Total Cost and Price breakdown of plastering
Plasterwork is used to provide a smooth, flat surface to internal walls and ceilings. These smooth walls are suitable for decorating with paint or wall paper. Plaster also has the added advantage of offering sound and heat insulation, and it is fire-proof as well.
There are two main methods of providing a plastered wall, either wet-plastering, or by using plasterboard (dry-lining).
Wet plastering is the traditional method for plastering, and make no mistake, it is a difficult technique to master. A professional plasterer may well cost what you think is a lot of money, however an amateur attempting to plaster will probably run into a lot of difficulty, especially when trying to achieve a smooth flat surface with no bulges or deviations. Normally at Whatprice we are happy to suggest the ‘have a go' approach to DIY home improvements, but think before starting on plastering, it may well be a step too far! However you may want to think about going on a 1 or 2 day plastering course, costing around £75 and £150 respectively.
The key to good plastering is to divide the wall into manageable areas and tackle them one section at a time. The area should be well prepared, including make sure the area to be plastered is clean, and primed with the appropriate bonding agent if necessary.
To ensure that the plaster stays level use screeds. These are either wooded battens nailed to the wall, or for more advanced plasterers, bands of undercoat plaster applied to the required thickness. If you use wooden screeds then they should be removed after plastering
Dry-lining is generally a lot easier than wet plastering and requires a lot less skill to get a good finish. Dry lining involves the application of large flat plasterboards which are fixed into place by a variety of methods including screwing, nailing or directly bonding to the wall.
You can obtain plasterboard from any number of DIY stores. They are made with standard gypsum plaster sandwiched between paper liners, and the resulting board is very fragile. The board itself can easily be cut with a saw or sharp knife and so can be simply modelled into any difficult shape. As of May 2011 a standard 1200x2400x9.5mm (or 12.5mm thick) square edged board costs roughly £5.50 or about £1.90 per m2.
In a bathroom as a surface to place tiles on you may want to go with a waterproof plasterboard, these cost more per unit area but are resistant to mold and mildew. As of May 2011 it costs about £12.50 per m2 for the materials.
Both dry lining and wet plastering will usually be finished with a plaster skim. This is a final coat of plastering with a very smooth durable finish to it. In general a plaster skim will only be 2-3mm thick. Plaster skimming is again a difficult art to master. It involves two main steps. Firstly lay the plaster on as smooth and flat as possible and then leave to dry for 20-40mins. The second step is called polishing, this is where the plaster is sprayed or brushed with a light film of water and then polished down with a trowel or sponge to produce a smooth finish. As of May 2011 the cost of materials for a single layer of plaster skim are between 50-75p per m2.
Unfortunately plastering jobs vary a great deal in complexity and so it is hard to describe set prices for specific jobs. Some plasterers charge a day rate and others will quote a set price for the job. As with most home improvement jobs you are safer to go for the set price for the entire job, to prevent any unexpected bills at the end. A typically daily rate for a plasterer varies from £150 - £250 depending on the materials required and the location in the country. A plasterer's hourly rate (plus material costs) will be about £26 per hour (as of March 7, 2014) depending on where you are in the country.
Here are some of the prices we have received on plastering.
Please also have a look at our new free plastering costs estimator
|Category||Average Cost||Price Range||Units||Last Updated|
|Ceiling drylined + skimmed||£603||£120-3500||per item/job||2012-07-21|
|Ceiling drylined + skimmed||£615||£5-5400||per m2||2012-01-11|
|Ceiling skimmed||£307||£14-2300||per item/job||2012-02-19|
|Ceiling skimmed||£46||£5-270||per m2||2012-05-23|
|Ceiling skimmed||£214||£40-420||per room||2012-07-24|
|Room skimmed||£987||£160-2275||per item/job||2012-02-19|
|Room skimmed||£333||£99-720||per room||2012-07-19|
|Venetian polished||£2400||£2280-2520||per item/job||2008-09-09|
|Wall drylined||£500||£500||per item/job||2007-11-17|
|Wall drylined||£12||£12||per m2||2007-11-09|
|Wall drylined + skimmed||£753||£80-3500||per item/job||2012-05-27|
|Wall drylined + skimmed||£15||£8-20||per m2||2011-03-04|
|Wall skimmed||£631||£60-4500||per item/job||2011-09-30|
|Wall skimmed||£222||£4-3000||per m2||2011-07-19|
|Wall skimmed||£360||£360||per room||2012-03-06|
|Wall wet rendered||£1771||£250-5600||per item/job||2012-02-03|
|Wall wet rendered||£19||£6-36||per m2||2012-08-15|
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"I want to comment on what Edward said.I dont know who that dutch plasterer was but he s not telling the truth.Im Dutch and live in Devon and im a plasterer by trade.Skimming isnt my favorite thing but its the way it works here.I do about 75-100 sqr meter a day when i skim.In the Netherlands we dont use multifinish as much as here.There its called fix and finish and we dont like it there.We use for almost everything interior one coat plaster and thats because its really good to finish and the result is better than usinf multifinish or fix and finish.And the prices in the Netherlands are 30 euro an hour and upwards.And plastering is 13 euro a square meter and upwards.Ceilings i did for 20 euro a square meter and the thicker i had to plaster the higher the price.I plastered with a one coat plaster with a 1 cm layer between the 25 and 30 square meters.Thats between the 300 and 400 euro a day.And when i skimmed in the Netherlands i asked 6 euro a square meter and did 150 a 200 meters a day because it doesnt cure as fast as multifinish so les cleaning and bigger tubs to make the plaster in the more surface u can do in one go.Honestly i think the plasterers in the UK are working under their price.And it doesnt matter in which area u are i think everyone should ask between the 200 and 300 pound a day because its a skill and a art plastering.I dont see a diy plastering a 2 a 3 cm layer and get it straight in one go.No they use dry lining and do it with multifish and when u hit the wall there is a hole."
