Plastering your home

Plastering in Leeds is now an average cost of between £15-£25 per hour, or £150-£200 per day. Typical charges tend to be: £150 per ceiling, £250 per wall or between £400-£600 for the average room. The most frequently asked question is, how long does it take to plaster a room? This completely depends on the size of the room and walls. However, on average a single wall takes 3 to 4 hours, whilst a room can take up to a day.

How much does plastering cost?

Plasterers in London and the South of England can charge up to 20% more than other regions within the UK. The hourly rates of plasterers vary depending on the skill level of the professional and where abouts they live. The price of plastering can also vary by quality and quantity of the materials also. Plasterers in Yorkshire will charge much less than plasterers in the South due to the geographical location.

The average cost of plastering completely depends on the size of the room/ceiling.

Estimated cost of plastering a room:

Small – £600 – £700

Medium – £650 – £900

Large – £1,000 – £1,500

Estimated cost of plastering a ceiling:

Small – £200 – £350

Medium – £250 – £450

Large – £400 – £750

Estimated cost of skimming a wall:

Small – £100 – £150

Medium – £150 – £250

Large – £200 – £400

Estimated cost of skimming a ceiling:

Small – £200 – £280

Medium – £280 – £380

Large – £400 – £550

Estimated cost of external rendering:

Small – £1900 – £2500

Medium – £3800 – £4500

Large – £4500 minimum

If you live in a property that is not a bungalow, a plasterer may need scaffolding to provide a sturdy platform when applying external render or internal plaster in a stairwell. Scaffoldings costs can be up to £1,000 to access an entire house, which would need to be added onto the original price.

Plastering onto new walls only usually needs to be damp for the plaster to stick smoothly. However, if you are planning on plastering over a decorated wall, the plaster would need something to fix to. Skimming over paint or wallpaper isn’t advisable as the new skim would attempt to bond with the paint not the underlying surface. In turn, the paint or wallpaper would gradually pull away from the wall and therefore the new plaster would collapse.

To avoid this, the plasterer would rub the surface using a wire brush to remove all excess masonry or paint. Holes will be filled with a sand and cement mortar and any existing paint would be removed by scabbling which is making small indentations in the surface.

Skilled plasterers in the area could also add cosmetic finishes to a plastered wall or even add plaster coving to the internal corners of the room.

Plastering an Entire House

Plastering an entire house would be cheaper than plastering one room for many reasons:

  • The plasterer doesn’t have to transport tools and materials back and forth as they will be ready for the whole house
  • Typically, the plasterer will plaster opposite walls in a room and start on other rooms to get the work done quicker.
  • They can remove old plaster and prepare other walls whilst the plastering is carried out in a different room
  • A skip can be hired for cheap

Factors which may affect the cost:

  • Room Dimensions – Typically a large room takes longer to plaster and therefore it costs more. However, don’t be fooled that plastering a small room can be equally as difficult as working in a large room.
  • Accessibility – The plasterer would need access to high walls and ceilings to carry out the job efficiently. For safe access of high ceilings/walls the plasterer may need scaffolding.
  • Location in the country – Plasterers in Leeds and up North would be much cheaper than plasterers in London and the South. Labour costs in the South of England can be up to 20% more than every else in the country.
  • The Size of the Company – Larger companies charge much more than solo tradesmen due to their high overheads. Therefore, single plasterers would take on minor jobs such as skimming one wall willingly.
  • Existing plaster condition – Usually, a contractor can plaster on top of existing plaster given the surface is stable, dry and adheres the wall. If this is not the case the price would increase dependent on the condition of the plaster such as if the surface needs scabbling or if the existing wall is damp.
  • VAT – Please keep in mind that plasterers’ initial quotes may not include VAT, and this may be added at the end.
  • Additional Hire Costs – These may include waste skips/ on-site toilet etc

How to Plaster

Wall:

  1. Mortar and brick surfaces must be rough enough to ensure a good key to bond with the plaster.
  2. Remove all loose particles, oil, and grease from the surface with a wire brush.
  3. Wet the surface for about 6 hours before applying the plaster
  4. Apply a base coat of sand and cement mortar to around 10 to 15mm
  5. Let the base coat partially dry, scratch the surface with a trowel to provide a key for the finishing coat to bond.
  6. Spread the finishing coat 3mm deep. Level with a wooden float then give it a smooth finish with a metal trowel.
  7. Once the topcoat is on, allow it to cure without adding heat. Keep the wall moist for up to a week to allow the plaster to be hard with no cracking. Ventilate the room to remove excess moisture after the first couple of days.
  8. Clean splashes from skirting boards and door frames before the plaster sets.

