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.

Input benchmarks

You may find the input benchmarks useful in calculating the expected income based on the labour and materials used. They apply to plasterers who work directly with household customers and who are responsible for purchasing their own materials.

The input benchmarks have been developed with advice from the West Australian Solid Plastering Association and trade participants.

They represent the industry norm. You should consider your own personal circumstances when using the benchmarks to assess your situation.

Note: These benchmarks are current as at April 2015. Input benchmarks are not updated annually.

Input benchmark guide

The table below sets out input benchmarks for plasterers.

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

Benchmark guide

Cost of materials - sand, cement, lime, plaster as percentage of price charged to customer*


10 – 20

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**

Two tradespeople


Three tradespeople


Four tradespeople


Price charged ($) per square metre (mid range)

25 – 50

*Varies on price charged per square metre.

**Includes extras such as set out, clean up and manual wash down.


  • All dollar amounts are GST inclusive
  • Prices charged may vary between states and regions
  • Add extra charges for cost of scaffolding if required

Input benchmark – sales turnover

You can use this benchmark to:

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

Income guide

Two tradespeople

Three Tradespeople

Four 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 – 50

25 – 50

25 – 50

Sales turnover range ($) - labour only

88,000 – 154,000

132,000 – 231,000

176,000 – 308,000

Sales turnover range ($) - materials and labour

270,000 – 540,000

412,500 – 825,000

547,500 – 1,095,000

Average labour charge ($) per day per person

200 – 350

200 – 350

200 – 350

Average job size - square metres




Jobs completed per year




Days to complete average job




Days worked per year





  • All dollar amounts are GST inclusive
  • Prices charged may vary between states and regions

Input benchmark plastering examples

Example 1

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.

Example 2

Sebastian has a plastering business and has a team of four 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 seven 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
    Last modified: 25 Feb 2016QC 43693