chance to hone your skills
  • Handling repair jobs yourself gives you satisfaction

Cons

  • The cost may be unreasonable for single holes
  • The job will not have a professional look
  • Higher ceilings may be difficult to reach
  • You may injure yourself during the work
  • It is not time-effective

Hiring a Contractor

Ceiling repairs should be done by professionals because they have more experience. More so, they will know how to work on complex jobs and can safely use ladders and scaffolding, if needed.

Pros

  • Professionals will finish the work in time
  • They have enough skills and experience to handle complex jobs
  • You will have peace of mind
  • The job will be professionally done

Cons

  • It is much costlier to hire pros to repair the ceiling
  • You have no guarantee of the results
  • You will not get a chance to control the projects or better your skills.

FAQ's

Water damage on ceilings can be caused by a leaking drain, missing caulk, or loose supply line. To know where the water leak is coming from, you may need to cut a hole in the ceiling. It is essential to fix all the leaks in the ceiling before you repair the drywall. This is to prevent the water from damaging your ceiling after you fix it. Also, you will protect your home from mold due to prolonged exposure to water.

After several years, your ceilings and walls may need some repairs and repainting to refresh the home’s appearance. Several signs that show your ceiling drywall needs repair include popping nails, tears, holes, cracks, and water damage.

Homes tend to settle and shift due to old age, causing cracks on the ceiling and wall. Also, rodents and household accidents may cause holes in the walls and ceilings, while water damage may be caused by a damaged plumbing system.

On average, it costs about $3.52 per square foot to replace ceiling drywall, with a range of $3.14 to $3.90. This cost includes labor and material. For material alone, you can pay about $0.53, coming in between $0.45 and $0.61 per square foot. Expect to pay about $943.29 to $1,169.29 to replace drywall on a 300 square foot project. The actual cost depends on the job size, location, finish options, and conditions.

Ceiling drywall repair is quite a complex job, and it is more expensive than wall repairs. Whether the damage is minor or extensive, it is best to hire an experienced professional. Always do the repairs on time to prevent further damage and maintain the integrity of your home.

FAQ’s  repair ceiling drywall

Timothy Munene
Author: Timothy Munene - Timothy is a freelance writer and an online entrepreneur.