Ceiling:

  1. Fix specific plasterboard sheets in place on the ceiling joists. This may require a certain thickness board for fireproofing.
  2. Mix the plaster slurry and trowel into the grooves between boards
  3. Press the plasterboard joining tape across the joint before the plaster dries
  4. Smooth the plaster slurry over the tape to cover it
  5. Apply a coat of finishing plaster on the plasterboard from the edges towards the middle using a wooden float to make the surface level.
  6. Use a metal trowel to smooth the surface
  7. Go round the edges removing any lumps before the plater has cured.

Types of plaster:

  • Browning plaster (a base coat used on brick or concrete block)
  • Multi-finish plaster (provides a smooth finish on different surfaces)
  • One coat plaster (acts as a 2-in-1 base and finishing coat
  • Bonding plaster (base coat for surfaces which aren’t absorbent)
  • Finishing plaster (finishing coat on top of browning plaster)
  • Board finish (only used on plasterboard)

Benefits of plastering:

  • Prevents dust by sealing rough brick/stonework.
  • Smooth plaster gives a hygienic surface when painted
  • Gives a fireproof barrier
  • Adds to the thermal and acoustic insulation on the wall
  • Can repair holes and cracks in existing plaster

Find Local Plasterers

Our maintenance team has a range of professional, fully qualified plasterers who have very reasonable prices.

Installing Bathroom Lights

Safety

 

Bathroom lights have specific IP ratings to ensure safety in the bathroom. Not all lights are safe to be fitted in the bathroom, therefore checking the IP rating before choosing decorative lighting is very important.

 

Light fittings for all different uses have an IP rating, including bathroom, bedroom, and outside lights. The general rule for installing bathroom lights is for the IP rating to be 65 or above. However, every bathroom also has a zone and dependent on the zone’s location, it may be possible to install bathroom lights with a lower rating than 65 however we would advise against this.

 

Lighting Zones

 

Bathroom lighting consists of 3 zones (0-2), zone 0 is the most risk from water damage and zone 2 being more flexible.

 

Zone 0 – Closest to water or in some circumstances submerged into water, the bathroom light needs to have low voltage and have an IP rating of IP68.

Zone 1 – Susceptible to water splashes but won’t endure the full force of the shower water. The IP rating can be as low as IP44 if there is no water flow that will hit the light fitting.

Zone 2 – IP rating can also be as low as IP44 if there is no direct spray to the light. However, we advise that IP rating of IP65 is used for all bathroom lights to avoid damage and ensure safety.

How Much Does Rewiring and Other Electrical Work Cost?

Rewiring your home is always a good investment. Yes, it is a substantial project and dependent on the size of your property can be quite expensive. However, it will give you peace of mind that your home appliances are running safely and reliably and could even add value to your home! 

So how much does a house rewire cost? In the UK, a house rewire can cost anywhere between £1500-£7500 depending on the size of your home. The average 3 bed home would cost between £3500-£5,500 and would most likely take around 5 to 7 days to complete.

In this article, we will cover how much it costs to rewire a house, how to save money on rewiring and other electrical costs, how to find an electrician and what factors affect the cost of rewiring a house.

How Much Does It Cost to Rewire a House?

The cost of a rewire completely depends on the size of your house as well as where your property is located.

Please see below a range of prices for different sized properties:

Property SizeEstimated CostTime Required
One bed£1,500 – £3,0003 to 4 days
Two bed£2,000 – £3,5004 to 5 days
Three bed£3,500 – £5,5005 to 7 days
Four bed£5,500 – £7,5007 to 8 days
Five bed£7,500 – £12,0008 to 10 days

Please also note that these prices exclude plastering and decorating required to finish the job fully. Some electricians may be able to provide a quote to carry this out. 

If the rewire was a straightforward job it would include:

  • Renewing the wiring from the electricity meter to the consumer unit
  • Installing a new consumer unit
  • Electrical accessories such as socket outlets 
  • Circuit testing and final installation certificates

What Affects the Cost of Rewiring a House?

As expected the cost on rewiring your home will vary depending on factors which are:

  • The size of your house
  • Whether the home is occupied during the rewiring
  • Where you live in the UK
  • The specification of fittings and fixtures you choose
  • The number of sockets etc 

How Can I Save Money on Rewiring?

Like most of us we all look to save a few pennies, and why not? Here are a few tips and tricks on how to do so:

  • Sourcing Own Fittings. Where you can, buying your own plug sockets or point replacements can help reduce fees and they would not need to buy all materials. 
  • Leaving the Property. This may not be possible for everyone but for those who have second homes or family and friends who can accommodate, however by leaving the property whilst works are carried out this would speed up the process making it cheaper.
  • Giving Advance Notice. If you are wanting to make any changes such as changing positions of sockets it is best to inform the electricians before they begin any works. 

