Ashburn, VA

How Much Does It Cost To Replace or Repair A Ceiling?

$50 – $100 Per Square Foot
$200 – $500 Minor Repairs
$400 – $1,200 Extensive Repairs

Ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot. Plaster and drywall ceiling repairs cost $200 to $500 to fix holes or cracks. Ceiling replacement costs $400 to $1,000 to repair sagging or extensive damage. Ceiling water damage repair costs $500 to $2,500 to fix the leak and replace drywall.

Get free estimates from ceiling contractors near you or view our cost guide below.

Ceiling Repair Cost

Plaster or drywall ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or between $300 and $1,200 on average. Minor ceiling repairs cost $200 to $500 to fix holes or cracks. Major repairs cost $400 to $1,200 to fix sagging, water damage, or to replace the ceiling.

Ceiling Repair Cost Chart

Ceiling Repair Cost
Repair Average Cost
Small Holes $50 – $150
Medium to Large Holes $200 – $400
Hairline Cracks & Dents $100 – $250
Large Cracks / Corners / Seams $150 – $400
Texturing / Painting $150 – $600
Minor Water Damage $200 – $500
Water Damage & Leak Repair $500 – $2,500
Sagging Ceiling $250 – $1,000
Ceiling Replacement $400 – $1,000
Structural Damage $2,000 – $8,000

*Most contractors charge a $100 to $150 minimum for ceiling repairs.

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Small holes, dents, chips, and hairline cracks can be fixed as DIY projects. All other repairs require hiring a professional ceiling contractor.

Small ceiling repairs take 1 to 3 hours, with labor costs of $40 to $80 per hour. Replacing a drywall ceiling takes 1 to 3 days for major repairs like water damage or bulging seams.

Ceiling repair cost calculator

Average Cost of Ceiling Repair Chart

Average cost of ceiling repair
National Average Cost $700
Minimum Cost $100
Maximum Cost $2,500
Average Range $300 to $1,200

Ceiling Repair Cost Per Square Foot

Ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot on average, depending on the material (drywall or plaster), site prep, labor rates, and extent of the damage. Most contractors have a minimum call-out fee of $50 to $150

Ceiling Repair Cost Per Square Foot
Material Cost Per Square Foot
Drywall Repair $50 – $100
Lath and Plaster Repair $50 – $125
Concrete Repair $50 – $100

Drywall Ceiling Repair Cost

Drywall ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or from $150 to $400 on average, including materials, labor, and cleanup. The cost to fix ceiling drywall is $40 to $80 per hour plus materials, with minimum labor fees of $50 to $150.

Drywall Ceiling Repair Cost Chart

Drywall Ceiling Repair Cost
Repair Average Cost
Dents, hairline cracks, nail or small holes $100 – $250
Medium to large holes or cracks, corner bead, seams, joints, or light water damage $200 – $400
Extensive water damage with leak repair or ceiling replacement $500 – $2,500
  • Repairing cracks, dents, and popped nail heads only require joint tape and spackle to repair the damage.
  • Small holes require a mesh patch kit and joint compound to blend into the ceiling.
  • Fixing medium to large holes needs a replacement piece of sheetrock, furring strips for support, and tape and joint compound.
  • For ceiling water damage, the leak must be repaired first, followed by patching the drywall or a complete ceiling replacement.
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Lath and Plaster Ceiling Repair Cost

Lath and plaster ceiling repair costs $50 to $125 per square foot or between $200 and $500 on average to patch small to medium holes and cracks. Replastering a whole ceiling costs $5 to $15 per square foot or from $60 to $90 per hour, which includes the materials.

Lath & Plaster Ceiling Repair Cost Chart

Plaster Ceiling Repair Cost
Task Cost Per Square Foot
Small Repairs (< 4 SF) $50 – $125
Apply Plaster Coating $2 – $3
Cover Ceiling w/ Lining Paper $3 – $7
Lath & Plaster Removal $2 – $5
Lath & Plaster Removal & Replacement $5 – $15
Install Drywall w/ Plaster Texture $3 – $4
Install Drywall over Old Plaster $4 – $7

*Most handymen charge a minimum of $100 to $150.

