Drywall Estimator

Do you need a drywall estimator? If you are selecting a portland drywall contractor or if you are going to do it yourself, you need to understand how to measure your job. Also, it is important to understand your total square footage. Most if not all drywall contractors use square footage when they price your job.


Lets start with the ceilings first. If you have a tape measure, a measuring wheel, or a lazer measuring device (the price of which have came way down over the last few years) you will need to measure the legth by the width. For drywall estimating purposes, try to measure each area or room by squaring it off.

Some areas are not square or rectangle, but have angles that run off in different directions. Break the area into areas that you can define by length or width. Then work on the areas that are triangular in shape.

Remember your math classes, AREA = ONE HALF times BASE times HEIGHT. The BASE is the length of the bottom line. The HEIGHT is the 'straight up' distance from the (horizontal) bottom line to the tip. So if your triangle had a bottom line of length 10 ft, and a height of 14 ft, the area would be = 1/2 times 10 times 14, it would have 70 square feet. This will come in handy when you have to figure the square footage of tri-angular shapes.

You will want to remember that drywall comes in the following sizes: 4ft by 8ft and 4ft by 12ft. You can special order other sizes, and some drywall supply companies carry special drywall for 9ft walls (4.5ft by 12ft). If you have any round or triangle shapes, they use up more drywall or have more waste. As a drywall estimator, you will want to add in more waste for these areas.


When it comes to the walls, the easiest way to measure is to follow or "walk" the wall. It is really easy to loose your place if you do not have a method. Most professional drywall estimators will start at the same area of the house each time they measure. You can do the same. Start at the front door or stairwell. You will want to get the total linear feet. Go straight thru windows and doors. If you have different wall heights, you will want to measure those areas seperately. Keep track of each one (for example 200ft by 8ft and 300ft by 9ft). If you have vaulted areas, use the same formula for triangles that we used above.

Total Square Footage

The next step as a drywall estimator is to add the totals up. Take your ceiling square footage and and multiply it by 10% to get your waste. Add this amount to your total. That is how much square footage you will need for your ceilings. On the walls, we measured through the windows and doors. We are only going to add 5% (for waste). Add these amouts up to get your total. Now take the totals and divide by 32 sq ft (for 4ft by 8ft drywall) or 48 sq ft (for 4ft by 12ft drywall). Do you need greenboard? If so, add those sheets to your stock sheet and delete the same amount from your totals.

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