There are many ways to build walls. As property owners, we must know the different existing forms to have a better idea of ​​which one to use. Although many people consider drywall as the definitive alternative, in most cases it is because they do not know the advantages of other walls. However, since the use of shiplap has become popular lately, everyone has started researching this technique. As a result, many questions arise: How strong is the shiplap? How is it maintained? Is shiplap expensive?

In this publication, we will try to answer some of these questions. Also, you will know when it is better to use the different alternatives regardless of their costs.

That’s why if you’re about to build or renovate a house, we suggest you keep reading to learn how to install a shiplap ceiling, shiplap walls costs, and all you need to know about other materials.

Meet the future of assembly with shiplap

9th-Street-by-Rethink-Design-Studio Shiplap vs drywall cost, is shiplap expensive or not?
Image source: Rethink Design Studio

Shiplap is a very similar and cheaper alternative to tongue and groove. In this one, a set of boards are superimposed on each other through the use of a flange that protrudes on their sides, so it is not necessary to manufacture a notch as with the tongue and groove.

The shiplap originally is a technique widely used in the manufacture of ships because it offers tight seals and the possibility of building a cover that fits the structure without bending the material.

Currently, the use of this technique has become popular due to the large number of designs that plywood offers, but in the past, it was only used as a construction base for walls, and later they were covered with other materials such as wallpapers or muslin.

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Glued together, the shiplap is one of the most resistant construction options. You may have ever seen a cabin or beach house built with this technique; this is because the way the sheets are attached prevents wind and water from entering the house. Although wood on its own is not the best insulator for cold climates, shiplap can generally be installed anywhere without suffering major adverse effects.

Some install it only as an external decoration in buildings. This is an alternative when the shiplap price is high but you want to install at least a part.

The standard measurements for each board are 10 inches wide by 3 inches high, and the thickness does not exceed 1 inch. The flap on the sides is between ½ and 3/8 of an inch and is located at the top and bottom of the board. So that they can overlap, the one at the bottom is located in the opposite half to the one at the top.

Reasons to use shiplap

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  • It is quick to install: since it is a prefabricated material, it just needs to be assembled in the desired location. Additionally, the tools required for the installation are not difficult to use, so even a novice can try to install them.
  • Appearances for all tastes: almost any wood can be used to build a shiplap plank, so there are many options on the market. Besides, thanks to its installation process, joint lines can be created naturally or hidden if that is what is desired, which increases the possibilities of customization. Some of the most popular woods are cedar, pine, and oak.

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  • Do not create mess: Similar to the first point, as it is a prefabricated material, all you have to do is join the boards and voila, no sanding or preparation. Also, it is not necessary to use any powder or liquid compound for its construction.
  • It is resistant: Is shiplap expensive? It can be, but it is also much stronger than a plaster wall. The board, almost an inch thick, does not break easily, withstanding blows that the plaster cannot.

The drywall is the predominant choice

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The drywall needs no introduction. This is the predominant construction method in the vast majority of homes and businesses. Drywall consists of several basic elements that make it resistant and economical: a plaster covering and an internal wooden frame.

Gypsum is a versatile material that is used in multiple fields. For construction, it comes in powder and requires prior preparation with water and other additives that make it more resistant. Once prepared, the result is a moldable paste that will become hard as a rock when dried, sealing large and small extensions.

The great advantage of plaster is that the mixture of additives allows it to be prepared for multiple situations, such as fires or natural disasters, which makes it a perfect material for construction.

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Also, this is abundant in the market and many tools allow its installation and repair. However, perhaps the most remarkable thing about plaster is how light it is and its low price.

However, gypsum on its own is not enough to create a sturdy and inexpensive wall, and making a solid plaster wall is not recommended. That is why wooden slats are used to build a supporting structure for the plaster, which gives flexibility to the wall.

Before, the construction of a plaster wall was done directly at the place of the house. Nowadays there is drywall, which is a precast wall. It has different characteristics to adapt it to all kinds of conditions.

