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How to Find a Drywall Contractor for Your Rental Property

Key Takeaways

  • It’s not often that landlords need to hire drywall contractors, but when there’s structural damage and a need for repairs or new installations, having a list of trusty drywall contractors with extensive experience and quick problem-solving capabilities is essential for landlords.
  • A professional drywall contractor will cut clean, straight, and even cutouts accurately around electrical outlets, ensuring a smooth and professional appearance.
  • When shopping around for quotes, look for specifics on the material and labor listed, including the material unit cost, labor hours, area, and rates.

Published on Nov 22, 2023 | Updated on Dec 11, 2023

A drywall contractor working on a ceiling

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There are many reasons why you would need repairs on drywall panels. Mold, a leaky ceiling, settling and shifting, or flood waters entering the rental property can cause the drywall to degrade and look bad.

Ideally, you want to hire a drywall contractor when there’s significant damage. Smaller nail holes in the drywall can be a DIY job. Read on to learn more about how to find drywall installers for all your rental needs. 

How to find a drywall contractor

Most drywall contractors gain on-the-job training with reputable drywall companies. There is no formal education requirement for a drywall contractor. To become a licensed contractor, the aspiring craftsperson and fabricator must pass a comprehensive state board exam covering everything from site work, concrete, masonry, metal, carpentry, and finishes, including working with different types of drywall.

Typically, a drywall contractor would install a drywall panel before an electrician would install an electrical outlet. It’s better to hire a certified electrician to install electrical outlets when managing a rental property.

In states like Florida, you need a gypsum drywall contractor license to become a professional drywall contractor. In other states, the licensing exam is broader, like in Alabama, where you are licensed as a professional contractor. In Montana, all contractors with employees are fined up to $500 for performing any type of construction work where they are adding to or removing from a structure without a contractor registration.

When you’re looking for drywall service, review social media and online Google business reviews of different local drywall installation companies. Some states may require general liability insurance. To find contractors in the drywall industry, search the Better Business Bureau. Drywall professionals accredited by the BBB have been properly screened. 

Here is a checklist to refer to when looking for contractors: 

  • How many years have they been in business as a drywall subcontractor? 
  • Are they a state-licensed contractor or registered with the BBB?
  • Do they have good reviews?

Reading drywalling cost estimates 

Depending on the area needing repairs or the size of the drywall installation project, costs for drywall repairs can range from hundreds to thousands. Discover how contractors estimate drywall prices and services.

Once the contractor has done an inspection of the area that needs work, they should provide a quote. Here are a few key items to look for in the estimate: 

  • Exact quantity of drywall sheets  
  • Drywall material cost
  • Drywall labor cost size and location of the project

Here is an example of a quote with good information compared to a quote lacking in information about what you are paying for:

Budgeting for drywall projects

The landlord and tenant’s insurance may not cover average drywall repair prices, so prepare to pay out of pocket. 

Key considerations for budgeting include:

  • Square footage measurement
  • Quantity of drywall sheets 
  • Quantity of drywall screws, mud, and tape 
  • Man hours involved and labor costs of a professional drywall contractor

There is always the element of uncertainty. Even if there’s something a contractor can’t quote properly until after the work on the construction project starts, you should still have a relatively accurate idea of what to budget.

FAQ: Working with drywalling contractors

Drywallers start and complete the entire drywall job by designing all the plans, cutting panels, working on the tape, sealing, and joint compound application, and fastening the panels to the support structure. 

Yes, drywalling can be challenging, especially if you’re inexperienced. The drywall panels are cumbersome and essential in providing a durable surface for your home. If done incorrectly, a joint compound can look messy and lumpy, cheapening the appearance of your home. 

While drywall may help a little with insulation, that is not the primary purpose. The drywall covers the insulation and poly that is between the studs.

Our final thoughts

Hiring professional contractors to repair your rental property will help you build trust with tenants, retain quality tenants, and, most importantly, properly take care of your home. Learn more about how you can manage rental maintenance issues.

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