Show download pdf controls
  • Input benchmark – plastering

    The main activities for businesses in this industry are installation of solid or wet plastering and decorative plaster finishing for buildings.

    These benchmarks do not apply to cement rendering or the installation of plasterboard sheets and cornices for buildings and other structures.

    Use the input benchmarks to calculate expected income based on the labour and materials used.

    They apply to plasterers who:

    • work directly with household customers
    • are responsible for purchasing their own materials.

    We developed the benchmarks with advice from the West Australian Solid Plastering Association and trade participants. They represent the industry norm.

    Consider your own personal circumstances when using the benchmarks to assess your situation.

    These benchmarks are current at April 2015.

    To give feedback on how we use these benchmarks, email us at

    On this page

    Input benchmark guide

    You can use this benchmark to compare and check your business performance to the plastering industry average.


    • All dollar amounts include GST.
    • Prices charged may vary between states and regions.
    • Add extra charges for cost of scaffolding if required.
    Input benchmarks for plasterers

    Cost of materials – sand, cement, lime, plaster as percentage of price charged to customer (see note 1)

    10 to 20

    Hard plastering – sand for 100 square metres (10mm depth, 2 coats) and white plaster finish coat – tonnes


    Hard plastering – sand for 100 square metres (10mm depth, 2 coats) and white plaster finish coat – cubic metres


    Cement for 100 square metres (20kg bags)


    Average job size (internal residential) – square metres


    Days to complete average job (see note 2) – 2 tradespeople


    Days to complete average job (see note 2) – 3 tradespeople


    Days to complete average job (see note 2) – 4 tradespeople


    Price charged per square metre (mid-range)

    $25 to $50

    Note 1: Varies on price charged per square metre.

    Note 2: Includes extras such as set out, clean up and manual wash down.

    Sales turnover

    Use this benchmark to:

    • estimate your income
    • compare your income against the plastering industry average
    • check that your records accurately reflect your income.

    All dollar amounts include GST. Prices charged may vary between states and regions.

    Sales turnover – income guide for plasterers

    Income guide – plastering

    2 tradespeople

    3 tradespeople

    4 tradespeople

    Amount of sand purchased/used in year (tonnes)




    Amount of cement purchased in year (20kg bags)




    Square metres of hard plastering installed per year




    Average price charged per square metre – materials and labour

    $25 to $50

    $25 to $50

    $25 to $50

    Sales turnover range – labour only

    $88,000 to $154,000

    $132,000 to $231,000

    $176,000 to $308,000

    Sales turnover range – materials and labour

    $270,000 to $540,000

    $412,500 to $825,000

    $547,500 to $1,095,000

    Average labour charge per day per person

    $200 to $350

    $200 to $350

    $200 to $350

    Average job size – square metres




    Jobs completed per year




    Days to complete average job




    Days worked per year




    Plastering examples

    Income within the benchmarks

    Jim runs a plastering business and has two subcontractors working regularly with him. They work on household jobs only and charge an average of $35 per square metre (excluding scaffolding charges).

    Jim reviews the statements from his supplier which show he has purchased 320 tonnes of sand during the year. On average, Jim allows two tonnes of sand per 100 square metres and estimates he has completed approximately 16,000 square metres of plastering for the year.

    As his supply and installation charges are consistent with the benchmarks, he uses the benchmark guide to calculate that his total sales should have been $560,000.

    As Jim's records show reported income of $555,000, which is within the benchmarks and close to his estimate, he is confident with his record keeping.

    End of example

    Income less than expected

    Sebastian has a plastering business and has a team of 4 people working on each job. On average, Sebastian charges $40 per square metre (excluding scaffolding charges, which are paid by the customer). Sebastian estimates his team can plaster an average of 100 square metres per day, totalling sales of $4,000 per day.

    Checking his business records, Sebastian finds his recorded income is $800,000 for the year. Using his benchmark earnings of $4,000 per day, he estimates he would have worked 200 days to earn this yearly income. Sebastian however has had a busy year and is sure he has worked more than that.

    Sebastian reviews his quote books and finds 7 jobs where he received cash payments of $80,000, which had not been recorded as income. With these additional jobs Sebastian calculates that he worked for approximately 220 days and recalculates his yearly income as $880,000. This is consistent with the benchmarks and his business practices.

    Sebastian contacts his bookkeeper for advice on better record keeping practices.

    End of example

    Find out more about input benchmarks for plasterboard installation.

      Last modified: 21 Apr 2022QC 43693