How Much Does Ceiling Repair Cost?

Typical Range:

$416 - $1,393

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 407 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated May 20, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Ceiling repairs typically cost between $416 and $1,393, though a small crack repair could cost as little as $150 and a larger structural repair could cost more than $3,000. The average homeowner pays around $870 for a contractor to fix their ceiling. If you notice a crack in your ceiling, it may be time to call your local ceiling contractor.

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National Average $870
Typical Range $416 - $1,393
Low End - High End $150 - $3,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 407 HomeAdvisor members.

Ceiling Repair Costs Per Square Foot

Most ceiling repairs cost between $45 and $90 per square foot. The price is dependent on how much of the ceiling your contractor needs to repair and what type of materials they use to fix it. Here are some common ceiling materials and the cost to repair per square foot. 

Type of Ceiling Cost to Repair
Drywall and Sheetrock $45 - $55 per square foot
Plaster and Lath $65 to $80 per square foot
Popcorn Ceiling $75 to $90 per square foot
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Drywall or Sheetrock Repair Costs

The typical ceiling drywall repair costs $45 to $55 per square foot, including labor. Some minor repairs (like cracked joints, hairline cracks, and nail holes) only need joint tape and spackle. A contractor will generally charge $60 to $90 per hour, and take around 1 to 2 hours to complete the job.  

Other repairs like water damage, large holes, or failed corners and seams will require drywall replacement. This includes the cost to remove damaged drywall and the cost to install new drywall. Replacing an entire drywall ceiling can cost as little as $1.50 to $3 per square foot. Some homes may use lightweight sheetrock, which is slightly less expensive than traditional drywall.

Plaster and Lath

Plaster ceiling repair costs anywhere from $65 to $80 per square foot. This price includes labor, materials, and the cost to prepare and protect the worksite. Repairing a plaster wall is a time-consuming and labor-intensive project because the contractor must also repair the wood layer (or lath) that supports the plaster. Since contractors charge $60 to $90 per hour, extensive damage on plaster and lath walls leads to costly repairs. 

Popcorn

Popcorn ceilings typically cost $75 to $90 per square foot to repair, and it costs an average of $3 to $7 per square foot to remove popcorn ceilings

Your popcorn ceiling may contain asbestos if your home was built before the 1980s. The presence of asbestos in the ceiling will make it necessary to encapsulate or remove it. Before making repairs on an old popcorn ceiling, contact a local asbestos testing contractor. The cost of removing asbestos from popcorn ceilings can run between $3 to $7 per square foot, depending on the size of the space and the extent of the damage.

Drop Tiles

The cost to install drop ceilings is typically $5 to $28 per square foot, but most homeowners can pop out and replace damaged drop tiles on their own. Drop tiles cost between $4 and $68 each, but it depends on the type:

  • Standard Mineral Fiber: $2 - $7 per square foot

  • Tin: $3 - $5 per square foot

  • Plastic/PVS: $1 - $2 per square foot

  • Wood Veneer: $2 - $17 per square foot

Contractors may have a minimum charge for small repairs, but most professionals will charge $60 to $90 per hour to repair drop ceilings (plus the cost of materials). You may need additional work like repairing lighting and ductwork behind the drop tiles, which will cost more.

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Water Damaged Ceiling Repair Cost

If a pipe springs a leak—or worse, bursts completely—and starts dripping through your ceiling, time is of the essence. The more extensive the water damage, the more it will cost to repair your ceiling. The typical water damage ceiling repair cost is $45 to $55 per square foot, but that doesn’t include:

  • Labor costs

  • Material costs

  • Mold removal

  • Repairing leaking pipes

  • Repairing a leaky roof

  • Foundation repairs 

Leaking Pipe or Roof Repair Cost

To fix water damage, you have to tackle the root of the problem. The cost to repair a leaky pipe is typically an additional $150 to $300 in addition to the cost to repair your ceiling. A local plumber may have to cut into the floor and ceiling if there’s a serious plumbing problem, which will increase the cost. 

The average cost to repair a roof is $250 to $2,000, but small repairs may only cost between $150 and $400. Like with a leak pipe, this is an additional charge. You’ll also have to pay for the cost to repair your ceiling.

Sagging Ceiling Repair Cost

Most homeowners pay between $250 to $1,000 to repair a sagging ceiling, but the project price depends on the severity of the issue. Sagging could be a sign of water damage, but it could also result from undersized drywall installation. To fix this kind of sagging, your contractor will either:

  • Rip out and replace the existing drywall with thicker (⅝ inch) drywall

  • Add spacers and install a new ceiling below

The latter option may be more cost-effective because it requires less labor, but it will shorten the height of your ceiling.

