- Hiring tradespeople
The first step toward perfect plastering is avoiding the temptation to do it yourself. It's a highly-skilled trade, with its own tools, scaffolding and techniques. Poor plasterwork can cost more to fix than hiring a professional in the first place.
The best plasterers will come highly recommended by friends, family, neighbours or other customers. Look for plastering companies with lots of reviews and check their profile photographs and company websites. Ask yourself:
As most plastering jobs will involve the company visiting your house for more than a day, check reviews for evidence of a friendly and professional approach. Have previous customers mentioned that furniture and flooring was covered while the work was undertaken? Were they comfortable with having the plasterers around the house?
If you need a plasterer, check the Which? Trusted Traders site. Which? Trusted Traders has accredited plasterers working in your area.
A plastering company might give you an estimate on the telephone, based on your description of the size and nature of the job, but it would be unusual for them to give you a fixed quote at this stage. Good plasterers will want to see your property before they give you a quote. This allows them to see the condition of the area being plastered and to tell you about your options.
See our guide to avoiding cowboy traders and disputes if you’re unsure of the difference between a quote and an estimate.
As with hiring all tradespeople, it’s a good idea to get at least three quotes for any plastering job, large or small. You should aim to get quotes that are directly comparable – they should include all aspects of the work, such as travel and parking, removal of existing plaster, disposal of waste and scaffolding costs for exterior rendering jobs. They should also explain any guarantee or warranty that applies – what is covered and how long that lasts.
Check that your prospective plasterers have insurance that covers them for any damage inadvertently caused to your property.
Before any work commences, you should be clear about the work that will be carried out, the cost of each part of the job, the likely completion time and how payment will be made.
You can reasonably ask to see the plasterer’s insurance documents and shouldn’t be afraid to clarify what happens in the event of the job not being done to a satisfactory standard or taking longer than expected. Good plasterers won’t mind discussing what happens if things go wrong and should be able to produce terms and condition that would apply in these instances.
We have more advice on working with your trader, to help any job go smoothly.
The size and nature of the work will determine whether you may need to pay a deposit. Never pay more than 25% of the total cost upfront and ensure that the final instalment is payable upon acceptance of the work. You can withhold the final payment if things aren’t right. Your plasterer should want to work with you to ensure that you are happy with the finish they provide.