We are going to be starting drywall hanging in 2 weeks, which is the final part of my GC's contract. We are separately hiring another contractor for mudding and painting. My GC has informed me that he intends to use all 4x8 drywall panels to save cost and reduce the weight of the boards. Since he's not doing the mudding, the creation of extra butt joints isn't his problem. He's telling me the cost of a change order to "upgrade" to 4x12 sheets of drywall is $5K.

My mudding contractor is saying he won't charge extra for the extra butt joints introduced by using 4x8s, but he is saying that the final product simply won't be as smooth.

Do you think it's worth it to pay the extra $5K (or maybe we can negotiate down) to get the 4x12s? How noticeable will the extra seams be? Should we be worried about cracks or other major issues caused by using 4x8s?

Our drywall is primarily 1/2", with some areas 5/8" for fireproofing or sound proofing.

closed as primarily opinion-based by mmathis, Daniel Griscom, isherwood, ThreePhaseEel, Tyson Apr 6 '18 at 12:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I am not so sure that there is a good answer here that would be based on anything but opinion. Sure there are some installation advantages to using 12' sheets horizontally on walls or spanning side to side across a ceiling in most rooms but a good experienced drywall taper can do wonders with joints and there are many jobs done with 8' sheets exclusively. – Michael Karas Apr 4 '18 at 9:27
  • Just for information purposes, my local home depot charges about $3 more for the 12 footers. Which is cheaper per square foot. However if you by 34 sheets the price difference per sheet is only 20 cents. Perhaps your contractor doesn't like handling the lsrger sheets or access is an issue. – mikes Apr 4 '18 at 10:29
  • 3
    @mikes, Yea I don't think the material would cost more regardless of where you get it, but he may be adding a couple of workers to deal with handling the larger sheets. $5k difference sounds like a "sure I'll do it if you really want it price"... – JPhi1618 Apr 4 '18 at 13:48
  • 1
    I haven't seen this done often, but in my home I stood the 8' sheets on end, no horizontal joints at all. Worked very well. – Jack Apr 4 '18 at 14:26
  • 1
    Standing drywall up is a royal pain for the installer. If the framing isn't dead on layout and square, or if there are bows in the studs, the joints won't be centered up. Trimming a butt end is one thing, but trimming a wrapped bevel edge is another altogether. Most hangers won't install vertically for this reason, unless it's necessary for a firewall. If it's your own project and you can spend the time to do it, go for it. Don't expect the pros, who depend on productivity to make the bottom line, to do so. – isherwood Apr 4 '18 at 20:58

Its really not important for the end result. What matters is the workmanship and quality of the installation. Poorly finished drywall of any size sheet is still poorly finished. Instead of negotiating a price to install 4x12s, try and find out if they offer a warranty. My drywaller gives a 1 year guarantee against cracks or sags. I just get out of his way and let him work, then pay him once I approve the job. He can use green board, 4x12, 4x8 or 2x2 squares for all I care as long as the finished product looks good and he backs up his work with a guarantee.

  • I agree. A good butt joint tape job should be at least 24" wide, and closer to 32". In all but the most acute lighting it should be invisible. – isherwood Apr 4 '18 at 20:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.