Cost to Hang Wallpaper

betsyhacJuly 12, 2012

Would it be possible for anyone to give me an average per hourly rate to hang wallpaper?

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Hmmm.... found the attached on the net.
I should add that the area is 38 sq ft, including 5 areas where the pattern has to be matched, and it's vintage paper. The estimate I was given was $365.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cost to Hang Wallpaper

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:03AM
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That's like asking for the average price of a dinner. There is no meaningful "average" we can give you.

Where is the job?
How many walls or rooms?
What kind of wallpaper?
What is the repeat and matching required?
Pre-pasted or unpasted?
Will the walls require a liner?
Will the hanging require scaffolding (as in stairwells)

All those influence the bid on the job.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Milwaukee, WI
Parts of 3
Vintage - already said that. Do you need more?
What does that mean?
Vintage, so unpasted.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Vintage meaning paper? Or foil? Or Vinyl?

Will the hangers be working a room with fixtures like toilets and sinks?


    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:20PM
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There's a sink and counter on one of the walls, but the sink doesn't have to be papered around.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Almost Two years ago I paid $325 to paper the laundry room. Thibault paper, many things to work around including windows. Cupboards, breaker box, etc. room is roughly 9x 11. I think you've been offered a good deal.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:22PM
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The last time we had wallpaper hung; they charged by the roll. I'm sure this varies by region? It's probably been 10 yrs since we had any hung and because I hastily chose my paper, that wallpaper has been removed and all my walls are painted now. Be sure to talk with him/her about details on how they hang. We had a wonderful lady that was immaculate; her jobs always looked very professional...all cuts were invisible. When she retired, we used someone else that was recommended, but cuts were made in places there shouldn't have been cuts/piecing.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Betsyhac, the repeat refers to the size of the image on wallpaper (or fabric) which is repeated along the length of the material. It's designed and printed so that the pattern can be matched along the seams. A large repeat requires more material, so that each sheet can be begun and ended to match up with the one next to it. With an 18" repeat, for instance, you might have to cut that much off the roll for each panel to line up, so if it takes 40 panels to get around the room, you might need 20 extra yards to make sure you have enough.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:04PM
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He didn't talk about the repeat, and I'm not sure how that factors in anyway, but thank you for the explanation. He did say it was one day's work. It's 38 sq ft. I doubt it will even be a full day. Bottom line is that I think $356 is a lot of money for hanging wallpaper for one day, regardless of what exactly he's doing each minute of that day. I'm going to get some more proposals.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:00AM
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$356 for a full day works out to just under $45 an hour, which is very reasonable for any independent contractor. Wallpapering is a skilled occupation. I assume he will drive his own vehicle, use his own tools, and cover his own overhead. The set-up and clean-up time is factored in, too.
I'd be happy with the bid myself.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Get 3 or 4 estimates and then you'll have a good idea what is standard in your area. Ask for referrals and call them. Cheaper is not always better and I would want to know the quality of the job done also.

Cost can greatly vary by region so I wouldn't necessarily judge your estimates against costs quoted here from other areas.

The 'repeat' factors in to how many rolls you will have to order. A pattern with a large repeat will have a lot of waste as bronswynsmom explained. If your paperhanger is charging by the roll, then yes the repeat would factor into his cost as you would be using more rolls with a large repeat. I don't remember every being charged by the # of rolls but by the complexity of the job. A single wall in a living room might take more rolls than a wall in a bathroom, but the bathroom wall could take a lot more skill and time.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:05AM
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??? You sure it's 38 sq ft? That's only 5 ft of wall with an 8 foot ceiling.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Yup, that's what I'm saying. It's not that much!!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Is it just one wall, or three or four walls with windows and doors in them?

The reason some hangers charge by the roll is that a large repeat means much more precision in cutting and less room for error, so it takes more time.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:15AM
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It is a very good bid. Plus, His overhead must include health and vehicle insurance, among other things.