"been in the game since 87,mostly self employed,work as a two and one until the recession. Used to make great money.£labour and materials £2500 per 2 bed flat done in 2.5 days.. We would skim a room per hit,3 rooms per day..Worked like dogs and left a good job.I am slower now and arthrithis punishes me. Earnings are bad now and everyone claims to be a spread...."
"I have just started plastering , not for trade, but just for my own house as I cant afford to pay around £200 a day to a plasterer. I never would of considered trying to plaster myself, but out of necessity I have started to pick this up quite well. my own 'trade' is an applications programmer and graphic designer. But fancied being able to hone this plasting mlarkee. from reading the comments on this site about sub £10m2 prices. (mentions of £5m2!) no plasterer could make a living out of that, now i fully apreciate the time and skill involved in the job, you cant price yourself that low, your digging an early grave! To learn I basically picked a small wall and after borrowing a trowl from my old man, I proceeded to fill in all the digs and dents in the wall, kinda got the hang of getting the plaster consistency correct , and the way the plaster 'works' , its a bit of a science to it. after making the wall presentable. not being totally proficient with pink plaster, i got a bag of finishing plaster to try out, it stays workable for much longer i found and does not suddenly cure like pink plaster does. so this finishing plaster (grey) enabled me to perfect my 'skill' , maybe not perfect, but get right! and i did my whole lounge wall which is about 6m long , took me all day for the skim excluding initial prep done previous day. got a really good finish nice and flat. I tackled the wall in about 4 sections, mixing a half bucket a time. spreading on the plaster for one section, cleaning my tools up for next mix, and mixing another half bucket. then going back to the section i just did and smoothing it over using a spray bottle to add some lubrication. after giving that a quick smooth over, proceeded to lay on some more mix to the next section, quick clean tools, mix more plaster...loop. until whole wall completed. then back to start with spray bottle and clean trowel to go over it again a little lighter and finer. result was pretty darn good, no filling required, a few tiny scrapes to sort out but im really pleased with it. took ages but enjoyable to do. next day I tried a bag of multi-finish pink plaster and did a small wall in my hall, went on much better and quicker than the finishing plaster, but still took a lot of work as trowel kept leaving lines. so on closer inspection of the trowel i was using it had a bit of a unsymmetrical warp slightly to it, so no wonder why it kept scraping and digging in. So Just ordered and received a quality trowel by marsheltown which was about £47 it self! After using it this evening on next small wall this trowel is so so so much nicer and no problems with trowel marks. so its really worth investing in best tools you can afford. I also purchased corner trowels which are great to get nice clean sharp corners. My plastering takes me ages, but can get nice and flat and level, yet I do need to apply up to 3 progressively thinning layers of plaster to ensure the finish i want, then polish up about 30 mins later after the plaster has started to cure, then spraying on a bit of water and using clean trowel and careful technique I can polish the plaster so its almost got a shine. just got entire hallway, bedroom and lounge to do. have to wallpaper steam strip off the old artex wall finish first. so a few more weeks work!! i can really appreciate now the skill involved in plastering, no wonder its expensive. Well if it takes me a few hours to plaster a couple of window returns etc, it does not bother me, its a bit like art i find, there is a real method to it, and have to learn to understand when to work with the plaster and when to leave it so its really interesting , and love using the corner trowels to really seriously perfect edges, they look great. must of spent £150 just on tools, as also needed variable speed mixing drill. but well worth it. my dads after me to do his plastering next as he's always been afraid to try to plaster. but its really not that difficult. but you just can be all slap-dash about it and expect to get a result or will end up a total horrible mess. I think if i was a tradesmen id have to charge like £25/m2 to make any money out of it as takes me quite a long time of fussing about, i must spend 20% of my time keeping tools clean!!. where as a professional plasterer with years on the trowel could skim a ave room wall in 20mins going by some of the youtube demonstration videos out there! "
"I would love to work with the guy who can put 100- 300m a day every day for a couple of weeks ... in fact im quite willing to go along with him for nothing to see how he does it! And if he doesnt he pays me £5 a mtr for what he doesnt put on !I bet he doesnt take my offer up!"
