Does your home’s exterior plaster look a little bit tired, or are you sick of taking the time to re-paint a room indoors only to be met with peeling patches and paint that never lasts?
These could be the tell-tale signs that your home’s plaster needs a refresh. Although plastering may look as simple as icing a cake, is it something you should take on yourself as a DIY project?
In this article, we’ll be discussing just that, as well as:
- How much plastering costs
- What affects the cost of plastering
- How you can save money on plastering
- What’s involved in plastering or skimming a room
- How to find and hire a professional plasterer
If you want to give your home’s walls a refresh, but aren’t sure if plastering is the right option, keep reading to find out exactly what you need to do.
How Much Does Plastering Cost?
How much you will pay for getting your room or entire house plastered will depend on the amount of plastering to be done.
Most plasterers will use a measurement of how many square metres of wall space will require covering to calculate the cost. This is mostly due to the number of plasterboards and other materials the plasterer will need to purchase, how long the work will take and the labour.
Another popular means plasterers use is a measure of the room size. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this method should just be seen as a starting point, as until the plasterer comes in to have a look at the job at hand, all you have is an estimate.
Here are some cost estimates based on room sizes:
|Project||Estimated Costs||Time required|
|Skim a small room||£400 to £550||1 day|
|Skim a medium-sized room||£450 to £600||1 to 2 days|
|Skim a large room||£550 to £700||2 to 3 days|
|Plaster a small room||£600 to £700||2 to 3 days|
|Plaster a medium-sized room||£650 to £900||2 to 3 days|
|Plaster a large room||£1,000 to £1,400||3 to 4 days|
|Plaster a small ceiling||£200 to £350||1 day|
|Plaster a medium-sized ceiling||£300 to £450||1 1/2 days|
|Plaster a large ceiling||£400 to £750||2 to 3 days|
|Rendering a 2-bedroom bungalow||From £1,900||4 to 6 days|
|Rendering a 3-bedroom semi-detached house||From £3,800||5 to 8 days|
|Rendering a 4-bedroom detached house||From £4,500||7 to 10 days|
If your room’s walls are in good condition but just need a touch-up, you can consider skimming as an option, instead of a full re-plastering job. Not only will this take less time, but it’ll also cost you less.
This is one of the most common jobs for plasterers, which some DIY-savvy homeowners can probably carry out on their own.
To skim a standard small room, you can expect to pay between £400 to £550, with a labour-time of around one day. For a medium room, this will shift to £450 to £600, and one to two days, and a large room will be around £550 to £700 and two to three days.
If your walls aren’t in good condition and need a total refresh, then replastering will be the best option instead of hoping to cover up the bad work with a light skim.
This job involves stripping the existing plaster and takes slightly longer than skimming. Other aspects of the job include dry lining, skimming and applying cosmetic finish to the plaster.
For a small room, this will start at around £600 to £700, a medium room will be £650 to £900, and a large room £1,000 to £1,400, with time frames of between two to four days’ labour.
You may want your ceilings looked at too at the same time, to reduce the extra costs incurred by multiple call-outs. Plastering the ceiling is one aspect of plastering that takes a lot of effort, but can be done quickly with the right tools and equipment.
For a standard small room, replastering the ceiling can cost anywhere from £200 to £300, with a medium room being £300 to £450, and finally, a large room £400 to £750.
Ceilings take less time than replastering an entire room, so this can be completed in between one and three days.
Finally, moving to the exterior of your property, rendering your home’s outdoor walls is a long process and generally much more expensive than indoor plastering.
The costs increase with the size of your home, and if any specialist equipment is needed to reach the higher levels of your property, such as scaffolding, this will increase your costs further still.
Unless you are an accomplished plasterer, this is one aspect of the trade best left to professionals.
For a two-bedroom bungalow, you can expect to pay from £1,900 for external rendering, which will take around four to six days to complete. This is under the assumption that no scaffolding is required for completion.
For a three-bed semi-detached home, prices start at £3,800 with a duration of five to eight days.
If you have a four-bedroom detached house, prices start at £4,500 and the entire process will last between seven to 10 days in total.
What Affects the Cost of Plastering?
Several factors could impact the cost of plastering. We take a closer look at these factors so you know what to include in your budget.
Whether You’re Plastering or Skimming
Whether or not you’re plastering, rendering or skimming will impact your costs.
Skimming is far cheaper and less labour-intensive than plastering. The cost of materials, plus the cost of labour and any associated equipment (like scaffolding to reach high ceilings or the upper levels of your home’s exterior), will all bump your project price up.
If You’re Installing Decorative Plasterwork
Original cornicing and coving were made out of plaster. Nowadays coving is more commonly made using gypsum.
This is the most expensive option, but if you need to cover an awkward angle, or you want a style you can’t get off-the-shelf then wet plaster installation might be the solution.
To have a 20 metre-room decoratively plastered by a tradesperson and labourer, it’s estimated to cost £175 to £250. To learn more about decorative plasterwork, take a look at our dedicated guide.
