Plasterers mix and apply different kinds of plaster to provide a plastering finish to internal surfaces such as walls, floors and ceilings. They may also be involved with mixing and applying plastering finishes for external walls using sand and cement, pebble-dash or stone-effect materials.
Jobs in plastering range from new-build housing or commercial developments to small-scale domestic extensions, repairs and restoration. There are two main types of plastering work:
A third, rapidly growing area often associated with plastering is dry lining. Essentially, this is a generic term used to describe the construction of internal partitions using plasterboard or wallboard. Wall and floor partitions are constructed by fastening boards together onto a timber or metal frame ready for decorating. See also Ceiling Fixer.
On large projects, plasterers may work in teams on different sections of wall at the same time.
The usual working week is 39 hours, Monday to Friday,
although overtime at weekends or evenings is common
when deadlines must be met.
Solid plasterers and dry liners normally work indoors, but conditions can be cold and draughty. Fibrous plasterers are usually found in workshops, but sometimes visit sites. Plasterers may have to work at heights from ladders, platforms or scaffolding, and protective clothing and headgear is normally required.
Plasterers travel from site to site to complete jobs and although not essential, a driving licence would be useful. Depending on the contract, they may have to work away from home for periods of time.
To be a plasterer you should:
Plasterers work for specialist plastering firms, building contractors, local authorities and other public organisations. Many are self-employed and work as sub- contractors, working as 'labour only' with materials supplied by the building contractor. There may be opportunities to work abroad on contracts.
It may be possible for plasterers to progress to supervisory roles or other related areas, such as estimating and construction management.
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