I have papered my houses myself many times. It isn't easy to do a good job. Don't try to cut costs on labor and expect the best. Good workers are entitled to good pay, even in Wisconsin. (I live near Milwaukee, too.)

The repeat figures more into the number of rolls of paper you need to buy, but he has to do the figuring and precise cutting and matching to make it work. Ask if you can see a room he has actually papered, and, yes, do get other bids.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:16AM
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True, Bronwynsmom, true. And, from talking to him, it does seem like he will do quality work.
He's not charging by the roll, and told me I have plenty of paper, so I'm ok with the repeat.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:17AM
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I'm sorry but I still don't understand only 38 sq ft. You said you are doing parts of 3 rooms (or walls, that wasn't clear), but again 38 sq ft is roughly 8 x 5 so you are papering only 5 feet of wall space, or 10 ft if you are only doing 1/2 the height of the walls. Can you explain exactly what you are having papered so we can better judge the cost, please?

Bronswynsmom, what am I missing in this 38 sq ft estimate? It doesn't make sense to me, but then again it's early in the day. In our younger days my DH and I did all our own papering, and a lot of it, and something isn't adding up here on the amount of wall space being papered.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Here's a pic of the areas to be covered:

Around the window, over the door, and a little strip to the right of the door. Pls pardon the mess next to the sink. I know it probably seems like I'm obsessing over a small amt of $, but I'm currently unemployed. Many of my friends have wondered why I'm not just doing it myself and have even offered to help, but I wanted a pro bc the paper is vintage, and bc I have zero experience and matching up the pattern scares me. Here's a pic of the paper:
    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:27AM
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Ok. That better explains. Thank you for the picture. It had sounded like parts of 3 rooms.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:41AM
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OK - I'm going to be the voice of dissent. I am not a professional, but I have hung a lot of wallpaper and also paid to have it hung. The professional I paid charged by the roll. There is no way that small area will take a day to hang. The pro I hired didn't take a day to hang an entire dining room, with doors, arches, and built-in china cabinets. If I were you, I'd get another estimate.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:56AM
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I have to disagree - a dining room is much easier to do than a bathroom, with its small work space, and the need to cut the paper precisely around woodwork like this - look at the complicated profile around the top of this trim, and how little room he'll have to maneuver. You haven't said if you are going to clear the room completely before he comes - even if you do, he has to set up to do his cutting somewhere, and climb all around the bathtub.

He'll earn that money. And that's the end of my opining! :>)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Betsy, that is gorgeous vintage paper and seems perfect for your kitchen. Looking forward to seeing it when you are finished.

I have hung a lot of wallpaper in my lifetime - two thirds of my house had wallpaper years ago, so I feel fairly confident in giving advice in this area. That wall is a very difficult wall to paper with cutting perfectly around the window, doorway, the open shelf, plus the crown trim and window sill that extends. These cuts need to be perfect, while still keeping the pattern matched. The little tea-pots and other figures are not going to be as pretty if they are not matched perfectly. Then you have the issue of the corner being "off" which happens in older homes.

I remember papering around vintage cabinets that had the little "what-not" shelfs on each side of the window and those cuts would take me an hour to get right :). I self-taught myself but it was at a time in my life when I didn't know any better, practiced until I got it right, and was using cheap paper. I eventually became a GREAT wallpaper hanger.

That quote seems a bit high to me, but then I have never hired anyone to paper, so am not familiar with the going rates. I can definitely understand your wanting a professional job on that paper.

Best of luck,

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:32PM
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For whatever it's worth, I paid $490 for about eight hours of work in 2008. My house was built c. 1875 and is VERY crooked and this room has two windows and two openings. I'm in northeastern Connecticut. I tried to do it myself but it was just too crooked. It's a pretty small room, maybe 13' x 14.'