"If your reading this hoping to get an idea of prices then this will give you a guide to what to expect.Its a bit like putting a pin into a map because there are charlatans and there are real plasterers. Which one you want to believe is up to you! Be realistic with your expectations. A good plaster will not rip you off they are charging for there skills and experience they are generally tidy and you will be happy with the end result. Go for cheapness and waffle and you might need to get a cleaner in and a sack of sand paper!"
"Hi there im a foreign time served plasterer and ive been trading for the last 3 years in Edinburgh area . First of id like to say ,, respect to all of UK plasterers ,, as u guys really deserve it There was a plasterer here from holland commenting and sayng that he usually does 100 sq meters a day , and im telling u all that i belive him , but he forgot to mention that the way they skim in Holland is 3 coats of plaster and then sand it down when dry , so he was actually saing hes layng 100 sq m a day by just apling the plaster to the wall and nothing else . I olso would like to say that i think the plasterers that work for £3 a sq m r just layng 1 coat of multi finish and 2 coats of polish otherwise they r unfairly exploited , no disrespect to any plasterer hwo works for this money but honestley u get that money in poor countries like Romania , Poland , Bulgaria . I charge between 6 - 10 £ sq m wall depending on texture 12 - 16 £ ceiling depending on texture Small jobs like bathrooms and kitchens i charge depending on dificulty level per item/job Also anyone should bare in mind that the smaller the job is the higher the price and viceversa Small jobs u can only price per item/job and not per sq m I find this site very useful not only for people looking to get an ideea on plastering prices but for plasterers as well Regards "
"hello all I run a small effective plastering team based in the west-midlands. 350.00 for a average room size (depending on the walls) is a fair price including the materials and is a fair days work for sole trader. To all you muppets that think your plastering 100/150m2 a day need to buy yourself a new measuring tape and I would love to see the state of your walls. RGC's quote below mine is right on the money "have a little respect for your trade and stop under cutting your fellow plasterers with stupid pricing. "
"im a ceiling fixer of 20 odd yrs and keep getting ask to plaster. i only came on this site trying to get price to see what to charge to see if it is worth me doing as i do tape and joint as well so can use a trowel and had a go at doing it in my garage and made a better job than my mate did in my dining room which i used god now's how much joint cement on before painting.i work on a lot of sites. i often watch a lot of this going on cos im often waiting for them. some plasters are very fast and messy and turn out crap work. then you've got the one's that spend more time troweling it up than doing it, hence the good job. i think this is great hearing all your points cos i've been laughing most the time. i agree with a lot of it. one of the old boys said that it does'nt mater who now's the quickest, there's always one quicker cos its in my trade as well so take a lot of with pinch of salt and smile like i do. i can put x amount of ceiling up in day and half as much the next day and twice as much in watch ever day. you go to any job and whats in the way? where's your water? where's the door or nearest way in, is it at side of where your working or bloody miles away? and i could go on for ever. just do the job and it takes as long as it takes. you can only estimate once you've seen the job your doing and that does'nt always work. another thing as well is what if your bloody trowel beaks and its your only one and your just about to trowel up that great big wall infront of you. thats going to take some time to do in morning when you've got your new one. like i said i could go on for ever. this all has just made me laugh. thanks anyway cos im still none the wiser to what kind of money can be earn't in this trade on a average day cos there's nobody that agree's with anybody. like i said its all about the job in front of you but i only wanted some kind of idea. i'll just have to try it.i was just trying to find out what average plaster chargers square meter on average, that was all. keep all this up though cos it's funny. "
"Hi There - I have been asked to quote for a complete renovation project turning a old pub into 5 swanky apartments, both 2 bedroom and 3 bedrooms, kitchen , bathroom etc. Also 2 large high staircases, etc - odd shaped rooms ( triangular a few of em ). There is approximately 1000 ( one thousand ) square metres and the owner is asking for a price per metre. He expects it to take a month to do with 2 plasterers aand a labourer. ANY ideas on price per metre or price for the job would be appreciated. I have been told what he is prepared to pay... and has been quoted already ( a cheap quote ) If i can match it the jobs mine. Any ideas appreciated so I can just check whether its worth doing. I am a sole trader in Notts - cheers Eric"
"What a bunch of half wits. This site is full of morons bragging about doing 100m2 a day for rubbish money. Well done. You must be a member of denser. Undercutting another plaster drives down the overall cost seen from the customer perspective. Have respect for you skills & profession. Don't bother to compete. Put your energy into finding another customer. Respect your skills."
