The cost to hang and finish drywall will depend on the level of finish you are after. Level 3 finish includes hanging the drywall, adding joint tape and 2 coats of joint compound.

A level 3 drywall finish costs $1.75 to $2.25 per square foot. For a 10 x 12 bedroom this works out to be $1,050 to $1,350. This price includes the cost of all labor and materials, but does not include a final skim coat and sand.

Different levels of drywall finish help to manage the costs from getting too high. There are up to six levels of drywall finish. You can choose any level depending on the different rooms you install drywall.

There are six levels of drywall finish. Different levels cost differently

Levels Of Drywall Finish And How Much They Cost
Cost to sq. ft.10 x 12 room cost
Level 0$1.00 - $1.50$600 - $900
Level 1$1.25 - $1.75$750 - $1,050
Level 2$1.50 - $2.00$900 - $1,200
Level 3$1.75 - $2.25$1,050 - $1,350
Level 4$2.00 - $2.50$1,200 - $1,500
Level 5$2.25 - $3.00$1,350 - $1,800

Level 0

A level 0 drywall finish indicates that there’s no finishing done. The drywall is left hanging on the ceiling or walls. This level of finish is best for when you have not decided on the decorations. If you have a temporary construction, finish your drywall at level 0.

Considering there’s not much work done, you can expect to pay $1 to $1.5 per square foot for a level 0 drywall finish.

Level 1

A level 1 drywall finish is a crude finish. Unlike a level 0, there is some work done on the drywall. The drywall corners are joined together with joint tape. However, the joint tape is not smoothed or covered. Thus, the drywall is left looking unfinished.

A level 1 finish is suitable for areas in the back of the building or basements. You can expect to pay from $1.25 to $1.75 per square foot for a level 1 finish.

Level 2

A level 2 finish is an improvement from level 1. The joint tape used to fix the drywall is smoothed out. The drywall now has a thin layer of tape on it, unlike at level 1.

If you intend to tile the wall, a level 2 finish is acceptable. If not, a level 2 finish is also suitable for basements and storage rooms in commercial buildings.

You can expect to pay $1.5 to $2 per square foot of finished drywall.

Level 3

A level 3 drywall finish is acceptable for public areas. The contractor applies a top layer of joint compound on the joint tape. The contractor also ensures that the drywall doesn’t have any ridges. Finally, a layer of drywall primer is applied to meet the level 3 finish standard.

You can then decorate your finished drywall as you like. For a level 3 finish, you can expect to pay from $1.75 to $2.25.

Level 4

For a level 4 drywall finish, the contractor applies a third layer of joint tape to the drywall. Joint angles and accessories such as fasteners also get a third layer of joint tape. The third layer of joint tape is then left to dry. The contractor then sands it off to leave smooth drywall.

You can expect to pay from $2 to $2.5.

Level 5

A level 5 drywall finish encompasses all the previous levels and a top layer of skim. You can use a roller, taping knife, or spray the skim on the drywall. A layer of skim is applied to ensure the drywall exterior is flat and smooth.

You can expect to pay $2.25 to $3 per square foot of a level 5 drywall finish.

Factors That Influence The Cost Of A Drywall Finishing

Complexity Of The Finish

There are different levels to a drywall finish. Each higher-level consists of an additional step in the process to add complexity.

The more complex the finish, the high the amount you will pay.

The Skill of Your Drywall Installer

The skill of the drywall installer you choose influences the final price paid. A highly experienced installer will charge you more.

Choosing to DIY will reduce your drywall installation and finishing costs. You can only DIY if you have the right skills and tools.

You can get the right installer by using the tool. Enter your zip code and fill the form.

Three contractors will receive your information and send you a quote with no obligation to hire.

Go through the quotes and choose either of them to install drywall at your property.

Materials Used

If you are going to DIY a drywall finish, you will have to buy or rent out tools. Whether you hire or buy the tools, the cost of installation will rise.

If you hire a pro to install the drywall for you, they will use their tools. They will only charge for the labor and cost of drywall.

Time Taken To Complete The Job

Contractors will charge you per hour of work on your drywall finish. The longer it takes to complete, the more you pay.

Each level of drywall finish takes longer than the previous level. You can expect to pay more for every higher level of drywall finish.


Commercial drywall finish is more expensive than residential drywall finish. Commercial buildings have higher and wider walls than residential buildings. The contractor will need additional tools and labor. Thus, the cost of finishing the drywall in commercial buildings is higher than in residential buildings.

The contractor must also soundproof and fireproof commercial building drywall. These additional services increase the cost of finishing the drywall in commercial buildings.

Which Is More Expensive, Commercial Or Residential Drywall Finish

To install and finish drywall, most contractors will charge $50 to $100 per hour. However, it is more common for contractors to charge per square foot of the drywall installed. When looking for a contractor, it is better to get one who will charge a fixed cost than one who charges by the hour.

Benjamin McInerny
Author: Benjamin McInerny - is a qualified arborist with 20 years of industry experience. Ben has a wide knowledge of renovation and DIY projects around the house such as lawns, fencing and painting. Ben shares his skills with DIY and gardening enthusiasts.