Here is a link that might be useful: more info and pics

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Well, thank you so much everyone for your input. I've learned a lot. I still have one more bid to get, but if that doesn't work out, I do feel better about the $365 bid - still think it's too high - but understanding that it's more complicated than I thought will help me live with it if I have to.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:57AM
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We paid one time never again, we do our own and a much better job, it's not hard really! He was a professional, what a joke!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I meant to ask you yesterday, betsy, where did you find that paper? Is it online and do you know how old the pattern may be? Pretty colors.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Patty, I bought it from Rosie's Vintage Wallpaper, linked below. Charlene from Rosie's thought it was from the 30s. There are two rolls left . . .

I got another quote from a seemingly equally qualified guy, recommended by a friend, for $200.

Thank you Tuesday. I'll post a pic when it's done. I'm a little hesitant to post the whole kitchen when finished. I love it, but it's small, colorful, retro, eclectic - not in keeping with the big, white, modern, expensive kitchens drooled over on GW. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Rosie's Vintage Wallpapers

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:30AM
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DO NOT hesitate to post your kitchen. We drool over the large expensive kitchens that some of us will never haver have; We drool over the budget make-overs that make our eyes pop and give some of us hope; we drool over kitchens like your's because it is different and unique and fun.

The $200 sounds very reasonable. Tell him you expect perfection - and that you will be posting pictures of his work for the whole GW world to see :).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Well, apparently I need to have my eyes examined...I was reading your sink as a big bathtub viewed from the end. Which is why my remarks about crawling over the tub made no sense.

This is what I get for glancing instead of looking. Sheesh.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:06PM
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I used to hang paper for people and learned to charge the equivalent of what the wallpaper cost. The reason was that if I messed up a roll, I could afford to replace it. Not knowing the repeat and "eyeballing it", it could take 3 rolls to match everywhere. I would base that on not knowing the width and knowing that there would be a lot of waste due to the small areas to be papered. It would take a lot of time making all of the precise cuts. The paper is probably very fragile and subject to easily tearing and, lastly, it would have to be hand pasted. Then there is the cost of the paste and lots of sharp knife blades.
Not sure if any of this helps or not.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:52PM
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I have been hanging paper professionally for decades. I live in Maryland and here we charge by the roll. Right now people are getting about $50 per roll. The costs of paste, blades, etc. come out of the $50 per roll...and a pro still ought to clear at least $50 an hour.
The charge is the same whether we are hanging a ceiling, a two story foyer with a full stairway, or a bathroom that has a million things to cut around. Obviously, on the easy jobs my hourly rate comes out higher than a particularly challenging job, but the customer does not pay for that.
The repeat does not affect the difficulty of the job and it does not always result in more waste either. It is just as easy to match a large pattern as a small. You either hang the paper right or you don't. If your strips don't match, then you are hanging the paper crooked.
I charge enough to make the worst job worth my while. Then, when I get an easy job, unless I have taken a dislike to the customer, I give them a discount at the end.
I always thank a customer with a discount if they did as much prep as they possibly could for me (empty the room, remove outlet covers, take down bathroom mirror, etc.). I am happy to do that because some people go to extremes to make it easy while I have to perform maid service before I can start in some people's homes.
The area you want done could not be any easier. It would take me 60-90 minutes...and it would be done right.
A full time paper hangar needs to charge a minimum though. He's losing time to go to one house and hang a roll or two. If I were doing that job I'd probably charge $150.
I don't work full time so I don't mind taking small jobs. But I'm told the average paper hangar will not even return the call on a job that is under 6 rolls.
$200 for your job is not too bad. If the job is not perfect, do NOT pay him unless he either fixes it or agrees to a discount.
I absolutely LOVE your kitchen and I can't wait to see it when it's finished!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:41PM
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I'm not a pro like Cindyloo, but I've wallpapered 9 rooms in my younger days and agree that a professional could do your job in a couple of hours. The $200 seems more reasonable to me.

There's one thing I would do if that were my kitchen, and others should chime in if they agree or not. I would add trim under the right side of the window to bring it up to the bottom of the window frame. I don't see the point in having to paper that small narrow sliver. You're not going to get any discernible pattern there, and it's just going to look odd.