The Number of Walls
The more walls you have, the more material you need to cover them – as well as longer hours spent on labour.
The Wall Size
Similarly, the size of your walls will impact your price. If they’re higher than average, you may need equipment to reach the upper levels, which will of course be evident in your price.
The Condition of the Existing Plaster
Whether or not your walls are in good or bad condition will affect your costs. Good condition with more minor imperfections can just require skimming to rectify problems, whereas a crumbling wall will need replastering which will cost more.
Finally, an inescapable factor comes from your location. Central London will charge far higher costs than places outside of the city, and you will also have to factor in parking charges for your contractor’s vehicles if you don’t have any off-road parking at your property.
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How Can I Save Money on Plastering?
Internal skimming is generally a job you can attempt as a DIY endeavour.
Depending on the condition of your walls, you may be looking at a quick skimming job which is something a DIY enthusiast can do themselves. Make sure you’re happy with whatever you’re proposing to do yourself, as failed attempts can inevitably lead to you needing to call out a professional to fix mistakes further down the line.
When it comes to replastering or external rendering, these jobs are best left to the professionals from the outset.
A great way to trim down excess costs is to club all of your plastering or rendering jobs together into one project for one contractor to take on.
This may mean that you have to spend a little more time looking at your tired walls while you save up, but you’ll save in the long run from just spending on one call out rather than two or more separate jobs.
If you’re wanting to get your ceilings done as well as your interior walls, let your contractor know before they get started to see what they can offer you in terms of price and time scales.
If your walls are covered in years of old wallpaper or paint, you can save your contractor a little bit of time by stripping it yourself before they arrive.
This can be a time-consuming job, and if you’re in an older property, the paint and wallpaper may contain harmful substances which you don’t want to be exposed to while working in the room.
It’s best to take caution and wear protective clothing and cover your mouth and nose while working in these conditions – but if you’re ever unsure or not happy to undertake the work yourself, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
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What’s Involved in Plastering or Skimming a Room?
Depending on what you need doing to a room – be that skimming or replastering – means the steps your contractor needs to take are different.
For skimming, a thin layer of plaster will be applied to the existing plaster covering your wall, to ‘skim’ over the surface to achieve a uniform, smooth finish.
Replastering will involve your contractor removing the existing old plaster from your walls using a drill or chisel and hammer, then priming the walls and applying the plaster.
Both jobs will be completed with protective layers covering your room to stop plaster or debris from getting into places it shouldn’t, and a clean-up will be done afterwards.
How Do I Find and Hire a Plasterer?
If you can get them, word of mouth recommendations are the best as they can help you to navigate away from rogue traders, as you’re going off someone’s verbatim response rather than their website which could say anything about them.
However, word of mouth isn’t the only way to find a reputable trader – using HouseholdQuotes can help to ease your search and give you a chance to compare contractors with one another instantly.
Using the simple search tool, you can see local traders and their rates – along with their ratings – to help you make an informed decision about who the right contractor is for you. What’s more, using HouseholdQuotes can help to save you up to 40% off your trade quote.
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Whether or not your contractor is coming from a word of mouth recommendation or not, it’s always best to make sure you check out your potential contractor’s experience and references yourself to make sure they’re a good fit for you and your project.
For instance, if you want external rendering and your friend has had a good experience with someone plastering the interior of their home, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the right fit for you.
As a standard, you should always seek a written quote before agreeing to any work to ensure you have something concrete to fall back on if any problems arise, and what’s agreed in your fee ever comes into contention.
Finally, all contractors should be covered by insurance, so ask to see proof of this before signing them. If they are legitimate, they’ll have no problem sharing this – but if they don’t have it, or get shirty about showing it to you, take that as your sign to back away from hiring them.
If your walls have seen better days, it might be time to call in a plasterer to give them a fresh coat of life. Here’s our final checklist to make sure everything is taken care of with your project:
- Consider what needs to be done: can you get away with some DIY skimming, or do your walls need an entire replaster?
- Join jobs together: if your exterior needs doing as well as your interior, consider booking the project as one whole rather than separate jobs
- Use HouseholdQuotes to find a suitable trader
- Always get a written quote as evidence of your agreement before work starts
- Make sure your trader is insured and has a track record of completing jobs similar to yours to ensure they’ll be a good fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Skim or Plaster a Room Myself?
- There’s a deeper level of knowledge and skill required to obtain a perfect finish
- It requires the use of specialised tools and equipment (scaffolding, for example, is required when rendering a multi-storey building)
- The results of a poor DIY job may take time to come to light but may result in more damage than it would have cost to hire a plasterer in the first place.
However, there are plastering jobs you can do yourself if you have the right equipment, skills and confidence to do it. On a value for money basis, a professional plasterer is likely to do the job faster and to a higher quality than you.
How Quickly Does Plaster Dry?
How Do I Paint Over New Plaster?
Can You Plaster Over Wallpaper?
We would recommend you remove the existing wallpaper and plaster it onto fresh walls for the best results.
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