"As a time served plasterer in Edinburgh I have now taken the step into the deep waters of starting up my own company, Only been trading for around four month's and loving every minute of it, The only thing's that i have been stumped on is what prices to charge, I did a quote the other day and was charging £15 pound a m2 on the ceiling which had been re-boarded by the owner, He also wanted me to hack off any boss plaster on the wall in the room and built out and the whole wall taken in with a skim coat and for this i was charging £10 m2 which was including the removing of the boss plaster building out the areas that were hacked out tape any cracks that didn't need taken back to the brick, PVA the wall and then skim, The quote I gave the gut for this was around £279 for all the plaster work protecting the room that was being worked in delivery of materials, Clean up of work area and the taking away of all rubbish, I was told this was far to much from the client and expected the price to be around the £100 mark, The company i used to work for charges £25 m2 so I thought my pricing was fair, Just seem to get the impression that people expect a tradesman to come in and work long hard hour for nothing!"
"baz 3 bags a day i do that in 1 mix"
"er i dont care what other plasterers say i not interested in doin 100 metres a day ill do a average room a day and after that ive had enough any one who does more on their own cant be doin a good job and i want at least 300 quid a room and its take it or leave it i not into doin it on the cheep, i know a plasterer who always says 1800 quid to skim a room i dont really agree with this but he only has to get a couple of jobs and hes got same money as me!! he admits he dont get many jobs haha "
"i have been doing this job for 13 years and still dont know or think i know it all. doing a few months course does not help.first hand is the only way. not a bit of paper so please go for the real thing as it cost twice as much to put bad work right"
"I know people are charging by the metre m2 and and other methods but if you walk into price a job and say you look at it and its going to take you three bags, what would you charge a bag all in, cheers."
"plasterer for 30 years wish i could get these prices"
"paul is definately the cheapest platerer in the uk, 35 years at those prices i'm supprised you have survived. if i was to work for someone else i'd get paid more than £2.75 per mtr2 a more realistic price range for skimming is, new Work (i.e. onto fresh plater board) £4 -£6 mtr2, over skimming (thats over existing old work) £6 - £10 mtr squared, over thick artex £10 - £15 per mtr2. of course you get what you pay for in this game as with any other, go for the cheapest quote and you may well find the quality matches the low price at the same time you want a fair deal therefore if you going to get some platering done pick three people/firms and get 3 quotes in general the middle one is what most people go for but try to get refrences and ask around for recommendations from friends and family. Good plastering is expensive but bad plastering is twice the price! "
"Im a plasterer of 12 years experience, taught by two of the best guys within my area and have to say i agree with one of the guys who said that some of the areas talked about being done in a day are a nonsense, A room a day skimmed out consists of three gaugings or mixes, celing first, then two walls (opposites), then the final two, provided its a square room of course is a good shift in any plasterers day, for that i would charge anything from £350 - £ 500 depending on size and quality of walls being covered."
"Now then fellow PLASTERERS,i've only been in the trade for about 3yrs,so i still class myself as learning even tho i'm college trained. Yes it is a hard job and not any TOM, DICK, or HARRY can come into it and think they're the best plasterer ever!!i class myself as lucky cos i aint had no come backs for any job i've done and ive done some big jobs.About the quotes,just charge what you think you are worth compared with the size of the job, you wont go far wrong.Happy plastering!!!!"
"i have just had my childrens bedroom plastered by my brother in law and he\'s charged me £250, he was here 4hrs and left a right mess. i feel as if ive been muged, i dont know much about plastering but ive spoken to a few ppl about the job he\'s done and im told its far to much. the room is a double and the artex on the walls as quite bad. just looked on the B&Q website and it would of only cost him £70 in materials!! "
"We want to skim 3 average sized bedrooms, 1 study, 1 large lounge, 2 hallways + stair areas, 3 celings, and paint all skirtings, walls, move a radiator, change light sockets + switches. I have been quoted £6500 for the work. I know it depends on the surface area but does this sound like a fair price. I would be grateful for your input"
"ive just qualified from college,i got a distinction in my theory exam diploma level 2. i was wondering if anyone thinks £70 a day would be acceptable to charge someone. Please feel free to comment thanks ian"
"Paul, thanks for the comments! I have just been quoted £1,000 for three days' work (in London) to skim artexed ceilings totalling about 46 sq m. I appreciate the upstairs landing is awkward, & the ceilings are 10ft, but I should perhaps be looking for another quote. You don't work in London do you?!"
