How to build up a rate for plasterboarding

Plasterboarding price per m2

Plasterboarding price per m2

This article will show you how to build up a plasterboarding price per m2. Are you planning a home renovation project or building a new house? Plasterboarding is an essential step in creating a smooth and polished finish for your walls and ceilings. However, determining the cost of plasterboarding can be tricky and depends on various factors. In this comprehensive guide, we unveil the key factors that affect plasterboarding pricing.

From the size of the area to be plasterboarded to the complexity of the project, each element plays a significant role in determining the price. Other important factors include the type of plasterboard used, additional materials required, and the level of finish desired.

Understanding these factors can help you accurately estimate the cost of plasterboarding and plan your budget accordingly. Whether you are a homeowner or a contractor, having a solid grasp of these pricing factors will ensure that you don’t overspend or compromise on quality.

So, if you’re ready to delve into the world of plasterboarding pricing, let’s get started and uncover all the factors that affect this crucial aspect of construction and renovation projects.

We will start by looking at the cost and rate for a 9mm plasterboard, one coat of thistle board finished 3mm thick, and work to walls or ceilings. Including gypsum plasterboard, fixing with nails, 3mm joints filled with plaster scrim

Plasterboarding price per m2 for the year 2023/2024

Calculating the material rate for 9mm plasterboard and 3mm thistle finish

9mm plasterboard 2.4 x 1.2 £11.66 each – (£11.66 / 2.88 = £4.04 m2)

Thistle board finish plaster 25kg bag £10.50 each (£10.50 / 10 m2 per 25kg = £1.05 m2)

Scrim tape 90m £4.88 (£4.88 /90 = £0.055 m)

Plasterboard nails 200 £11.33 – (£11.33 / 200 = £0.056 each)

Build up rate for materials

  • Plasterboard £4.04
  • Finishing plaster £1.05
  • 1.5m Scrim £0.085
  • 24 nails £1.33

Total £6.50

  • + Waste 10% £0.65

Total material rate = £7.15 m2

Material rate for 12.5mm plasterboard and 3mm thistle finish

12.5 mm plasterboard 2.4 x 1.2 £10.19 each – (£10.19 / 2.88 = £3.53 m2)

Use the same rates above for the plaster, nails and scrim. (£2.46)

Total £5.99

  • + Waste 10% £0.59

Total material rate = £6.58 m2

Labour rates

The estimating labour rates for plasters are as follows:

  • Tradesman £24 hour – £192 per day
  • Labour £19 hour – £152 per day

Work out the rate for a measured amount of work per day. If one plaster and one labour can fix the plasterboard and skim an area 5m x 4m = 20m2 in a day, the rate would be:

£192 + £152 = £344 / 20 m2 = £17.20 per m2

Using labour constants

You can obtain labour constants from construction price books.

Multiply the constant by the cost per hour to obtain the rate. The average labour rate is £24 + £19 / 2 = £21.5 

The constant for wallboard and plaster on walls over 600mm wide is 0.97 hours per m2. To calculate the rate 0.97 x £21.5 = £20.85 m2

You can see the difference in working out the rate using the two methods. Productivity plays a big part in the cost. To be on the right side of the cost, you would use the constant.


Plasterboarding large areas is the most productive; when plasterboarding small areas or difficult areas, for example, staircases and plant rooms, productivity will fall, and the rate will increase.

Below, you will find productivity constants for various types of work. 

  • Walls over 600mm wide 0.97 m2
  • Walls ne (not exceeding) 600mm wide 0.37 m
  • Walls in staircase areas and plant rooms over 600mm wide 0.98 m2
  • Wall in isolated columns ne 600mm wide 0.47 m
  • Ceilings over 600mm wide 0.89 m2
  • Ceilings over 600mm wide, 3.5m – 5m high 1.03 m2
  • Ceilings ne 600mm wide 0.43 m

9mm plasterboard only

  • over 600mm wide 0.51 m2
  • ne 600mm wide 0.46 m

Thistle plaster finish only

  • over 600mm 0.25 m2
  • over 600mm in staircase or plant room 0.35 m2
  • ne 600mm 0.15

Overheads and profit

We need to add overheads and profit if a contractor uses the rate.

Calculating the overhead percentage to add

If the contractor’s head office costs, including staff costs, office costs, insurance, vehicles ect are £500,000. The contractor has a turnover of £5,000,000, the contractor needs to add 10% to recover the overhead cost. If the turnover ios £10,000,000 then he only needs to add 5%


The contractor can add a profit margin from 2.5% to 10%. Every business needs to make a profit to invest in the future and for shareholder dividends.

Built-up rate 

Built up rate for 9mm plasterboard, one coat of thistle board finished 3mm thick and work to walls or ceilings. Including gypsum plasterboard, fixing with nails, 3mm joints filled with plaster scrim

  • Materials £7.15
  • Labout £20.85
  • Overheads 5%
  • Profit 5%

Add the overhead and profit margin: £28.00 x 1.1 – The plasterboarding price per m2 = £30.80 per m2

Spons price book

The rate for the same item in the Spons price book is £23.84. The rate is for a project valued at £4m, outside London with a overhead and profit margin of 3%

  • Labour £17.26
  • Materials £6.58

The plasterboarding price per m2 from the Spons price book is £23.84

Factors that influence the price

The main factors influencing the price are productivity and the percentage of overheads and profit a contractor will add.

The material prices will be competitive. 

A plastering subcontractor with an experienced high-energy workforce may be able to compete better in the market than others. They can reduce their rates to find work.

A lean plastering company will have low overheads and again be able to give reasonable rates.

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