Looking for a drywall alternative

8 Replies

Hi, I have a large unexpected expense on one my rehabs and I'm trying to keep my costs as low as possible on other items.  Has anyone used a good alternative to drywall?  I've seen some cool 3D panels, etc.  Does anyone have any ideas to keep the drywall cost down?  I'm considering trying some different things out in a couple rooms, possibly a bonus room, etc.  Let me know if you have any ideas.  Thanks!

My guess is wood panel "could" be cheaper, due to less labor in finishing. However I would imagine it could be a turn off to a potential buyer. If you don't, try getting multiple quotes for the drywall work. Maybe hire laborers to install and then a drywall company to finish (although I found short of installing myself, there wasn't much savings). There might be other places to save money.

Drywall is probably one of the cheapest actually. I am assuming you are hiring/subbing the work out? The cost of drywall is cheap. The labor to hang and finish does add some expense for sure but I think there are few (if any) alternatives that will come close. I love the look of some of those paneling systems but they not only can they be costly to buy, they are costly to install. 

I look at any panel systems (not the cheap fake wood versions that grandpa used to cover the plaster in the entire house back in 1972) as an upgrade, not a way to shave expense. 

PS: Don't go with that cheap paneling!!! It screams I voted for Nixon.

@Michael Faurest Have you had the chance to get any quotes yet? I’d specifically ask for a breakdown between materials and labor. I’ve seen major margins on drywall labor.
Also, what happened to cause you to unexpectedly need drywall???

Yeah, I have received several quotes.  The extra cost is due to residing the whole house.  We took the walls off and noticed holes creeping in through the wood paneling.  I was thinking about something like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grosfillex-Element-36-...

or this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Nuvelle-Deco-Strips-Al...

I'm not sure if this will save any money or not.  I was thinking if the wall didn't need to be sanded and finished, it might save some money.  It is going to have a rustic look anyway, we are keeping the ductwork exposed, etc.  This is a rental in a college area.  Thanks for the help!

The first of your two choices is equivalent to $100 per drywall sheet, the second $300.  Drywall is $10.  Labor won't be $90 a sheet.  And labor for these two materials won't be $0.

Those two alternatives are thin.  These seem like they would easily break when bumped.  

Most jurisdictions require 1/2" drywall or equivalent plaster.  Check with your building department to see if these are acceptable.

Drywall is still the cheapest by far, not even close. Your OP said saving money was key due to your overages. You can then paint the drywall to achieve a variety of looks. 

I have used white bead board in the past for my rental since drywall takes so long to finish and I am not very good at it.  However I would not use it for a flip.  What you showed still needs a backer material to attach to.  I doubt it will save you any money.  Probably cost you a lot more.

If you use square trim you could stand the sheets of drywall up vertically, fire tape joints with self adhesive fire tape and cover joints with a 1" X 10" or 12" board similar to trim.  Then you would just have to spots screws and paint.  You would still have to finish ceilings I suppose.  

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