For most of us, wallpaper removal can be a daunting task and it costs a lot of money. The average cost to strip wallpaper ranges between $600-$900 per room. You can save some money by doing it yourself, but most homeowners are better off hiring a wallpaper removal service and avoid the hustle. Depending on the type of wallpaper, the cost and time commitment can vary significantly. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pricing variables that contractors use as well as the cost of doing it yourself. We hope this information will help you make an informed decision about your budgetary options.
Wallpaper Removal per Square Foot
Some contractors estimate wallpaper removal by the square foot. Prices typically range between $2-$3 per square foot of wall space. To calculate the square footage of the wall, multiply the perimeter of the room by the height, usually 8 ft. A common misconception is that square footage is referring to floor measurement (length times width). Floor size measuring might be helpful to a flooring contractor, but isn’t as accurate for estimating work for walls. Square foot pricing works well for typical rooms such as bedrooms and when dealing with predictable wallpaper. Square foot pricing is usually inclussive of all contracting costs such as labour, materials and overhead. The following example of a 10 ft. by 12 ft. room, with 8 foot height, measures 352 square feet. Based on a $2 or $3 charge per square foot of wall space, the price ranges between $704 to $1,056.
Wallpaper Removal Cost for Difficult Rooms
In our experience, not many removal projects are typical or predictable. We deal with high stairway walls that are difficult to reach, and small bathrooms with minimal work space. There are wallcoverings almost impossible to remove, there are even homes full of furniture to work around.
Why is it Expensive to Remove Wallpaper from a Bathroom?
The typical cost for removing wallpaper from a bathroom ranges from $400 to $700. This may sound relatively expensive based on room size alone, but there are reasons for this. First, there is very little room to work around in a small bathroom. This means that the removal process will take longer, and will likely require special tools and equipment. Second, the humidity and heat in the bathroom can make the wallpaper stick more to the wall, making it harder to remove. Finally, working around fixtures, lights, and behind toilets is difficult and time-consuming. All of these factors add up to make removing wallpaper from a small washroom a costly endeavour.
High Walls and Stairways with Wallpaper
If you are one of the unlucky homeowners, with wallpaper going up the stairway, there are no quick and easy ways to remove it. If it’s in good condition and it still works with your decor, consider keeping it for a few more years. If you are thinking about painting over the wallpaper, the stairway is not the place to do this in. If it’s starting to show it’s age and it absolutely must go, the news are not very good. First of all, homeowners don’t have big enough ladders, or the ability to work from them at heights. Good painters that specialize on removing wallpaper while working at heights are very few and this work is expensive. Painters may use extension ladders or a temporary scaffold set-up. Depending on the height and reachability, don’t be surprised to see a quote between $2,000 to $3,000 for the removal alone. If everything goes well, the walls are in good condition and you don’t have to repair them at such heights. It’s always a good idea to isolate the stairway work area from the rest of the house with plastic to prevent dust from going to the rest of the house.
Working in Furnished Rooms
Wallpaper removal in furnished rooms is difficult and painters add a percentage, typically 10%, to compensate for the extra work. When working in limited spaces and tight corners moving around is a challenge. Additionally, it can be difficult to move heavy furniture and this can add time and expense to the project. If moving the furniture is not an option, care must be taken to protect it from water, dust and paint. This will add time and expense to the project as well. For all these reasons, if possible, move as much of the furniture as possible out of the area. It makes financial sense to let the contractors do what they do best, wallpaper removal.
Fixed price vs Time & Materials
For wallpaper removal, most contractors charge a Time & Materials rate of $60 to $70 per hour, with typical material costs of $100 per room.
Homeowners prefer the predictability of a fixed price and you can’t blame them for it. Whatever the cost is, planning and budgeting for the work provides a welcome peace of mind. On the other hand, with certain projects such as wallpaper removal, it’s practically impossible for the contractor to predict the time needed to complete. After testing the wallpaper, and based on previous experiences, the basic wallpaper removal can be quoted at a fixed rate, using the square foot method we just discussed. The time and materials method is mostly suitable for pricing for the following:
- Removing very old wallpaper
- Wallpaper is on suspect wall substrates
- Wall repair and skimming after removal
- Dealing with specialty wallcoverings such as foil or grasscloth
- Working in difficult to reach areas
- When stripping multiple layers of wallpaper
A good compromise for both parties, is for the contractor to charge time & materials but include a “worst case scenario” price guarantee. This will give the customer peace of mind, while limiting the paint contractor’s risk. On another note, painting contractors have a minimum job size. For example, the minimum for Ecopainting is $1,100. When the cost for a single room is less than the company minimum, adding a little more work will get you more value.
Wallpaper removal does not have to be a daunting task. By understanding the different pricing variables and cost factors involved, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to remove your wallpaper yourself or hire a professional service.
At Ecopainting we care about making your home look its best. That’s why we have wallpaper striping systems that will leave your walls looking amazing. If you are interested in learning about our services, get in touch today! We would be happy to address all your concerns and provide you with a free quote. Thanks for Reading!