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Plastering and ceiling services

Benchmarks for plastering and ceiling services.

Last updated 20 April 2023

Check the performance benchmarks for plastering and ceiling services.

Businesses in this industry

Businesses in this industry install plasterboard sheets, cornices and wet or solid plastering.

These benchmarks do not apply to cement renderers.

What are performance benchmarks

Performance benchmarks use information reported on tax returns for the 2020–21 financial year and are updated each year. This is the most current data.

The benchmarks show ranges of business income to business expenses. Use these benchmarks to compare your performance against similar businesses.

Key benchmark range

Total expenses to turnover is the key benchmark range for this industry. It is likely to be the most accurate when predicting business turnover.

You should fall within the key benchmark range for your annual turnover. If you fall outside the range for your industry, your business may have room to improve.

Check that you have reported all income and accounted for any trading stock used for private purposes. Some businesses can use accepted amounts as estimates for the value of trading stock used for private purposes.

2020–21 benchmarks

Key benchmarks for 2020–21

Annual turnover range

$50,000 – $300,000

$300,001 – $1,000,000

More than $1,000,000

'Total expenses' divided by 'Annual turnover'

37% to 60%

73% to 85%

86% to 93%

Average total expenses

48%

79%

89%

Other benchmarks

Not all expenses are reported by every business. Only use this information as a guide if it applies to your business.

Other benchmarks for 2020–21

Annual turnover range

$50,000 – $300,000

$300,001 – $1,000,000

More than $1,000,000

'Cost of sales' divided by 'Annual turnover'

13% to 24%

21% to 31%

26% to 35%

Labour/turnover

26% to 41%

33% to 48%

35% to 51%

Motor vehicle expenses/turnover

6% to 9%

2% to 4%

1% to 2%

For benchmarks for previous years, see Small business benchmarksExternal Link.

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 the usefulness of these input benchmarks, email us at BusinessSegmentPublishing@ato.gov.au.

Input benchmark guide

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

Remember:

  • 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

2

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

1.3

Cement for 100 square metres (20kg bags)

10

Average job size (internal residential) – square metres

300

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

6

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

4

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

3

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)

216

330

438

Amount of cement purchased in year (20kg bags)

1,080

1,650

2,190

Square metres of hard plastering installed per year

10,800

16,500

21,900

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

300

300

300

Jobs completed per year

36

55

73

Days to complete average job

6

4

3

Days worked per year

220

220

220

Plastering examples

This example shows how to work out if your income is within the benchmarks.

Start of example

Example: Income within the benchmarks

Jim runs a plastering business and has 2 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 2 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

This example shows a way to work out why your income is outside the benchmarks.

Start of example

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

Input benchmark – plasterboard installation

The main activities for businesses in this industry are fixing and finishing of plasterboard sheets for buildings and other structures. Products and services provided by plasterboard installers include the installation of plasterboard, cornices and ceiling roses.

These benchmarks do not apply to businesses providing solid or wet plastering, decorative plaster finishing and cement rendering of buildings.

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

They apply to plasterboard installers who:

  • purchase their own materials
  • work directly with household customers.

We developed the benchmarks with advice from the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries of Australia and New Zealand Inc (AWCI) 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 the usefulness of these input benchmarks, email us at BusinessSegmentPublishing@ato.gov.au.

Input benchmark guide

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

Remember:

  • All dollar amounts include GST.
  • Prices charged may vary between states and regions.
  • Add 10–20% for extra charges for installation of battens, back blocking and wet area or fire-rated materials.

The table below is not relevant to plasterers who do solid plastering.

Input benchmarks for plasterboard installers

Coverage rate (square metres) for every 100 square metres of plasterboard ordered, allowing for wastage

95

Cost of plasterboard and cornice as a percentage of the price charged to supply and install (varies depending on type and quality of plasterboard installed)

30 to 50

Average job size – wall and ceiling (square metres)

170

Average job size – cornice (linear metres)

60

Days to complete average job, including cornices if required (add half-day to one day for installation of battens and back blocking) – 2 tradespeople

4

Days to complete average job, including cornices if required (add half-day to one day for installation of battens and back blocking) – 3 tradespeople

3

Price charged per square metre – plasterboard install only

$8 to $16

Price charged per linear metre – cornice install only

$4 to $6

Price charged per square metre – supply and install (mid-range) – standard plasterboards

$15 to $20

Price charged per linear metre – supply and install (mid-range) – cornice

$5 to $10

Sales turnover

Use this benchmark to:

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

Remember:

  • All dollar amounts include GST.
  • Add extra charges for installation of battens, back blocking and wet area or fire rated materials.
  • Add a further 5% if charging client for excess plasterboard ordered to cover wastage.
Sales turnover – income guide for plasterboard installers

Income guide – plasterboard installation

2 tradespeople

3 tradespeople

Amount of plasterboard installed per year (square metres)

9,350

12,410

Amount of cornice installed per year (linear metres)

3,300

4,380

Price charged per square metre install plasterboard – labour only

$8 to $16

$8 to $16

Price charged per square metre supply and install plasterboard (mid-range)

$15 to $20

$15 to $20

Price charged per linear metre install cornice – labour only

$4 to $6

$4 to $6

Price charged per linear metre supply and install cornice (mid-range)

$5 to $10

$5 to $10

Sales turnover range install plasterboard and cornice – labour only

$88,000 to $169,400

$116,800 to $224,840

Sales turnover range including supply and install plasterboard and cornice (mid-range)

$156,750 to $220,000

$208,050 to $292,000

Average labour charge per day

$200 to $350 per tradesperson

$200 to $350 per tradesperson

Jobs completed per year

55

73

Days to complete average job

4

3

Days worked per year

220

220

The table below sets out average job size.

Plasterboard (square metres)

170

Cornice (linear metres)

60

Plasterboard installation examples

This example shows how to work out if your income is within the benchmarks.

Start of example

Example: Income within the benchmarks

Samuel runs a plasterboard installation business and has one subcontractor working for him. They work on household jobs only.

Samuel normally charges $20 per square metre for supply and installation of basic plasterboard and $5 per linear metre for cornice. Samuel reviews the statements from his supplier which show that he has purchased 9,800 square metres of plasterboard, allowing for 5% wastage he determines that he installed 9,310 square metres of plasterboard. His records show 3,200 linear metres of cornice installed.

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 $202,200.

Samuel's records show reported income of $201,000, which is within the benchmarks and close to his estimate. This leaves him confident in his record keeping.

End of example

This example shows a way to work out why your income is outside the benchmarks.

Start of example

Example: Income less than expected

Karen has a plasterboard business and uses a 3-person crew on each job. She installs only. Karen normally charges $15 per square metre for plasterboard and $5 per linear metre for cornice. Her crew can install 180 square metres of plasterboard and 60 linear metres of cornice every 3 days to earn $3,000 ($1,000 per day). This is close to the installation rate benchmark.

Checking her business records, Karen finds she has recorded income of $160,000 for the year. Using her benchmark earnings of $1,000 per day, Karen estimates she would have worked 160 days to earn $160,000. However Karen has had a busy year and is sure she worked more than that.

She reviews her quote books and finds 20 jobs where she was paid cash and she charged $60,000 for these jobs. With these additional jobs, Karen calculates that she worked for about 220 days and she recalculates her income for the year at $220,000 which is consistent with the benchmarks.

Karen asks her bookkeeper for advice on keeping better records.

End of example

QC43693