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How much does plastering cost? | 2020 cost guide

1st Jul '20 • By Rohit Mankame

There are two important questions that should be answered before you kick start a plastering job: "How much does plastering cost?", and, "Is plastering a DIY or a task for professionals?"

How much does it cost to hire a plasterer?

The cost of plastering typically costs between $2-$10 per square foot, so you can expect to pay a renderer anywhere from $500 to $20,000 depending on the size and complexity of the job. 

The cost of a plastering job depends on the wall space to be covered as well as the type of plastering that needs to be completed, whether it be different types of plasterboard, partitioning, wet plaster, ornamental plaster or plaster repairs. Removing old plaster or adding special finishes may also increase the costs involved. Most plasterers give a quote based on the square meters of wall space to be covered. The estimate depends on how many materials are needed, the cost of labor and the total duration of work.

Why to plaster?

Whether you are undertaking a home improvement project, flipping a worn out rental or helping out a friend, plastering is a great option. The biggest selling point of plaster is its durability. Plaster coating provides a much stronger and more durable wall finish than other alternatives (such as drywall). You will need to know some facts about rendering and see how much it costs to hire a renderer to get your plaster work done. 

If you are looking for a tough and lasting wall finish that combats dents, knocks and accidents then plaster is for you. Not to mention the decorative options available with a plastering finish, it can really dress up your wall. Oh and for our greenies there is an added bonus, plaster is pollution free and therefore a better option for our beloved planet. 

You may have already been aware of the benefits of plastering but are still unsure of the costs associated with it. Luckily you have come to the right place, Service.com.au has consulted with the plastering experts to provide you with this optimised plastering cost guide! Here we go. 

What are the different types of plaster?

There are multiple types of plaster to choose from! Here are the main plastering options we would recommend researching:

Drywall Plaster

Drywall plaster is the preferred choice for most builders, it includes fire resistant options and drywall plaster with acoustic properties. Another benefit with this option is that you can create partitions, for adding more space. 

Lime Plaster 

Another plastering option is lime plaster, which is made up of lime and sand. This material doubles as the undercoat and finished surface for your wall. 

Cement Plaster

Cement plaster provides the best protection from bugs and parasites that may try and inhabit your walls. The ratio is 1:3 plastering cement to sand. 

Gypsum Plaster

Gypsum plaster is less known due to its newness. However it is quickly becoming the new favourite due to its reduced risk of shrinkage or cracking. It also is a jack of all trades, working as casting, undercoat, finish and one coat.

Wet Plaster

Wet plaster is perhaps the most heard of option, combining lime, cement (or gypsum) and water to formulate its mixture. It is most commonly applied wet via a trowel. 

Ornamental Plaster

As its name indicates, ornamental plaster is primarily used when wanting to have decorative effects on the walls. For example, you may have designs such as ceiling roses, waves, or words that will rely on ornamental plaster. 

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plastering

What are the different plastering costs? 

Plasterers determine a rate based on the area being plastered. The cost of plastering typically costs between $2-$10 per square foot, so you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $20,000 depending on the size and complexity of the job. 

Standard Plastering 

If you are looking for a per square metre cost you can expect hard Plaster to be $20-$70 per square metre and wet Plaster to be $45-$90 per square metre.

In terms of benchmark rates for plastering jobs, the Australian Taxation Office advises between $8 to $16 per square metre for install of plasterboard and between $15 to $20 per square metre for supply and install of plasterboard.

Ornamental Plastering

As mentioned, ornamental plastering is much more delicate, intricate and difficult and the cost will reflect this. 

According to Google a cornice (in architectural terms) is defined as “any horizontal decorative molding that crowns a building or furniture element – the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the top edge of a pedestal or along the top of an interior wall.” 

Cornice prices are as follows: 

  • Installation - up to $16 per linear metre
  • Supply and Installation - up to $10 per linear metre 
  • Simple colonial cove cornice - $7.50 
  • Large ornate Victorian cornice - approximately $15 per linear metre

Additional plastering costs to consider:

  • Removal of existing plaster 
  • Difficult access fee
  • Creativity/complexity fee
  • Chosen materials
  • Time required for the job

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Factors that contribute to plastering prices

  • Size of the wall: The plasterer will only be able to give an accurate quote after having the dimensions of the wall - the larger the wall, the more plasterboard and other materials will be necessary.
  • Intricacy of the job: If the old plaster needs to be removed, the wall will need to be resurfaced which will take more time and materials.
  • Addition of decorative trims and finishes: The skills and materials required for more detailed designs will increase the price of the plastering work.

Question to ask before hiring a plasterer in 2020

On Service.com.au you can browse through a number of professional plasterers within your area. Some questions you may like to ask include: 

  • How long will my job take?
  • Are you insured and holding the relevant qualifications for this job?
  • Do you have references I can check?
  • Do you have examples of similar jobs I can see? 
  • How much will this cost? 
  • Can you provide a written quote?

You should always plan for every single cost and make sure it is covered in your quote. 

Additionally, higher quotes may not be a rip off but rather a reflection of the professional’s experience, reputation and standard of work. Investing in the best possible builder for your house extension is always recommended by the team at Service.com.au. However, our site offers plasterers for every kind of budget. 

Necessary Licensing to Plaster 

Whether your plasterer requires a license to operate depends upon the state you reside in. Some states, such as NSW, have particular licenses for dry versus wet plastering. Comparatively other states have one license for both. Or it may be the case that plastering falls under a builders license in your area.

Plastering FAQs

What types of plastering finishes are there?

There is smooth cast finish, roughcast finish, sand faced finish, pebbledash finish and scraped finish. We recommend discussing which is best for you with your plasterer and browsing through examples of each finish. 

Is plastering messy? 

Plaster can result in a small amount of dust but most professionals will clean this away as part of their service! 

How long does plaster take to dry?

You should expect the plaster to take anywhere from two to six days to dry. This depends on the time of year, surface and other factors.

How long does it take to plaster a room?

On average, you can expect most rooms to be plastered in one or two days. However, this is a 

great question to ask when taking quotes! 

When can plastering commence? 

Best answered by your plasterer, however once all the formalities and paperwork is completed usually immediately! An inspection of the site may be necessary but most workers will begin early around 8 or 9 am. 

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