With extensive damage, costs up go significantly because the ceiling plaster may collapse. A handyman must repair the wood lath section of the ceiling that supports the plaster, known as a partial restoration.

A plaster ceiling that's crumbling or has water damage requires replastering the whole ceiling after removing the collapsing areas. Other repairs include applying a plaster skim coating to hide shallow, large spiderweb cracks or covering the ceiling with a thick lining paper and painting.

Cheaper options are installing drywall with a plaster texture coat in its place or installing drywall over the old plaster to save on removal costs.

Drop Ceiling Tile Replacement Cost

The average cost to replace ceiling tiles is $2 to $4 per square foot for materials and labor. Most contractors charge a $100 to $150 minimum for repairs. The average cost to install a new ceiling grid and tiles is $3 to $7 per square foot for materials and labor.

Cost To Replace Ceiling Tiles
Project Cost Per Square Foot
Replace Ceiling Tiles $2 – $4
Install Ceiling Grid and Tiles $3 – $7

Standard 2'x2' or 2'x4' ceiling tiles cost $4 to $40 each, and most homeowners can replace a few tiles themselves to save money. Larger repairs or installing a new ceiling grid requires hiring a professional at $40 to $80 per hour.

Drop Ceiling Tile Cost
Type Material Per Square Foot Pros Cons
Mineral Fiber $1 – $3
  • Affordable
  • Easy to replace
  • Adds soundproofing
  • Prone to water damage, mold, and mildew
  • Not good for basements
Metal $3 – $10
  • Elegant and unique patterns and finishes
  • Durable, fireproof
  • Expensive
  • Hard to install
Plastic / PVC / Vinyl $1 – $5
  • Cheap and lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Water and stain-resistant
  • Long-lasting
  • Expensive
  • Less acoustical experience
Wood Veneer $4 – $10
  • Elegant wood look
  • Easy to install
  • Expensive
  • Vulnerable to moisture damage

Glue-up or peel-and-stick ceiling tiles cost the same, but attaching the tiles may require panel adhesive or staples.

Stained Drop Ceiling Tile Replacement

Concrete Ceiling Repair Cost

Concrete contractors charge $50 to $100 per hour to repair a cracked, chipped, or spalling concrete ceiling. Concrete ceiling repairs require an epoxy compound that costs $30 to $100 per gallon, depending on the quality. Ordinary cement shrinks when it dries and cannot be used for repairs.

Concrete ceilings don't crack easily. Cracks in a concrete ceiling may be indicative of serious structural problems and should be inspected by a structural engineer.

Cost To Texture Ceiling

The average cost to texture a ceiling is $1 to $2 per square foot or $130 to $440 for the average room. Prices depend on the materials, style, square footage, complexity, and labor. Small ceiling repairs with retexturing cost $50 to $100 per square foot.

Finishing and texturing add to the total cost of ceiling repairs and are often necessary to match the surrounding area. Some contractors include the cost of painting and finishing in their estimates; others do not.

Popcorn Ceiling Repair Cost

Popcorn ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or $200 to $600 on average to fix holes, cracks, and seams, and to apply a patch. The average cost to spray popcorn ceiling is $2 to $5 per square foot for scraping and restoring the popcorn texture and painting in an entire house.

  • Popcorn ceiling repair is a dirty process, and sometimes it's cheaper to install new drywall over an old popcorn ceiling that's heavily damaged.
  • When changing to a new texture, popcorn ceiling removal costs $1 to $2 per square foot.
  • Old homes built before 1970 may have popcorn made of hazardous asbestos. Asbestos removal costs $20 to $65 per square foot.

Interior Stucco Ceiling Repair

Interior stucco ceiling repair costs $3 to $6 per square foot to apply a new surface. Filling small surface cracks with 1 to 2 coats of stucco finish costs $0.65 to $1.15 per square foot.

Additional Cost Considerations

  • Electrical fixtures may need to be removed and reinstalled once the ceiling is repaired. Electricians charge $40 to $100 hourly plus a $75 call-out fee for most jobs.
  • Extensive drywall repairs require site preparation to prevent dust and debris and furniture must be moved away from the area.
  • Drywall joint compound takes 24 hours to dry and may require multiple layers (over several days), depending on the extent of the damage.