Cracked Ceiling Repair Costs

As your home ages, the drywall will crack, but sometimes cracks signal a larger problem. For most small cosmetic ceiling cracks and chips, homeowners can purchase a drywall repair kit, which costs around $10 to $30. A contractor will generally charge $60 to $90 per hour (plus the cost of materials) for the same job. 

If you have larger cracks or a series of cracks, you may have structural damage, so it’s important to consult a professional. 

Cost to Repair Ceiling Holes

For ceiling hole repairs, a contractor will generally charge a standard hourly rate of $60 to $90 per hour plus the cost of materials. You can also hire an experienced handyperson to tackle smaller ceiling holes. The type of material and size of the hole will dictate price. 

Material 4-Square-Foot Patch Price
Drywall and Sheetrock $180 - $220
Plaster and Lath $270 - $330
Popcorn $300 to $370

Cost to Repair Ceiling Structural Damage

Structural damage is one of the most expensive types of ceiling repairs, but the price tag depends on the extent of the damage and what needs fixing. Here are some common repair types and their costs:

Structural damage usually manifests as long, wide cracks in the middle of the room. You may notice multiple cracks or large spider web cracks (more than 1/16 inch wide). Often, this happens when the foundation of your home starts to settle. Similarly, cracks with a dip in them could signal that your structural beams are falling. Structural damage is a serious safety hazard, so consult a local residential structural engineer.

Other Ceiling Repair Costs

Peeling Paint

The cost to paint a ceiling is usually between $1 to $2.50 per square foot. Since most of the project costs come from labor and setup, smaller jobs tend to cost more per square foot.

Many homeowners prefer to sand down and touch up small areas of peeling paint on their own. To get a seamless look, you’ll likely have to paint the entire ceiling. A contractor will generally charge between $225 to $525 for two coats of paint on the average 12-foot by 12-foot ceiling. 

Texture and Popcorn Ceilings

The cost to texture drywall is typically between $1.15 to $1.35 per square foot on top of the cost of the ceiling repair. You’ll also need to paint a textured ceiling which is an additional charge between $0.10 and $3.20 per square foot.

Indoor Stucco

To repair small cracks in a stucco ceiling, your contractor will scrape out the existing stucco and patch the area with new stucco. The cost of stucco repairsis anywhere from $7 to $9 per square foot, depending on the level of damage. It can cost as little as $1.00 per square foot to fill in small surface cracks. For a proper quote, contact a local stucco repair contractor.

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FAQ

How much does it cost to remove and replace a ceiling?

You have to factor in two jobs when estimating the cost to replace a ceiling. First, you’ll pay about $1 per square foot to remove your old ceiling. Next, you’ll typically pay anywhere from $1 to $30 per square foot to install a new ceiling. This price depends on the type of ceiling you choose.

A standard drywall ceiling is the most affordable, and you can expect to pay between $1 to $3 per square foot for installation. Some ceiling types, like vaulted or cathedral ceilings, can cost more than $50 per square foot or as much as $175 per square foot.

How do you fix a ceiling?

To fix a drywall ceiling, you can follow this 3-step process:  

  • Cut and attach scrap wood. After locating and measuring the hole, mount a scrap piece to frame using screws or adhesive.  

  • Cut and attach drywall. Cut drywall a bit smaller than the existing hole.

  • Attach to scrap wood with screws.  

  • Fill gaps with drywall compound. Apply compound in spaces and allow to dry. Sand lightly and add a second coat of compound before you sand, prime, and paint.

If you have extensive water damage or signs of structural damage, consult a professional. You may need to hire a professional to make difficult or hazardous repairs, like reinforcing support beams, plumbing, or foundation work.

Can you paint over a water-damaged ceiling?

You can paint over a ceiling with minor water damage, but the surface should be completely dry first. It’s important to remember that moist or damaged drywall can harbor mold, so you may need to seal the area before painting or replacing the drywall (or damaged drop tiles) if the water damage is significant.

How do you get rid of water stains on a ceiling?

In some cases, you can get rid of water stains from roof or plumbing leaks. First, be sure to completely fix your leak. Otherwise, you could experience re-staining. Then, use stain-fighting primer to prevent stains from showing through paint.

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