Reasons to use drywall

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  • Quick Installation: In the past, a gypsum wall required a trained professional to apply multiple layers of gypsum to a wooden structure at the construction site. He had to wait for one layer to dry before proceeding to the next, and usually, three layers were required. The drywall, meanwhile, is prefabricated according to the construction needs, so it only needs to be positioned and fixed to the frame using bolts.
  • It is a versatile material: not only can they be used to cover the roof, but they are also easy to repair. The latter is important due to how fragile they are. Gypsum, with the proper additives, can be resistant to fire and mold, providing security for homeowners.
  • Is shiplap expensive? The drywall is your choice: the wide availability on the market, in addition to its high level of customization, allows the vast majority of drywall options to be economical. Not only that, but maintenance and repair of these panels is cheap.

Factors that alter the cost of shiplap and drywall

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Like other coatings, several factors determine the price of both drywall and shiplap. You must know them to know how to get the best price.

In the shiplap’s case, the most influential factor may be the manufacturing material. Wood has very different prices. You can find inexpensive options in plywood and expensive options in cedar. In drywall’s case, it changes slightly depending on the additives that the plaster has.

The dimensions, especially the thickness, drastically alter the price of both coatings. This is generally important for exterior walls that require good insulation.

If you do not have a solid structure to support the coating, then you need to make an additional investment.

Finally, there is the visual and design part. Homes with simple designs and rustic finishes are much cheaper than those with many decorative details.

Shiplap vs Drywall – Is shiplap expensive?

In addition to the materials’ appearance and strength, the vast majority of users are looking for something inexpensive. The cost of shiplap vs drywall can be quite large, but this will depend on what you find in stores.

Shiplap cost

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To get an estimate, we will use a house with 1,000 square feet of construction as a reference. The shiplap can be purchased per square foot in the market, with a price that can vary between $0.95 and $7.00 depending on the type of wood and where you live.

This means that only the outer coating can range from $950 to $7,500. Interior installations can be somewhat cheaper due to their dimensions, ranging from $500 to $1,500. Both prices are calculated considering the tools and additional elements that you will need during the installation.

Hardwood is a relatively inexpensive material whose installation price can range from $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot. More sophisticated materials, such as pine, do not increase its cost per square foot very much, this being approximately $0.25 more expensive, so it is worth the additional investment.

Marthas-Vineyard-Summer-House-by-Sean-Litchfield-Photography Shiplap vs drywall cost, is shiplap expensive or not?Image source: Sean Litchfield Photography

However, woods like cedar can be worth $7.00 per square foot, although they can be found at more reasonable prices.

There are two additional factors you can consider to reduce your total investment. The first is the shipping. This is something you cannot ignore, as you can never avoid it. If shipping is very expensive, you should consider a cheaper shiplap.

The second factor is the installation. You don’t need a professional to install shiplap (although this can guarantee better results). If you have the right tools, you can try to do the project yourself.

You can even get creative and reuse pieces of wood that you no longer use in the installation process to add character to the wall and reduce shiplap prices. You just need to measure the panels you have available and cut them to the standard measurement, always leaving the flaps.

Drywall cost

Drywall-Repair-Flanders-NJ-Contractor-Drywall-Spackle-Plaster-by-G.C.W-General-Contractor-Roofing-Remodeling Shiplap vs drywall cost, is shiplap expensive or not?Image source: G.C.W General Contractor Roofing & Remodeling

Is shiplap too expensive? After looking at those comparative prices, you probably think so. If this is the case, the best thing to do is opt for the classic drywall.

The cost of drywall is averaged at $1.50 throughout the country, with slight variations depending on the additives it includes. Because it is cheaper, it is much better for covering large areas, such as exterior walls.

However, there is also the option of purchasing the drywall panels per unit, which can be cheaper than the retail purchase. With all these options available, a drywall coating can be 30 to 70% cheaper than shiplap.

If the same 1,000-square-foot home is used as a reference, it means the installation of this coating will cost between $1,500 and $2,000 using ½-inch sheets.

Most of the cost of drywall is in installation and maintenance. A more complex design that requires sanding, milling, painting, and adapting the sheets to different angles will make the total cost more expensive, but for the simplest jobs, it turns out to be the best option.

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