The Ultimate Guide to Plastering Costs in 2023

Are you tired of the peeling paint and worn-out look of your home’s exterior plaster? Or perhaps, you’re fed up with redoing your indoor walls only to have them look unappealing after a short while. If so, it might be time to consider refreshing your home’s plaster. However, you may be wondering if plastering is a DIY project or not.

In this article, we will answer that question and provide information on the following:

  • The cost of plastering
  • Factors that affect plastering costs
  • Tips for saving money on plastering
  • What is involved in plastering or skimming a room
  • How to hire a professional plasterer

If you want to refresh your home’s walls and are considering plastering, keep reading to discover if it’s the right option for you.

How Much Does Plastering Cost?

The cost of plastering a room or an entire house will depend on the amount of plastering required. Typically, plasterers will calculate the cost based on the total square metres of wall space to be covered. This method takes into account the amount of plasterboards and other materials required, as well as the length of time and labour involved. 

Another common method used to estimate plastering costs is based on the size of the room. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some estimated costs based on room sizes:

Project Estimated Costs Time Required
Skim Walls £100 to £400 1 day
Skim Small Room £400 to £550 1 day
Skim Medium Room £450 to £600 1 to 2 days
Skim Large Room £550 to £700 2 to 3 days
Plaster Small Room £600 to £700 2 to 3 days
Plaster Medium Room £650 to £900 2 to 3 days
Plaster Large Room £1,000 to £1,400 3 to 4 days
Plaster Small Ceiling £200 to £350 1 day
Plaster Medium Ceiling £300 to £450 1 to 2 days
Plaster Large Ceiling £400 to £750 2 to 3 days
Rendering Two Bedroom Bungalow £2,100 to £2,900 4 to 6 days
Rendering Three Bedroom Semi-detached House £3,800 to £5,300 5 to 8 days
Rendering Four Bedroom Detached House £6,300 to £7,800 7 to 10 days

If the walls of your room are still in decent shape but need a little sprucing up, you might want to consider skim coating as an alternative to completely re-plastering. Not only is this a quicker option, but it will also be more cost-effective.

Skim coating is one of the most common tasks for plasterers, and it’s something that a handy DIY homeowner could probably handle themselves. The cost for skimming walls typically ranges from £100 to £400, depending on the size and complexity of the job.

For a standard small room, you can expect to pay around £400 to £550, with a labour time of about a day. For a medium-sized room, the cost would shift to £450 to £600, with a time frame of one to two days. A large room would be around £550 to £700, and it would take two to three days to complete.

However, if your walls are in bad shape and require a complete overhaul, replastering is the better option instead of trying to cover up the existing damage with a skim coat. This process involves stripping the old plaster and takes a little longer than skim coating. Other aspects of the job include dry lining, skim coating, and applying a cosmetic finish to the plaster.

For a small room, replastering will start at around £600 to £700. A medium-sized room will cost between £650 and £900, and a large room will set you back £1,000 to £1,400. The labour time for this job ranges from two to four days.

If you’re considering replastering, it may be worth having your ceilings checked at the same time to avoid incurring extra costs for multiple call-outs. Plastering a ceiling requires a lot of effort but can be done quickly with the right tools and equipment.

The cost of replastering a ceiling in a standard small room can range from £200 to £300. For a medium-sized room, the cost is around £300 to £450, and for a large room, it’s between £400 to £750. The job can be completed in one to three days.

When it comes to the exterior of your property, rendering the outdoor walls is a much longer and more expensive process than indoor plastering. The cost increases with the size of your property, and if any specialist equipment is needed to reach the higher levels of your property, such as scaffolding, this will further increase your costs.

Unless you’re an experienced plasterer, this is one aspect of the job that’s best left to the professionals. For a two-bedroom bungalow, external rendering typically costs between £2,100 to £2,900 and takes about four to six days to complete, assuming no scaffolding is required.

If you have a two-bedroom bungalow, you can expect to pay between £2,100 to £2,900 for external rendering. The project usually takes around four to six days to complete, assuming that no scaffolding is necessary.

For a three-bed semi-detached home, the average price for external rendering is between £3,800 to £5,300, and the duration of the project is five to eight days.

For a four-bedroom detached house, the cost of external rendering ranges from £6,300 to £7,800, and the entire process takes seven to ten days to complete.

What Affects the Cost of Plastering?

If you’re planning a plastering project, it’s important to consider various factors that could affect the total cost. By understanding these factors, you can better plan and budget for your project. Let’s take a closer look at these factors so you can make an informed decision.

The Plastering Method Used

When it comes to renovating your home, the choice between plastering, rendering, or skimming can greatly impact your project costs. Skimming, in particular, is a more cost-effective and less labour-intensive option compared to plastering. A medium-sized room can cost between £450 to £600 for skimming, while plastering for the same size can cost between £650 to £900. Keep in mind that the cost of materials, labour, and equipment such as scaffolding will also add to your project expenses.

