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How to start a plastering business

Thinking of starting up a plastering business? Startups forum users discuss their experiences and offer advice on pricing and accounting

Are you interested in starting up a plastering business? Startups forum users discuss becoming self-employed in the plastering industry and its merits.

How do you get started?

“I previously worked for a plasterer as a labourer. He always said that I was the best labourer that he had ever known. Since I left working with him I have been working in a dusty old warehouse in a job that I hate. I have just recently decided that I would like to go back into plastering and give it a go for myself.

“I have enrolled on an intensive one week hand plastering course where I have to stay away from home. This course states that it will enable me to face any plastering work once completed. I intend on finishing the course and getting myself a small van. I will advertise to do small domestic jobs and see how I get on.

“I am very nervous at the moment to whether I will succeed or not. I will try and give it a good go. Can anyone tell me what things I need to do or set up before I start going out and doing the work? I will work alone and use my own name.”

Find out more about setting up a business here.

Forum user Fen Tiger says:

“Depends on your financial situation as to whether you are able to stop the warehouse job and start plastering. If you’ve got dependents don’t run before you can walk.


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“Firstly, have you actually been plastering whilst you have been labouring? If you have, are you good at it; are you confident you can do it well? If so, go for it.

“Perhaps it would be best to start doing private jobs ‘on the side’ first to see how you go; especially if you are not too sure you can master it as well as you would like to. You would still have a regular income and would be able to test the water first. If you do a good job at a fair price, (not too cheap because your eventual aim is to do it full time) you will probably hardly need to advertise because word of mouth will bring in the work.

“Plastering is an art that really impresses people when done well (I should imagine you know that already), be honest and happily put right anything that goes wrong – even if it costs you a bit. It will pay dividends in the long run. As far as setting up is concerned if you do private jobs first you need little more than your kit and a duplicate invoice book. Keep all your receipts for everything you buy connected with your business and the invoices you write to your customers. If you’re not sure how to account for it with the tax people and filling in the tax forms phone a local accountant. Most will see you free of charge for an initial consultation to tell you what their charges are and how to go about keeping records.

“About four years ago I was charged £75-£100 for accountant services and that included printing my financial statements and filling in the tax forms (from my trading records I supplied). It was well worth it because I didn’t have that headache and they saved me more than that in tax refunds! Hope that helps a bit. At the end of the day If you are good at it and you enjoy doing it and you know there is a market for it, then go for it.”

See also: How to become a painter and decorator.