"nice site but some people are way out I have been a plasterer for 35 years, the price for skimming new work is £2.50/2.75 per m a price for reskimming over decent walls is £3.00/£3.50 per m, and over texture is anything from £3.50/upwards depending how bad the walls are, a good plasterer will working by himself should be able to skim around 50 meters a day no bother"
"i think the prices are very reasonable as i am studying to become a plaster,only problem is the cost of tools"
"my advice to emac as a time served plasterer of 30 years is you will proberly need a experienced plasterer. if the plaster on your walls is not live that is lose or moving, you can find this out by knocking on the walls lightly with your knuckles. if in some area,s you get a dull hollow sound then it is coming away from the wall, then the best remedy is to chop it back until you get to solid plaster cos if this is skimmed over it may last for months or years but it will eventually come down.you often find once you start to chop away other plaster loosens and you end up taking most of it down. a dusty dirty job. then this will need rendering out. if your walls are solid then in most cases it can be skimmed over with the correct preparation if the walls are not to badly damaged. one thing to remember when you look at these sites about price and the amount of metres covered by a plaster is it is normally easier to work on a blank canvas so depending on the work it could be a little more costly as this can be more time consuming. if you are not sure the best bet is to get a plaster(s) trusted and recommended to give you advice and quotes."
"Ive been working with a plasterer for nearly 2 yrs and all he would let me do is mix and clean up! I went on a course and they taught me to skim etc now i am skimming all the time and have had a pay rise so i think these courses are great! for some reason the older trades men dont want to teach the younger generation there skills!!!"
"im a time served plasterer and been in the trade for 15 years. all that about 100-150 sq m per day is bull any body who knows what they are doing will agree that a standard size bedroom walls, ceiling is a good shift on its own. but as for pricing go's the guy should be able to work out how many bags he needs and how long it will take just by looking at it. as for the standard size bedroom you would be looking at £300-£350 that includes costs,materials,labour"
" help! i want to skim coat my lounge can someone tell me whats the best way to tackle a large room . if i need to divide it up into smaller sections what do i use . thanks "
"Hi everyone. Only came on here to get some ideas for charging as am slowly building up a bit of trade & really enjoying plastering. Reading Mac & Jim's responses were really inspiring, as completely understand what you are talking about, wish someone had been there to give me that advice at the beginning. E.Hobbs you must work like a Trojan. Am not up to your speeds yet but working attake great pride in my prep & finishing but constantly under charging - will never be rich. Cheers everyone "
"I to all those brilliant plasterers out there. Can you advise me do you have to chip all your walls back after taking of wallpaper or can you just get your wall skimmed over. "
"i agree with blondie, all these numpty spreads who bragg about been able to put 140 metres of plaster on a day are divvs and should shutt up coz we have a hard job that knacks our bodys up long term, we have asbestos hazards back trouble emphecimia in the lungs if we dont wear breathing aids. we deserve respect not to be looked at like beggars,,,,, screw em anyway if they want a rubbish finish then ring a 120mtr a day numpty and not me as i want to grow old enough to see my great grandkids "
"Well said to mac plastering is the hardest messiest physical job out there. People dont realise that every area you plaster ie two coats of skim,that your on the go non stop for about 2 to 3 hours usually nearer 3 .Going over the same area 5 times to achieve desired result.Once again mac was dead right 3 bags max a day if done in correct way .Anymore and its not getting the full works.So well said mac i hope people will start to appreciate just how hard and skilled this job is.Just doing upstairs of a new extension all two coat skim very tired tonight after 3 bags."
baz west yorks
"Hi everyone, I started plastering at 16,on cold building sites,wrapping bits of 'bonding' bags round my feet because it was so cold, earning £65.00 week labouring for a plasterer,im 40 now :-),plastering on my own for 15 years now its on & off as i own my own construction firm.Plastering IS a very skilled profession, not every plasterers finish is a good finish (but should be), i agree these quick plastering courses are making the 'teachers' (if you call them that) money & that's all, a friend of mine done a 6 week course then exclaimed he's a qualified plasterer when he finished !!!! done a job for me & i fired him, slow,bad finish corner trowels (i have always done free hand plumb & square corners), really bad expierience for me, never again. I still knock my own gear up & do the prep & lay the plaster as well, i still do room & a half a day including ceilings, WE have served the time, WE know our trade & WE ARE very skilled at what we do, you don't want to pay a good plasterer a good days money then go & employ a sub standard one instead, after all there are loads available these days."