Rendering, on the other hand, offers various options with different finishes that require different budgets and skill sets to apply. For instance, cement render can cost as little as £10 per square metre, while pebbledash can cost as much as £30 per square metre, along with the need for highly-skilled labourers to apply it.

If you’re looking to add a touch of traditional elegance to your home’s interior walls, Venetian plastering is an excellent option. This stucco-style of plastering provides a classic look to your home and can make your walls more interesting without breaking the bank. In fact, Venetian plastering is often cheaper than regular plastering.

If You’re Installing Decorative Plasterwork

In the past, original cornicing and coving were typically crafted from plaster. However, in modern times, gypsum is the most commonly used material for making coving.

While gypsum is generally the more expensive option, it may be necessary if you need to cover an awkward angle or if you’re looking for a unique style that cannot be found off-the-shelf. In such cases, wet plaster installation may be the solution you need.

If you’re looking to have a tradesperson and labourer decoratively plaster a 20-metre room, you can expect it to cost around £175 to £250.

The Number of Walls

The number of walls in a room directly impacts the amount of material required to cover them, as well as the amount of time spent on labour. As a result, the final cost of the project will be higher with more walls to cover.

The Wall Size

The size of your walls also plays a significant role in determining the cost of the project. Walls that are taller than average may require specialised equipment to reach the upper levels, which will inevitably result in a higher price for the project.

The Condition of the Existing Plaster

The condition of your walls is another crucial factor that influences the overall cost of your project. If your walls are in good condition with minor imperfections, a simple skimming may suffice to fix the problems. However, if the walls are crumbling, a complete replastering will be necessary, which can significantly increase the cost of the project.

Your Location

Finally, the location of your property is another inescapable factor that will impact the cost of your project. If you live in Central London, you can expect significantly higher costs than areas outside of the city. Additionally, if you do not have off-road parking at your property, you will need to factor in parking charges for your contractor’s vehicles, which can further increase the project’s overall cost.

How Can I Save Money on Plastering?

Comparing quotes from multiple plasterers can be a great way to reduce the cost of your plastering project. 

For internal skimming, DIY is a feasible option. However, it’s essential to be comfortable with the task at hand, as a failed attempt could result in needing a professional to fix any mistakes.

Replastering or external rendering should always be left to the professionals from the beginning. Combining all your plastering or rendering jobs into one project for a single contractor can help you cut down on excess costs.

If you plan to have your ceilings done along with your walls, it’s best to inform your contractor before they start to see what they can offer you in terms of price and time.

If your walls are covered in old wallpaper or paint, you can save your contractor time by removing it yourself. However, you should take precautions and wear protective clothing and cover your mouth and nose if the wallpaper or paint contains harmful substances. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the work, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.

How Do I Know if Plastering Is Right For Me?

If you have recently added an extra room to your home or are converting your garage into a livable space, it’s highly likely that you will require plastering services. Let’s explore the benefits of getting your new space plastered.

Advantages Disadvantages
Plastering seals in your brickwork and is an essential step in making a room habitable If applied incorrectly, plaster can crack and flake off
Helps to give a clean, smooth surface on which to paint or wallpaper If you paint over damp plaster, you will end up with an uneven coat and could have damp problems further down the line
Plastering can help with soundproofing, while giving a durable finish It can be expensive, and sometimes filling a hole can be a better option for touch up jobs

There are several benefits to having a space plastered, such as achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish that makes it suitable for habitation. Additionally, it can aid in soundproofing, which may be a priority for some homeowners.

On the other hand, there are some potential drawbacks to consider, including the cost involved in plastering a space. It may be more practical to only fill in certain areas rather than redoing the entire wall if the rest of the wall is still in good condition. Moreover, painting or decorating over not-yet-dry plaster can lead to issues with dampness that need to be avoided.

What’s Involved in Plastering or Skimming a Room?

Depending on what you need to do to a room, be it skimming or replastering, influences the steps your contractor needs to take are different.

For skimming, a thin layer of plaster will be applied over the existing plaster on your wall to achieve a uniform and smooth finish. On the other hand, replastering requires your contractor to remove the old plaster from your walls using a drill or chisel and hammer, prime the walls, and apply new plaster.

In both cases, your contractor will take measures to protect your room by covering it with protective layers to prevent plaster or debris from getting into unwanted areas. After completing the job, they will also clean up the area to leave it tidy.

Final Checklist

If the walls in your home are starting to look worn out, it may be time to consider hiring a plasterer to give them a fresh new look. To ensure that your project runs smoothly, here is a final checklist of things to keep in mind:

  • Assess the condition of your walls and determine whether they require a simple DIY skimming or a complete replastering.
  • If you need exterior work as well as interior, consider combining the two projects into one to save time and money.
  • Always request a written quote from your tradesperson as evidence of your agreement before any work begins.
  • Make sure your chosen trader is insured and has a proven track record of successfully completing similar projects to ensure a good fit for your needs.

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