I think your kitchen is going to look adorable when it's done. I love the paper and the paint colors are so cheerful with it. I'll really be disappointed if I don't get to see it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:38PM
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did you say 'hang' (and not 'unhang')?

wall paper coming back? after people spent millions all over the country taking it out ;)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:29PM
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next you will tell me that br*ss, o*k and dusty rose are back...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:30PM
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OK!!! I'm feeling quite confident now.
But now you've got me thinking about that little strip, Chickadee.
I'd contemplated tile, but wasn't quite sure how to do it. I wonder if it would look better if the tile came up the wall on the right side of the window as far as it does on the left? The wainscoting was already there. I had the ceiling wainscoting added (wrong direction, I know . . . sometimes, you just have to let things go . . . sigh). I wonder if I should have that wainscoting on the wall removed and then have new stuff put in that's taller and even with window ledge? I don't think I'd like that bc I'd like the chair rail (?) to run all the way across the top of the wainscoting. Or maybe I should actually have the wainscoting lowered so that the chair rail is even with the counter?
I'm not sure what you mean by "trim." The pattern is small enough that some of the pattern would be discernible.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Actually not "wainscoting" on the ceiling; beadboard. Duh, sorry, tired.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:05PM
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You've got three different wall treatments converging in one spot and it really detracts from that beautiful window.
The nicest look would be if you could tile from the floor up to the right side of the window.
The second best option is to carry only the backsplash level tile all the way to the corner.
A third option would be to leave the underneath and right side of the window white and then find stuff to cover most of it so that people don't notice it is not tile.
That space under the window could be covered with a paper towel holder, mugs, some pretty pot holders/towels, etc. The remaining corner on the right side of the window could hold a spice rack or any flat decorative item you like. A couple of enamel pot covers would do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Enamel Pot Covers

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:07AM
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I didn't realize you could get more tile to match. In that case, I would definitely carry the back splash all the way to the door frame. The lack of symmetry there now isn't doing justice to the window as Cindyloo said. Once the wainscoting is level with the counter, I was thinking of painting it blue, but only if the window and door trim match the blue on your cabinet frames. I can't tell for sure in the picture.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:55AM
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I so appreciate your input. You know, after sooooo long, and analyzing over and over and over, I think you just micro focus after awhile. If you hadn't mentioned that strip, I probably would have first noticed it after it was too late.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:22AM
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By 'trim', I think Chickadee meant wood molding that would fill the gap.

I agree with the first 2 options Cindy suggested. The easiest would be to just tile across to the door frame. Just remember to remove that vertical tile edge that butts to the chair rail before continuing. ;)
Does the chair rail continue around the room? If so, I'd probably leave it and tile above it. If not, and you can get more tile, my first choice would be to tile the whole area.

Lowering the chair rail may involve moving the electrical outlet and I'm not sure you want to get into additional work.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Love the wallpaper and how you have painted the colors from it on your trim. It is going to look fabulous. I think the most cost effective way to solve the strip under the window is the first mentioned by Chickadee adding a piece of wood trim above the present wainscotting or swapping it out for a wider molding to fit up to the bottom of the window. Please post finished pics can't wait to see how it all comes together.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Ok, not ready to post finished pics yet (and you have convinced me to, when I'm done), but I did want to let all of you wonderfully helpful people know that the paper is hung, and it looks great! It took about 3.5 hours, so at $200, I think he was paid a more than fair amount. It took less than one roll. Now, on to fixing up that odd space on the right, painting some more, and hanging the lights. So close, so close . . .

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Betsy, so glad to read you did it yourself, now you'll be able to do it in the future if ever wanted! Once you do something you find out how difficult, or not, it is. I consider wallpapering a piece of cake compared to making Roman shades(out of a plaid fabric no less!!)what WAS I thinking?! ;o)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 4:45PM
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