"on your page about plastering you only allow one coat plaster to a polished finish as i am a c&g plasterer i was taught to 2 coat all walls with finish to get a better and smoother finish. "
"Question : Why do you think Solicitors can charge £150-200 per hour for doing very little and dress up in a suit. And believe it or not are well respected? Answer: Because they all p--- in the same pot and stick together .dont work for nothing! And if your working for £3 per mtr I suggest you go and get a job in a Factory, youd be better off! "
"Fascinating stuff. i was looking for an idea of ceiling skimming prices. As i started out only knowing that it happens, and nothing else, i found the site VERY useful and it gave me SOME vague idea what to expect to hear. But more importantly my complements on having enlightened me on issues in the trade and enabling me to be in the traders head when he's talkng to me. hmmm.... good site, good concept, thanks"
"nice site. nice prices too? If only.
maybe in the domestic arena where sole traders operate you will get better rates but within the organised industry a square metre of skim will pay between 2.50 and 3.00 if i could get more (and believe me i have tried) I would but if I quote slightly higher I lose the work so what can you do?
AS for the days of skimming a three bed in 2 days well they never went away, if you want to make money you need to work alone in most cases and turn out a typical 2bed city centre apt. in 2days otherwise you might as well work in aldi. its hammer and tong all the way! trust the seggs on my dead hands. its not right or fair i have never had any other rates than 2.50 - 3.00 in my seven years on the trowel. Tip: get a good routine and live buy it try a 2bag mix for first coat and then a fresh one bag for laying that down, do this religiousley three times a day and your wage is in. stay late one night for your beading and taping up etc as you will not usually get paid for this, again it stinks but thank your parents for keeping thatcher in power and taking our unions away. stick to this kind of system boring as it is and you will be fine. remember the early bird gets the worm its no use turning up at 8am or you will miss your three a day"
"Cheapest isn't always the best, and best isn't always the cheapest, you have to find a happy medium, the days of having to skim a three bed house in a day for a gang of 2 and 1 disappeared along with siraphite b plaster!! as for 3 pound a metre, thats why the firm giving you the work are earning money!! 100 metres a day, that must be skimming the great wall of china!!"
"I've known people who have only had a month or so on the trowel who can outplaster both 'time served' and 'trained' plasterers. Equally I know excellent trained and time served plasterers! This is true of every profession/walk of life. I strongly advise any and all customers to find examples of good plastering (smooth, level walls with well finished edges etc) and compare any work they have done with these. If the works not up to scratch then tell the contractor your not happy and explain why. They 'should' rectify the problem; if they wont then tell them to stop and find another contractor........there are plenty out there looking for work and willing to do/ capable of doing a damn good job!
As to pricing. It's practically impossible to offer guidelines for any job without taking a variety of factors into consideration. These would include; drying times (which can vary dramatically from one side of a wall to the other and cause enormous problems!), wall size, complexity of the job, preperation necessary, job location/living costs and access to the areas to be plastered etc. All of these can seriously effect the job (sometimes making it easier but more often than not making it a damn site harder and more drawn out!!).
I would also like you all to consider the sheer physical effort involved!! Every mix involves your plasterer getting approx 50-60kg of mixed plaster onto the wall (of course this is after he or she has carried each 25kg bag from the suppliers shelf into his or her van (generally just after 7 in the morning) then from their van into your house. They then very often have to carry as many 20-25 buckets of water to the room being plastered (not to mention all tools) etc etc). So one mix can involve your plasterer lugging anything up to 100kg (in various forms) around. The wear and tear on the body is enormous (particulary if working at height/ above their head) and it is one of the more exhausting (and dirty) of the trades.
So while your all debating whether your plasterer is worth the money please bear in mind that he or she has to pay for their training (or spend years being treated like crap through an apprenticeship earning next to nothing). Then they have to buy and run their van buy their tools, pay for their public liability/ business insurances etc and on an average day lifts and carries far more weight (through necessity in the most contra-indicated/ physically difficult manner) than most serious body builders will in a good session and each puts in eight-ten hours of seriously exhausting physical effort that leaves most knackered at the end of the day.
As to the 'plasterer' who suggests that an average plasterer should be getting through 15 bags a day! I'd love to come and watch you 'try' and do that on your own I really would........I just dont believe you can and stupid comments like that do nothing but harm (They cause unrealistic expectations in clients and consequently create problems for other plasterers trying to justify their efforts). So 'Thanks'...Idiot!
