Plastering, skimming and rendering your house, inside and outside, is an immediate facelift adding value to your home. A classic example would be skimming old Artex ceilings which will definitely improve your house's sale value. The average hourly rate for a plasterer in the UK is £25 per hour, but varies from £15 to £50 depending on where you live. A plasterer will usually give a price based on the size of the rooms and ease of access rather than how long it will take. Occasionally an hourly rate is quoted if the job is relatively small such as plastering a water damaged ceiling or wall. Don’t forget budgeting in the price of painting the walls and ceilings after they have finished.
A day rate of plasterer will give you a better idea of how much they will cost for your particular job. Usually they will take a day to plaster a room, so if the average day rate in the UK for a plasterer is £170 then you can expect to pay £300 to £400 to finish a room, including plaster. A good plasterer will work very quickly and produce very flat and attractive surfaces so they will be happier to quote for the job by area rather than time spent in your house. Rates vary across the country from £120 to £400 per day so expect to pay a lot more in London and the South East.
Self-employed plasterers are just as qualified and experienced as those working for a big company.
By being a small business plasterer avoids many business costs (e.g. administration staff, office rental etc), charging less for plastering, but giving you the same level of quality.
Get quotes from self-employed plasterers and talk directly with the person who is going to do the job.
When choosing a Plasterer try to get 2 to 3 comparison quotes so you have a feel for the value of service. Insist on being given a written quote which is legally binding rather than an estimate to avoid disputes over payment and job expectations at the end of the project. Notice if VAT has been added onto the quote and if you cannot see it, ask if the Plasterer is vat registered so that you are aware to still allow for it. Most plasterers will be expected to get paid when the job has been completed, but it is best to wait a few days because plaster needs to dry out and then you might start to notice cracks and imperfections.
When receiving a quote, discuss if the quote includes materials or what materials you still need to purchase. If you are looking for ways to save money and the quote includes materials, ask if it will be cheaper for you to source them yourself to avoid any mark-up for collection costs from the plasterer, although they may get better trade discounts on materials than you can. If it is up to you to have bags of plaster ready for the tradesperson, ask how many kilogram bags you should source and what brands are the best (e.g. British Gypsum brand called Thistle is a favoured brand and easily available from local DIY stores such as B&Q)
Ask for references from previous clients and follow up seeing how happy they were using the tradesperson, would they recommend them to you, and because of the amount of dust created with plastering see how tidy they say the plasterer worked. Always ask for ‘before and after’ photos of the projects completed that are similar work to what you are asking to be completed. Ask if your plasterer has any insurance while working in your home. As plastering is a skilled job, ask to see any diplomas showing City & Guilds Level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications.
If the plasterer will be rendering your outside walls, discuss the need for scaffolding and whether this is added onto the quote or an extra to still be factored in. If needed, will they outsource and arrange the scaffolding, or do you need to have it erected first? If old plaster is being removed, will there be the need for skip hire and check if this is also added onto the invoice and again, whose responsibility is it to organise the skip prior to commencement of works. If no skip is required but there will be a few bags of rubble produced, as these are so heavy to lift, check if they will clear them from your home and leave the area orderly for you. If you live in an area where parking or other vehicle access charges are made make sure you agree whether these are included as over a long period these costs can add up.
Let the plasterer know which walls you want plastered and skimmed and if it is to include ceilings. Listen to advice on how many coats of plaster will be needed and if old plaster needs to be removed first or if they can just skim existing plastered walls with a thin coat of plaster to fill any cracks and provide a smooth, seamless surface. If you are needing a ceiling plastered, discuss whether you want any Artex styling to be removed. Artex sometimes contains asbestos so might not be able to be sanded down but can be covered with plasterboard and have the plasterboard skimmed for a smooth finish.
Most plastering jobs involve applying a base coat (or scratch coat) of plaster and allowing it to dry before a second or skim coat is added. Be sure to discuss how many days the base coat will need to fully dry as any moisture left behind will result in mould coming through if the room is closed up.
Plastering is a long messy process that can take between three days and a week to complete in a room. When the plasterer is standing in the room, ask about furniture in the room and what needs to be cleared before the job start date. Check if they will remove radiators from the walls of the room or if you need to have someone in to first remove any radiators.
For outside walls and rendering, ask advice on which type of render is best for your home. Usually newer homes have a cement render whilst older country cottages and Victorian homes opt for a Lime render. However, any newer home with damp issues may benefit from Lime rendering as the render is more flexible and breathable. Ask for product advice, especially if you are sourcing the bags prior to the job start date, e.g. K Rend is a high-end cement rendering product keeping the finished look fresher for longer.
Point out any old damp deteriorated plaster spots and check if the plasterer will remove those sections before applying the new base coat. Show the plasterer the entire section of outside walls that need rendering so they can do a visual and check if the walls are bare brickwork, and just need a clean before applying the render or if some of the walls are pebble dash, as these must first be stripped back to bare brickwork before the rendering commences. While outside inspecting the walls, the plasterer can let you know if they will need scaffolding for the job and discuss the requirements with you.
|Rendering a 4-bed detached home (no scaffolding)||£7000|
|Rendering an external wall per sqm||£50 per sqr metre|
|Plastering a medium sized room (walls only)||£600|
|Cost to fit coving||£85|
|New wall plastering and skimming||£300|
|Plastering over an exposed chimney breast||£300|
|Plastering and skimming a medium sized room (walls only)||£750|
|Skimming a medium sized room (walls only)||£400|
|New ceiling plastering and skimming a medium sized room||£350|
|Rendering a 2-bed bungalow (no scaffolding)||£2500|
|Rendering a 3-bed semi-detached house (no scaffolding)||£4500|