Suppose you’re standing in a room, handed measuring tapes, and having a beautiful vision of perfectly finished walls, but suddenly a question comes to your mind “How to determine the accurate amount of drywall and other materials needed to bring life to my vision?” How to estimate and prepare drywall takeoffs?
This is a question that usually haunts many contractors and estimators. I know this sounds like a daunting task, but no worries! We’ve got step-by-step guides for construction estimation companies that will help them magically!
We will walk you through our comprehensive guide to boost your confidence in estimating and preparing the drywall takeoffs.
Steps for Estimates & Prepare Drywall Takeoffs
Identify the area
Review the area before getting into the work. Engross yourself in the details of the project. Take a look around and identify the areas where drywall installation is required. Be it walls, ceiling surfaces, specific rooms, or any other area.
Measure the area
Now, equip yourself with measuring tools and measure the dimensions of the area that is destined for drywall transformation. Measure all walls and ceiling surfaces (length, width, and height) accurately.
Another thing that needs to be considered is opening surfaces such as windows, doors, and electric outlets. However, these opening surfaces do not require drywall transformation but will impact the quantity of drywall required for the project. This helps you to determine the precise quantity of drywall needed.
If you have accurate measurements, you will get perfection in drywall estimation.
Calculate surface area
To calculate the surface area, multiply the total wall length by the room’s ceiling height. Suppose the wall is 12′ long with an 8′ ceiling. So as per the mathematical calculation, the total surface area of the room is 96 square feet.
If the room is enigmatic with an irregular shape, then divide the room into small sections and calculate the area of each section separately.
The open surface areas like doors and windows must be subtracted from the total surface area that is calculated in the previous step. To detect the total surface area of these opening surfaces, take your measuring tapes once again and measure the length and height of each opening and multiply them to find their square footage.
Now, subtract this from the total surface area of the room. By doing this calculation, you will get the net drywall area.
Determine Drywall sheet size.
One of the most important steps in estimating and preparing drywall takeoff is choosing the right sheet size. The project plans and specifications usually lie information that helps to get the size of the drywall sheets to be used.
Typically drywall sheets are commonly available in multiples of 4 feet, with three common sizes: 4*8 foot, 4*12/16 foot, and cut sizes such as 2*2 (unofficial size used for smaller patches).
Choosing the right size of the sheet will make the installment process easy and minimize the number of joints. So overall, the perfect fit is a must for perfect estimation and preparation of drywall takeoffs.
Estimate the number of Drywall sheets.
Estimating the drywall sheet is a critical step. To estimate how much drywall sheet is required for a project, begin your calculation with the following:
1. Find the total surface area of each wall (multiply length by height).
2. Add the surface area of each wall.
3. Detect the opening surface area from the total surface area.
4. Now divide the net calculated value by the square feet of a single piece of drywall.
Mostly drywall sheets come in 4′ x 8′ , 4′ x 10’ and 4′ x 12′ sizes. If you have 4′ x 8′ sheets, divide the total drywall area by 32. Similarly, if you’re using 4′ x 10′ sheets, divide by 40, and if 4′ x 12′ divide by 48.
Let’s say you have 4′ x 8′ sheets, and the total drywall area is 800 square feet. By dividing 800 by 32(as each 4-by-8 sheet covered 32 square feet), you find that approximately 25 sheets are required to complete your project.
Account for waste
Drywall sheets are often cut for adjustments to accommodate the corners and openings. When estimating material, it is essential to account for wastage in total quantity. Adding around 10-20% for the odd cuts and wastage is advisable.
So let’s take the previous calculation and add 20% of wastage.
If you require 25 sheets for the net drywall area, add 5 sheets: 25+5= 30 sheets.
Estimates other material
Besides the drywall sheets, other materials are also needed to calculate for estimation. Some of them are:
1. Joint Compound:
Joint compound is used to fill the gaps and corners and smooth the surface of the drywall, including any holes, bumps, and other damages.
Estimating joint compound by using the general rule of thumb. Approximately 0.053 pounds of joint compound per square foot of drywall.
Make it easy by taking this example: let’s say we have 800 square feet of drywall, so we need to multiply 800 by 0.053, which equals 42.4 pounds of the compound.
2. Drywall Screws:
It is used to secure the full or partial drywall sheets.
To estimate the drywall screws, we need to divide the net drywall area by 300.
For example, we have a total drywall surface area of 800:
800 divided by 300 is equal to 2.66 pounds of screws.
3. Drywall Tapes:
Drywall tapes help to bind the adjacent wall sheets together. It does not give much structural support to the sheets but helps create a smooth surface, reducing the movement and cracking of the sheet.
Estimating the drywall tapes needs finding the length of joints that require taping. Typically 2 to 3 feet of drywall tape is used per linear joint. Make sure to add extra tape for additional repair, overlaps, and wastage.
Review and Refine
When you’re about to finish your drywall takeoff process, double-check every measurement and calculation. Check and scrutinize each quantity and critically analyze every step.
Clarity is important in estimation. So give it a good time and leave no stone unturned until completely satisfied!
Remember that estimating and preparing takeoff is a skill that requires your complete focus and determination.