In the average home a plasterer will use one bag per wall and has to allow up to 2 hours per mix (or 'per wall' in lay terms). Even if they did two walls at a time he/she would still be struggling to get through eight walls per day i can assure you! Further they could only get throught that many effectively/ properly if they didnt stop for any reason (lunch, cleaning up etc etc!). They would also have to have the perfect day where they encountered no problems and would have to prep and clean up in their own time!!! Please dont be misled by the '15 bags a day' comment.........it's rubbish!
I could go on but I hope you all get the gist! Primarily I am an electrician and plumber but did initially time serve as a plasterer (and have worked as one for over ten years) so know what I'm talking about. I have had a variety of jobs over the years (infantry soldier, police officer, uni lecturer, plasterer, electrician, plumber and brickie). I time served as a plasterer and brickie and have a mix of years of experience and qualification as an electrician and plumber). I can assure you that plastering is right up there as one of the most physically demanding and skilled proffesions.
Regardless each job must be priced fairly and should be based upon all the above factors. It should also be dependant upon just how good a day your plasterer puts in and the standard he/she achieves. But please dont insult them by expecting that they should get the same hourly rate as some sedentary worker...........It is not vaguely unreasonable for a 'good' and 'hardworking' plasterer to charge anything from £150 upwards. If your in any doubt about what a 'good' plasterer is worth then I suggest you try it yourself! "
"this page has been a great help, as i want a bedroom compleatly re-skimmed, at least it gives me something to go on, as i am a single mum and dont want to be ripped off"
I am a subcontractor in plastering fix only I am lucky if i can get £3 per m2 for skim and £6 per m2 for two coat work, i have too skim a two bedroom house in two and half days and at a top standered for me and plastering partner too earn a living , and then the house get sold for £200000.00 + the materials must cost a fortune because the labour is cheap or is it gone on management coast and heath and safety. the trademen do the job, managment just make a big fuss and look pretty."
richard , plasterer
"Thanks.....very useful as a guide to the jobs I am having done."
"hello folks in Holland the prices are between €20/35 m2 but you have to be 100% greetings dutchmasterplaster www.grimbergenstucadoors.nl"
"shame on you lecturers???? as a city and guilds+nvq assessor i think it is to easy to tarr all students with the same brush, we can only teach to the best of a students ability given certain time limits, nobody is born a great plasterer. site experience and on site coaching and motivation seems to work for all my lads."
"As a subcontractor through a plastering firm or partitioning firm you would be lucky to get more than £3 per metre on price, now as a sole trader i charge £5 per metre supply and fix given the area ie a house (new build). a re-skim is different again a lot more prep so price is higher. i have seen on paper what some larger firms charge and it ranges from £5 supply and fix to £6 labour only, a full living i would charge £350-£400, but have lost work to fiddlers doing it for £250 gear and all!, as for metres per day if you have to use more than 5 /6 bags a day on price to make your money the price is wrong"
"Yes probably these prices are a good guide. Ive been doing this job for around 37 years and am still willing to learn. however there as always been the tall tales of the building trade how we once knew a man who could plaster a house in a day and had a brush up his backside and swept up as he went along if you knew a man who could put on 100 metres then there were always a man that could do 300. Over the years, this as become very boring. Lets get in the real world- any one can plaster its what it looks like when weve finished. "
"what people fail to understand as well is, if its cheap, its probably for a reason!! Cheap plasterers are usually sub standard and you won't get a good finish. Although i know this isn't always the case. All i'm saying is the cheapest isn't always the best. And time served in my opinion is usually better than qualified guys. "
"how do. many angry people on here, why so vexxed? This site helps people understand a best and worse case scenario, which is great. I want to thank the publishers - i dont plaster full time, but people are always asking me to do bits for them and i never know what to charge so usually do it for a couple pints! now i am doing my fifth ceiling and had no idea what to charge. yes, £4 a sqaure metre is cheap but also reasonable, but i think thats misleading. £4 for skim, a skim only. if you got to cover a beloved textured ceiling then it ain't just a skim. you have to prep, bond it out and then skim. £20 per metre is reasonable. loving this site. thanks dudes."
