The best way to calculate drywall finishing costs is by estimating the prices for the required materials. Drywall construction typically requires 5-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch drywall-taping knives, a joint compound pan, a tool to open buckets, an electric drill, a mixing paddle, a respirator, joint compound, paper joint tape, 180-grit or 220-grit sandpaper and drywall screws, as outlined by Popular Mechanics.
The tools listed here are only some of those that may be needed, and some projects may require fewer tools. The cost of finishing drywall varies greatly depending on the individual case and the supplies, but a good start is to make a list of all of the necessary supplies and add the total cost of all of the items. Many people already have some of the objects listed on hand, so the cost may be lower.
The greatest cost variable of drywall finishing is the joint compound, because the amount needed depends on the size of the project. The homeowner should determine how much joint compound is needed. The price depends on the container size. For instance, Home Depot sells 15-gallon buckets of joint compound for $14.98, as of May 2014. This price is typical, though one can save money by buying bags of dry joint compound powder to mix at home rather than buying premixed compound.
To make the final calculation, the homeowner should total the cost of tools, joint compounded and other materials This should provide a rough idea of the costs.