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Cost guide: plasterers

Are you looking to save money on skimming, outside rendering, ceiling repairs and other plastering jobs? Here is some handy advice from an expert plasterer on how to keep costs down.

Repairing a ceiling after water damage

What adds expense?

“A whole new ceiling can be expensive,” says plasterer Brian Gardiner from Bromley-based Proper Plastering. “But not every water-damaged ceiling needs to be replaced complete. Ask your plasterer if the ceiling could be repaired instead of replaced.”

How can I make it cheaper?

“Remove all wallpaper, if applicable,” says Brian. “Also, remove as many personal or valuable items from the room as possible in order to speed up the work.”

Though it can’t be avoided, the height of the ceiling and obstructions such as kitchen units will also add to the cost of a ceiling repair or replacement job.

Outside rendering to an older property

What adds expense?

“Factors that will increase the cost of outside rendering include the chosen finish, how much surface preparation is required and removal and replacement of water down pipes,” says Brian. “The type and amount of scaffolding needed can also have a bearing on the overall cost of outside rendering.”

How can I make it cheaper?

“Make space available for the plasterer to mix the materials, otherwise they’ll waste time and money doing this before they can begin the work.”


Think carefully about which finish you would like and whether it is sympathetic to your property. Also, bear in mind that some external renders are more difficult to decorate in the future. Ask your plasterer for advice.

Making good after a rewire

What adds expense?

“Making good following a rewire requires access to every area of the property,” says Brian. “If a customer doesn’t prepare by moving furniture to the middle of rooms, the plasterer will have to spend time doing this before they can start.”

How can I make it cheaper?

Brian says: “Remove wallpaper around the areas which will be made good, otherwise you’ll have to pay the plasterer to carry this out before they can begin the job.”

When removing wallpaper, make sure that all remnants are removed using  lots of water and a kitchen scouring sponge.

Re-skimming a room prior to decoration

What adds expense?

Many factors can make a re-skimming job more expensive, such as the need to remove and refix radiators, the presence of ‘blown’ (loose) original plaster which needs to be removed and made good and the difficulty added by kitchen and bathroom units.

How can I make it cheaper?

“Make sure that all fixtures, such as radiators are removed,” says Brian. “Also, ask your plasterer if you could save money by following their instructions to remove blown plaster before they arrive to undertake the work.”

As with most plastering jobs, the three things a plasterer will need to complete a re-skimming job are water, electricity and enough space to set-up equipment and mix materials.

Plasterboard over an existing ceiling then plaster and cove

What adds expense?

Brian says: “If the ceiling is in bad order, the existing plaster may have to be removed back to the joists before the plasterboarding can take place. “Extra expense can also be incurred when the ceiling is not flat.”

How can I make it cheaper?

“If the ceiling is not badly damaged, ask your plasterer if it’s possible to simply repair and re-skim the ceiling to save money,” says Brian.

Find a plasterer in your local area.

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