Is the Plastering Trade Responsible for its own low rates?
I received a comment insinuating that under skilled plasterers are the reason plastering is under valued in the current market place.
The answer is No, Plasterers cannot be responsible for the market place. Like any trade you will get good ones and bad ones this will never change.
There are many factors effecting plastering rates and prices but in my opinion the main factors are delays that lead to non productivity and projects that are priced too low.
Plastering is one of the worst effected trades when it comes to delays because if certain parts of a job are delayed a contractor will not just stop until its ready. They will carry on which means returning to areas multiple times to finish incomplete works and for a plasterer this often means patching up, making good and other forms of non productive working.
So a job that looks straight forward where you come in and work from A to B plastering walls and ceilings all of a sudden becomes non productive with walls and ceilings maybe part finished and Plastering is the worst trade you can disrupt in this way when it comes to the cost effect and in my experience there is a general lack of understanding as to why this is. One example is, if a plasterer can put a room on in one gauge it may take about 3 hours because of the setting time but if for example the windows aren’t in and only 3 walls are available it will still take the same amount of time to plasterer. Is it then right that the plasterer will earn less money on this gauge as a result of the windows not being installed? No its only right the plasterer is still paid for the full room. And then another visit is required to come back in to the room to finish the window wall but plastering the wall on its own will still take around 3 hours because of the setting time and so the plaster is then paid daywork instead of price which means more cost.
And daywork then maybe leads to your best plasterers, who like to be on pricework, looking for other work, and you are left with the ones who like the daywork and these are usually the ones who are less skilled.
So no its not the general workmanship of plasterers that is effecting the rates it is the how the work is released by the contractors.
But thats not to say the Sub Contractors cannot respond to the situation in a way that minimises the affects of the issue but thats another subject.
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