Plasterers – What they do and what they cost

During the construction of new homes or extensions, rough or uneven walls are often finished with a smooth surface called plastering. A plasterer is a skilled tradesman you’d call on for this process. 

However, plasterers can also offer services such as home insulation, pebble dashing and wet-dashing.

Onlinetradesmen member Billy Lewis from Billy Lewis Plastering has been a plasterer for over 25 years and specialises in internal skimming projects.

“Skimming is the process of plastering a whole wall with a thin coat know as a 'skim' coat over plasterboard with a wet mixture of lime or cement, concrete and sand.  It's the best method to get a smooth finish, which is easier to paint and looks great," says Lewis.

Recently Lewis has seen taping and jointing grow in popularity.  This is the process of reinforcing the seams between sheets of plasterboard with joint tape.

“Commercially, taping and jointing is being used more and more and is influencing the domestic market. But to achieve a smooth finish with this technique takes a lot of sanding.  In my professional opinion, homeowners would be best to stick with skimming – it wins every time.”


Skimming Costs

Internal skimming costs start from €300 per room. In Dublin, skimming costs will be higher than in another part of Ireland. Therefore, cost variables include location, the size of the room and the age of your property (modern properties will typically have a lower ceiling height). 



Home Insulation 

If you are experiencing condensation in the home, seeking to increase your BER rating or reduce your heating bills, then improved insulation will do just that.

Lewis also offers internal wall, attic and floor insulation services, known as dry-lining.  This is the process of fixing rigid boards such as expanded polystyrene or urethane foam board to the internal structure, which is cut to fit between joists or rafters. The boards are then covered with a vapour barrier and plasterboard.


Internal Wall Insulation or Dry-Lining Costs

“Ridge insulation board density can range from 27mm – 50mm. Depending on requirements and a homeowners budget, dry lining costs can start from €40 – €60 per sq metre. But rather than guessing, I much prefer providing an onsite quote," says Lewis.


External Wall Insulation Costs

External wall insulation is the process of fixing expanded polystyrene slabs or other insulation materials such as mineral wool to the outer wall. A steel or fibreglass mesh and a waterproof render is applied to protect against the elements. 

External wall insulation costs for 3-bed semi-detached home starts from €16,000 (complete with sills and render). For both external and internal wall insulation, The Sustain Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is offering grants up to €5,500 or over 30% discount on the overall price when a homeowner uses an SEAI approved contractor.  

If you're looking to hire an SEAI external wall insulation contractor to obtain an SEAI grant, be sure to state this in the job description when posting your job at Onlinetradesmen.



Professional Pebble and Wet Dash

A common feature in the Irish urban and country landscape is a pebble-dashed (also known as dry-dashed) home fascia.  

Hiring a pebble dash plastering service requires a team of tradespeople to get the job done right.  The process requires cement to be applied in one continuous application, followed by pebbles dashed to the wall.  The process must be performed in a coordinated fashion to ensure a long-lasting professional finish. 

The cost of pebble dashing your home will be more expensive than painting – but the results look great and will be maintenance free.

Note: If your pebble dashed wall requires repair, a professional plasterer will recommend completely removing existing dashing and re-apply new pebble dash to the entire surface to ensure a consistent finish.

Wet Dash is very similar to dry dash but the stones are contained in the render when applied, which leaves a rough finish and looks best after painting.


Wet and Dry Dashing Costs

Wet and pebble dashing prices for 3-bed semi detached home start from €2000 and will exclude scaffolding hire. To get a quote today for a wet or dry dash service, post a job.

Based in Cork City, Billy Lewis is a qualified and rated plasterer. For over 25 years, Billy has delivered both indoor and outdoor plastering jobs both in Cork and the surrounding county.  You can contact Billy Lewis direct or post a plastering job today.

About the Author


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