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Ceiling Water Damage Repair Cost

Ceiling water damage repair costs $500 to $2,500 on average to fix the water leak and repair the drywall. Repairing a small patch of water-damaged drywall in a ceiling costs $200 to $500. Price depends on the amount of water damage and if the leak is located easily.

Ceiling Water Damage Repair Cost Chart

Ceiling Water Damage Repair Cost
Project Average Cost
Drywall Patch & Painting Only $200 – $500
Remove Water, Repair Leak, Replace Drywall, Paint $500 – $2,500

Common causes of a water-damaged ceiling include plumbing leaks, burst pipes, defective appliances, roof leaks, clogged gutters, tenants living above, or an overflowing toilet, bathtub, or sink.

  • Water damage cleanup and removal costs $40 to $60 per square foot, not including drywall repairs.
  • Replacing wet attic insulation costs $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot.
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Ceiling Leak Repair Cost

The average cost to repair a leaking pipe in a ceiling is $500 to $2,500, depending on the extent of damage and materials involved. Roof leak repair costs $400 to $1,500 on average to replace shingles, seal the water-damaged area, and replace damaged wood supports.

Ceiling Leak Repair Cost
Project Average Cost
Repair Leaking Pipe in Ceiling $500 – $2,500
Roof Water Damage Repair $400 – $1,500

To repair a ceiling leak, a plumber drains the water, removes the damaged drywall, fixes the leaky pipes, dries the area, and replaces the drywall. A plumbing inspection adds $80 to $150 if the source of the leaking pipe cannot be located.

  • Slow ceiling leaks cause stains and lead to mold. Mold removal costs $15 to $30 per square foot.
  • Large plumbing leaks and burst pipes can cause the ceiling to bow, sag, buckle, or crumble entirely.

At the first sign of water damage, hire a plumber immediately to prevent damage and mold from spreading.

Ceiling Water Stained and Damage From Leaking Pipe

Remove Water Stains From Ceiling

Painting covers minor water stains on a ceiling. First, repair the source of the leak before painting, even if it's dry. Clean the stain with bleach to remove any mildew, grease, or dirt. Next, apply an undercoat of stain-blocking primer and cover the primer with ceiling paint.

Painters charge $20 to $50 per hour for cleaning and repainting dry stains. Drywall ceiling panels that absorbed water or contain mold require a partial or complete ceiling replacement.

Ceiling Cracks and Water Stain Damage

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Ceiling Replacement Costs

The average cost to replace a drywall ceiling is $2 to $4 per square foot, while replastering a ceiling costs $5 to $15 per square foot. Ceiling replacement cost depends on the material, project size, labor rates, and the cause of the damage or leak.

Cracks, holes, sagging, peeling paint, or a water leak may be indicative of ceiling damage that's beyond repair, which needs a complete replacement.

Ceiling Replacement Cost Chart

Ceiling Replacement Cost
Material Cost Per Square Foot
Drywall $2 – $4
Plaster & Lath $5 – $15
Drop Tiles $2 – $7
Textured $1 – $2
Tray $2 – $6
Tongue and Groove $3 – $6
Beadboard $4 – $7
Coffered $10 – $25
Vaulted $40 – $65

Carpenters typically charge a $100 to $150 call-out fee, with hourly rates of $40 to $80 for replacement. Extra costs may apply for painting, finishing, or debris disposal.

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Cost To Fix Holes In Ceiling

The average cost to repair a hole in a ceiling is $200 to $500. Fixing additional holes costs $150 to $350 per hole or about 25% less. The cost to patch a hole in the ceiling depends on the size, material (drywall or plaster), type of finishing, and labor rates.

Cost To Fix Holes In Ceiling Chart

Cost To Repair Hole In Ceiling
Size Cost Per Hole
Mini (DIY Patch Kit) $9 – $25
Small (< 1 SF) $50 – $150
Medium (1 – 2 SF) $100 – $300
Large (2 – 4 SF) $200 – $500

*Many drywall contractors have a minimum charge of $100 to $150.