"my opinion is that these prices are a fair guide. they may differ over the country due to many factors including property prices, conditions, competition although as a guide i feel they are perfect for what to expect from a quote.
if a plasterer on here is disagreeing that his/her work is worth less than £4 a square meter then you probably aren't doing anyone in this trade much favours at all. maybe the average isn't that in your area, if you want those rates then move around as they are there, but they also match other factors like living costs and property costs also, swings and roundabouts.
i believe it is correct to say that qualifications and endorsements are not any direct way of ascertaining the quality of the tradesman's work. although its not a reason to doubt this persons capability and skills.
a good plasterer is knowledgeable of methods to solve encountered problems, efficient with his time, accurate and with a high level of dexterity, not to mention even politeness, honesty and a good standard of cleanliness. and mind which is open to learning everyday as people very rarely know it all, despite what a know it all will have you believe.
i don't believe there is a time limit to gaining any of these things, some people are as bad as they ever will be. some people with a passion or natural artistic ability and good understanding can achieve it much sooner but i still believe its difficult to put a time scale on this. although common sense will tell you that you cant learn it all in a week or month, although that doesn't mean after hundred odd jobs that someone wont be getting a high standard of work, of course they will.
please stop stating years of experience like you have mastered some sort of equation, it is variable and an apprentice can be very competent after a short time if he is good, you might not have his natural ability or perhaps might be jealous of people achieving at a rate faster than you have, or to make yourself feel better as you haven't bothered to achieve these easy to attain certificates that you would be more than capable of. so no more stating what individuals 'cant' do, as we aren't able to say, Dominic o Brien memorised 316 digits in 5minutes.... this has since been beaten, but its gives you and idea of how plastering could perhaps be mastered in a time shorter than 7 years.
it is very unfair not just on G Primrose but on tradesmen for you to inform everyone across the INTERNET not to expect to pay a skilled time-served tradesman £4 per square meter. what will that do for peoples rates?
the question regarding how many square meters a worker can cover in a day? this could vary from around 20 or less in very difficult conditions i.e. behind radiators that aren't removed, awkward window frames, preparation work, temperatures, bad lighting, no reach, the list goes on but thats a worst case scenario.
the most work someone could undertake on there own you would expect to be around 40 square meters.
this is maybe more for some people, i have yet to see someone use 15 bags of plaster as stated on here. although given the right conditions, labourer constantly mixing, no breaks, clear rooms and a lot of sweat I'm sure it could be done on a long shift. not by everyone though and certainly not in a domestic property as there are many factors to slow the job down its part and parcel of the job.
these are only my opinions based on my experience, they are not stated as facts. my advice is to go with a tradesmen you feel comfortable to allow in your home and if possible who has been recommended by someone you know. you be the judge of who seems confident and competent based on how they come across and also this price guide, failing that just rely on sense. compare 3 or 4 quotes and decide which tradesmen or company you want to go with.
although maybe we are all taking the mickey by actually believing that our hourly rate should be worth only a fraction more than a call centre or semi skilled office worker.
thanks, no offence meant. enjoy your work and rest of your life with an open mind."
"Eh? What DVD? We don't directly sell anything. Google decides which adverts to show on most websites nowadays. Prices - we can't win. So you are saying £20 a hour is too much, no way too much. Sounds reasonable to me. £6-12 per m2 for skimming. Is that far, far too much? The prices are submitted by users. We don't make them up. We have no agenda. The best criticism is to say is should cost X amount for this specific job. "
"for z pol depends how fast you are if your any good aim for between 100 & 150 square metres a day"
"for g primrose take no notice of the prices they are far to to high "
"you havnt got a clue a clue about prices way over exagerated just to get people to buy the dvd which you cant learn how to plaster from its 'edit' learn the proper way like i did"
"As a first time home owner and a young woman, this sort of guide is a bit of a confidence boost when faced with the task of discussing the cost of something you know nothing about, and trusting them to be honest. Although I'm sure 90% of workmen/women are professionals, there is always doubt when dealing with a stranger."
"i have a question. For 1 day how many area(sq.m.) can a worker cover (walls,Floors, Cielings)? thank you very much."
"my name is luke & i run a medium sized buisiness in the south called hardy plastering. i have been trading as a family buisiness for for a long time with three other members of my family, as well as a few cherry picked employees. if i can offer one peice of advice..... do not allow people who emphasise the fact that they have, city & guilds, nvq's or are qualified in any current gov training scheme. i have tried out eight plasterers now who have these documents, they are ten years younger than me, ten times more qualified & still are not a patch on my skilled labourers who still have 2 more years training. but i can not hold no grudges against them, its the way they are trained. "SHAME ON YOU LECTURERS" You are wasting three years of these traniees lives> & their money. NONE OF THEM CAN MAKE A LIVING WITH THIS TRAINING.............THEY DO HAVE FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS YOU NO! Anyway thanks for reading my rant...im happy to say time served plasterers of seven years are your best bet, even if you have to pay a bit more. not everyone is out to rob you......luke"
"300 for ceiling and 4 walls... much cheaper than all your quotes!"