How Do I Find and Hire a Qualified Electrician?

When looking for an electrician to carry out such a sizable job you would want a highly qualified and reputable candidate. 

Here at Valor Property Maintenance we have a range of competent, reliable and experienced electricians at your service. 

Additional Jobs

If you have other little electrical jobs that you have perhaps pushed aside that are not as big of a job as the rewire, you could ask the electricians to complete these jobs whilst they’re there!

For example:

  • Upgrade lights to LED
  • Replace light fittings
  • Consumer unit Replacement

Any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office on 0113 323 4212 or email molly@valorpropertymaintenance.co.uk and our experienced team will be able to give advice.

Is it Ok to Use Plastic Pipes for Central Heating?

plastic pipes

If you’re renovating your property, or perhaps redoing your central heating system, you may have come across plastic pipes as a material option. Traditionally, you’ll find copper pipes in central heating systems, but can you use plastic pipes? In this article we aim to answer all of your questions about using plastic pipes for central heating systems. 

So, is it ok to use plastic pipes for central heating? Plastic pipes can be used in central heating systems, in general hot and cold water supply, and in most areas where traditional pipes are used. However, experts recommend changing to copper pipes when used within 1.5m of the boiler.

Read on to learn more about using plastic pipes in your central heating system.

Jump To:

Is it Ok to Use Plastic Pipes for Central Heating?

It is perfectly safe to use plastic pipes for central heating systems. They are safe to use in both hot and cold water supply systems, and throughout your central heating installation. However, they should not be used within 1-1.5m of the boiler; traditional copper pipes should be used here for safety reasons.

In fact, plastic pipes are commonly used in new-build houses and other modern buildings. It is also a great option for repair work, or changes to existing systems as it is more flexible, more corrosion resistant, quicker to install, and comes with a reduced labour cost. What’s more, plastic pipes tend to be cheaper than traditional copper pipes.

What is the Best Pipe to Use for Central Heating?

Traditionally, copper is used for pipework in central heating systems as it is a fairly robust material. However, in new builds, trends seem to be switching to the use of plastic pipes as a way of saving money, whilst still installing a robust system.

What is Better, Copper or Plastic Pipes?

 Each material has its own benefits, but plastic pipes are probably the better material to use for central heating. Plastic pipes offer the same durability as copper pipes, but are more corrosion resistant and, crucially, are not heat-conducting, meaning that heat or cold is less likely to be lost as the water travels. What’s more, exposed plastic pipes are safer around children.

Some traditionalists will claim that copper is better, and will withstand the test of time far better than plastic. That said, plastic pipes can be expected to last for around 50 years if they are installed properly and are looked after.

copper pipes

Advantages of Plastic Pipes for Central Heating

  • Resistant to many acids, halogens, and corrosion
  • Can carry hot and cold water when installed correctly
  • Quick and simple installation
  • Cheaper than copper
  • Low-temperature conduction (heat won’t get lost as water travels)

Disadvantages of Plastic Pipes for Central Heating

  • Not resistant to solvent
  • The correct plastic pipes must be chosen to ensure longevity (not all plastic pipes are the same)
  • Weaker material and may need support, especially where used for underground plumbing
  • Not ideal for outdoor use
  • Vulnerable to expansion and shrinkage due to temperature

Can You Connect a Radiator with Plastic Pipes?

Radiators can be connected with plastic pipes, and you will find such a setup in most new-build properties or newly-fitted central heating systems. The plastic pipes are connected into the rad valves; the male end goes into the valve compression and the pipe pushes into the female end.

plastic pipes

How Close Can Plastic Pipe Be to a Boiler?

Plastic pipes can be used throughout the central heating system, but should not be used within 1m of the boiler. You should also refrain from using plastic pipes close to the gas supply.

 The general rule is to use copper pipes 1-1.5m from the boiler, then change to a barrier plastic pipe, before switching to the plastic pipe you intend to use throughout the system.

Qualified Plumbers in Bradford & Leeds

Valor Property Maintenance offers a professional plumbing service in Bradford and across the Leeds area. If you’re looking for a plumber or an emergency Leeds plumber, we can provide a contracted engineer for callouts between 9:00AM – 5:30PM Monday to Friday.

We also provide a wide range of other home maintenance services including full or part refurbishment, electrical, handyman, pest control, and cleaning services. Valor Property Maintenance is a one-stop-shop for your landlord business.

Get in touch with us today for a quote.