  • Holes from a foot through the ceiling are a medium to large repair.
  • Holes in a ceiling caused by water damage show stains or dark spots.
  • Holes from rodent damage shows signs of chewing and bite marks in corners.
  • Holes from using low-quality materials collect "sand" on the floor from the sheetrock or joint tape deteriorating.

Contractor Fixing Drywall Ceiling Hole and Collapsed Panel

Ceiling Crack Repair Cost

The average cost to repair a ceiling crack is $150 to $400, depending on its size and material. Plaster and drywall ceiling crack repair costs $50 to $100 per hour with a 2 to 4-hour minimum, including materials, site prep, patching, and painting.

It's normal for homes to settle and develop harmless cosmetic cracks as they age. However, cracks wider than ⅛", cracks that run from the ceiling to the middle of a wall, or long cracks in a dip, stair, or V-shape may signal structural damage.

The size, shape, and location of the crack(s) help determine the severity.

Cosmetic and Harmless Cracks

  • Horizontal cracks between the wall and ceiling are typically from a truss uplift due to temperature and moisture fluctuations. One solution is installing crown molding to hide the cracks.
  • Hairline cracks or spiderweb cracks smaller than ⅛" wide are typically from natural aging and settling, old brittle paint layers, or poor drywall installation. May be accompanied by wall cracks.

Cracked Ceiling With Peeling Layer Caused By Water Leak

Cracks With Extensive Damage

The following cracks cost more to fix and require hiring a structural engineer for inspection.

  • Matching vertical cracks or cracks going down the wall could be from the house settling and shifting, and signals structural damage.
  • Large cracks on a bowed or sagging ceiling typically indicate structural issues in the joists. Ceiling joists may be the wrong size, too far apart, or cracked.
  • Cracks near a window or door that’s become difficult to open are a warning of foundation issues.
  • Long and wide cracks that run across the middle of a room indicate foundation trouble.
  • A discolored crack where the drywall may be spongy and sagging is a sign of a leak or water damage.

Sagging Ceiling Repair Cost

Repairing drywall in a sagging ceiling costs $2 to $4 per square foot, with a $250 to $500 minimum. Sagging or “pillowed” drywall occurs from termite, structural, or water damage, or from undersized (½") drywall hung under joists or trusses that are spaced every 24".

Sagging Ceiling Repair Cost
Material Cost Per Square Foot
Drywall $2 – $4
Plaster & Lath $5 – $15

*Drywall installers charge $30 to $70 per hour on average, with minimum call-out fees. Painting and finishing costs extra.

The professional approach is removing the pillowing drywall, installing thicker (⅝") sag-resistant drywall, and repairing the attic insulation.

Another option is adding spacers or furring strips to the joists or trusses and installing new (⅝" thick) drywall below the old ceiling. This option saves time and costs less, but results in a lower ceiling height.

  • Drywood termites may cause buckling or sagging ceilings. A termite inspection costs $75 to $150.
  • Structural movement, poor land grading, or settling may cause a sagging ceiling beam. Replacing a wooden support beam costs $800 to $2,500.
  • The attic insulation may collapse into the room once the ceiling is removed. Replacing attic insulation costs $1.50 to $3 per square foot.

Ceiling Painting Repair Cost

Painting a ceiling costs $1 to $2 per square foot to repair flaking, peeling, sagging, bubbling, or water behind the paint. Sanding and patching the damaged areas adds $1 to $3 per square foot before repainting. Painting a bedroom ceiling costs $150 to $600, and a living room runs $250 to $1,000.

Ceiling Painting Repair Cost
Ceiling Average Cost
Bathroom $50 – $300
Bedroom $150 – $600
Living Room $250 – $1,000
Kitchen $100 – $500
Basement $500 – $2,000

*Prices vary depending on the size of the ceiling and extent of repairs. Professional painters charge $20 to $70 per hour for materials and labor.

