Ceiling installation costs

During a renovation or relocation, you may need to have a new ceiling installed. This is often done with plasterboard and is not very expensive. These plasterboards have the advantage of being lightweight, easy to cut to size and easy to paint. That’s why it is possible to install the ceiling yourself. Of course there are costs involved in both situations.

The costs

The price you pay for your new ceiling depends on several factors. For example, there is the option mentioned above to do it yourself, or to hire a handyman for this. In addition, there are the dimensions, whether or not to use a sealing tape and the costs for further finishing. You’ll find an indication of what these costs are in the table below. For exact prices, it is best to request quotations.

Cost item Average price
Plasterboard 8.5 ft x 24 in $4,75 each
Plasterboard 10 ft x 24 in $5,60 each
Plasterboard 12 ft x 24 in $6,45 each
Sealing tape $6,45 for 16 feet
Hourly rate handyman $13 – $27 per hour
Hourly rate painter $30 – $40 per hour


Installing the ceiling itself: the cheapest option you have is to install the ceiling yourself. Because the plasterboards are easy to work with and lightweight, a handy DIY-er should be capable of doing it himself. You can realize a new ceiling for a few tenners.

Have the ceiling installed: if you want someone to do it for you, you can find a for $16 per hour. If you only have the plasterboards installed and you do the finishing yourself, it won’t cost you that much. Consider just under $110.

Having everything done for you: if you want to outsource all work and leave the installation, the finishing and the painting to professionals, then it’ll cost you money. However, this is the most convenient option, as you don’t have to worry about anything and the inconvenience remains limited. If you choose an experienced handyman, he’ll get the job done perfectly and your new ceiling will look perfect.

The price structure

If you install the ceiling yourself, you’ll only spend money on the materials. By doing so, you can completely avoid labor costs. You pay half on the materials and the other half for labor costs, assuming that a handyman needs 3 hours to install a ceiling of 10 x 16 feet. If the handyman is not from your area, this often involves travel costs. These won’t take up more than 2 percent of the total price. By installing the ceiling yourself, you can save about 50 percent on the total costs. The following diagram shows this.

Choices that influence the price

To a certain extent, you have the opportunity to bring down the price for the job. By making the right choices you can influence the final price. Of course there are factors that you don’t have any influence on, like the size of the ceiling. Here are some of these choices.

Sealing tape or no sealing tape

You can choose to fit sealing tape around the new ceiling. If cracks are created, heat can easily escape and draughts can occur. With this tape you can completely seal off the ceiling, making it draught proof and make sure that the heat in the space underneath is better preserved. The average price for a 16-foot sealing tape is $8.

Have it painted or not

After installation you also have the possibility to have the ceiling painted. You can do this yourself, but if you prefer to outsource this, you can hire a painter. Painting a ceiling is a difficult job, because it is done above your head. A painter will cost about $45 per hour.

Do it yourself or have it done

Installing your own ceiling can save you half on the total costs. It’s not the most difficult of jobs, you only need the patience, the time and the energy to do it. You can also paint it yourself. Especially when it’s a small ceiling.

Interesting savings tips

Installing a ceiling is not very expensive. If you have everything done it’ll cost more. Whatever option you choose, you’ll have to make an investment. Here are a few tips to help you keep these costs down.

Hire a local handyman: often companies don’t charge a call-out charge if the distance to the location is less than 12 miles. If you have found a reliable handyman in your home town, you can save on travel costs. This may not be a large sum, but every little bit adds up in the end.

Do all or part of the job yourself: if you are on a budget, you can consider doing parts or everything yourself. For example, you can only have the ceiling installed and do the finishing with the sealing tape and the painting yourself. This saves on labor costs, but leaves the most difficult work to the professional.

Compare quotations

If you want to know exactly what it would cost to have a new ceiling installed, you should compare quotations. You can save even more money and our comparison tool can help you with this. You fill in your data and the tool will send you a number of quotations from companies in your area. This service is free and without obligation and may assist you during the planning process of your new ceiling.