Can a Handyman Replace an Electrical Outlet?

UK Plug Socket

When things break in your property, sometimes, instead of thinking about quality, you think about price, and who can do the job for the cheapest price. This might lead you to wonder if a simple handyman can do basic electrical work like replacing an electrical outlet. In this article, we go over whether or not a handyman can replace electrical outlets, how much it is likely to cost, and other information around the topic. 

So, can a handyman replace an electrical outlet? Yes, UK handymen are legally able to change electrical outlets, so long as they can competently complete the job. Handymen do not need to be qualified electricians to replace outlets and sockets.

Read on to learn more about the electrical jobs that your local handyman can do.

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Can a Handyman Replace an Electrical Outlet?

Handymen can replace an electrical outlet, so long as they can competently complete the task; you do not have to be a qualified electrician to replace electrical outlets and perform other minor electrical works. 

It is important, however, that you trust your handyman’s ability to complete electrical work to regulated standards. Whilst replacing an electrical outlet isn’t considered major electrical work, bad wiring can still cause damage to yourself, your family, and your home.

Is a Handyman Cheaper than an Electrician?

Handymen can often be cheaper than qualified electricians, as the work that they are legally allowed to do is less complex and less time-consuming than more major electrical works. What’s more, materials/parts are often cheaper for minor electrical jobs. 

In the UK, replacing or adding a new electrical outlet can cost, on average, between £50 – £300, including labour. Outdoor electrical outlets can cost around £110, on average.

Can I Replace an Electrical Outlet Myself?

Legally, you can replace an electrical outlet yourself, but you should be comfortable that you can competently, and safely complete the work. Never attempt electrical work, no matter how minor, if you are not sure what you are doing. You must also check that any electrical installations and alterations are subject to local building and electrical regulations that you must comply with. Check local regulations here.

How to Replace an Electrical Outlet

NOTE: Only attempt electrical work if you feel confident that you can competently and safely carry out the job. Contact a handyman or an electrician if you are not confident about any of the steps below. 

  1. First, ensure that you have switched the electricity off at the mains/fuse box by finding the correct switch and turning it off. You do not need to turn off all of the switches. 
  2. Select the current fuse or circuit breaker and either remove the fuse or turn the mini circuit breaker to the off position.
  3. Using a suitable voltage indicating device, confirm that the circuit is dead by undertaking a check for self-isolation.
  4. Unscrew the socket faceplate and gently pull it forwards, giving the wires inside enough slack so that the back of the faceplate can be easily accessed. 
  5. Loosen the screws at the terminal and free the wires.
  6. Check that the wires are not heat damaged. If they are, you’ll need to cut back the cores and strip the ends, leaving 5 mm of copper wire exposed. Then cover the wire with green and yellow wiring. 
  7. The metal back boxes must be earthed, so run a short length of earth cable between the earth terminals of the backbox and the faceplate.
  8. Connect the live wire to the live terminal of the new faceplate. Then, connect the neutral wire and the earth wire to the new faceplate. Fully tighten the screws. 
  9. Fit the new faceplate onto the wall, being careful not to trap any wires.
  10. Undertake suitable electrical testing on the news outlet. You’ll need to ensure that a sound pathway to earth is available. 

What Electrical Work Can a Handyman Do?

At this point, you might be wondering what other electrical work a handyman can do. Essentially, handymen are legally able to perform minor electrical work, including electrical replacement work, minor repairs, and minor electrical changes like moving lights and plug sockets. 

However, handymen cannot carry out electrical work, even minor jobs, in the kitchen, bathroom, outside, or close to a water source. This can only be done by a qualified electrician.

What is Classed as Minor Electrical Work?

Minor electrical work, also known as non-notifiable work (meaning that work doesn’t need to be certified), is typically small, low-risk jobs that do not require a qualified electrician. Some examples of minor electrical work include:

  • Moving sockets, light fixtures, light switches, etc. 
  • Installing new sockets, lights, switches, etc.
  • Repairing or replacing old wires (not a total rewire!)
  • Installing or upgrading main or supplementary equipotential bonding
  • Installing extra low voltage cabling outside bathrooms for telephones, alarms, heating systems, etc. 
  • Installation, maintenance, and repairs of electrical appliances
  • Repairing or replacing a thermostat

You can learn more about the types of electrical work a handyman can carry out in our recent blog post, here

Electrician and Handyman Services in Leeds and Bradford

Valor Property Maintenance offers a professional handyman service in Leeds and Bradford that not only guarantees a trustworthy, reliable tradesman that turns up on time but also assures a job well done. We also offer qualified electricians for those jobs that require a little more expertise. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your job and to get a quote