Ceiling Bubbling, Peeling, Flaking, Paint Repair

Chipped, flaking, or peeling paint is caused by water leaks, high humidity, improper application, poor-quality paint, age, or weather changes. Professionals recommend repainting the entire ceiling instead of touching up to ensure long-lasting results and color consistency.

Ceiling Structural Damage Repair Cost

Repairing structural damage costs $2,000 to $8,000 on average, depending on the severity and work required. Long and wide cracks or cracks in the ceiling that extend down the wall signal structural damage. A structural engineer costs $250 to $400 to inspect your property and design a plan.

Ceiling Structural Damage Repair Cost
Task Average Cost
Structural Engineer's Plan $250 – $400
Foundation Repair Costs $2,000 – $8,000
Roof Repair Costs $500 – $1,500

Structural damage in ceilings is caused by:

  • Foundation settlement and natural aging
  • Water damage from leaky plumbing, high moisture, or poor drainage
  • Earthquakes
  • Too much weight from the upper floor
  • Roof damage
  • Poor construction

Ceiling Repairs By Room

Ceiling repairs in garages, bathrooms, and basements cost more due to building code requirements. Attached garages, utility rooms, and kitchen ceilings require fire-resistant sheets of drywall. Bathrooms and basements need mold and moisture-resistant drywall.

Drywall Type By Room
Type Material Cost Per Panel (4'x8') Room
Traditional Drywall (½") $9 – $15
  • Living rooms
  • Basements
  • Bedrooms
Lightweight Sheetrock $10 – $15
  • Living rooms
  • Bedrooms
Moisture & Mold Resistant $11 – $25
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Basements
  • Laundry Rooms
Fire Resistant (⅝") $9 – $18
  • Kitchens
  • Garages
  • Utility rooms
Soundproof (⅝") $47 – $54
  • Home theaters
Eco-Friendly $9 – $14
  • Living rooms
  • Bedrooms

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Ceiling?

Minor drywall ceiling repairs take 1 to 3 hours at a rate of $50 to $100 per hour. Replacing a drywall ceiling takes 1 to 3 days for major repairs such as water damage, large holes, or bulging seams.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Drywall Ceiling?

The average cost to drywall a ceiling is $2 to $3 per square foot. Constructing new drywall ceilings with framing and insulation costs $3.50 to $4.50 per square foot. Additional costs may include old drywall demolition, new furring strips, replacing insulation, and painting.

Still have questions? Ask a ceiling pro. View Pros

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DIY Ceiling Repair

DIY drywall ceiling repair and patch kits cost $9 to $25 and are feasible to fix holes and surface damage 6" or less. Holes larger than 6" require a more complex procedure best performed by a licensed contractor.

How To Fix A Ceiling

Here's how to fix drywall ceiling damage in 5 easy steps.

  1. Cut the patch to fit over the crack or hole in your ceiling.
  2. Stick the patch on and smooth it flat with the adhesive provided.
  3. Spread drywall joint compound on top of the patch and all around it. Try to spread the compound evenly in a couple of layers to avoid creating a bulged surface.
  4. After the compound has dried, sand it smooth.
  5. Then apply primer and paint over it to fix your ceiling.

For larger ceiling repairs, contractors cut out the damaged section of drywall, attach extra framing supports, and install a new piece of drywall. Contractors fill the gaps with two coats of drywall compound and allow it to dry. Then, they sand it smooth and apply primer and paint.

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Hiring A Ceiling Repair Company

Hiring a handyman can help with small cracks and patches. For water damage, leaks, large cracks, sagging, or structural damage, hiring an experienced drywall contractor ensures the job is done right.

  • Get at least three in-person estimates for larger repairs.
  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Make sure they are licensed, insured, and bonded.
  • Choose a company that's been in business for at least 5 years.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • For large jobs, ask for a contract in writing in case of a dispute.
  • Avoid making large payments upfront. Never pay in full or in cash, and come up with a payment schedule for work completed.

Questions To Ask

  • Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
  • Do you provide a free evaluation?
  • Can you provide any references of finished work?
  • Does your quote include painting and finishing?
  • How long have you been doing ceiling repairs?
  • Do you offer a warranty on your work?
  • How long will the ceiling take to repair?

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