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Paying £1150 to have bedroom skimmed - is this reasonable?

(18 Posts)
ContraryLollipop Wed 04-Oct-17 22:22:49

Is £1150 realistic to skim a bedroom? I am shocked at the final bill, but at the same time it seems fair for the work that was involved and I don't feel I can challenge the breakdown. Was this just an unusually complex case? Or are we being taken for mugs?! Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Details of the room and job below...

- We are in outer London
- Room is about 5m x 4m (front bedroom in Victorian terrace)
- Room has a chimney breast and alcoves and 2 curvy vertical bits and bay window (i.e. not a straightforward rectangle)
- We only got the walls skimmed, not the ceiling.
- The walls had to have lining paper stripped off first, as part of the job. This lining paper had only been put on a few years ago and 90% came off relatively easily (it had previously had woodchip paper which I recall taking longer to remove).
- We wanted the work done at short notice (ie within 6 weeks of quoting/booking) so they worked over a Saturday to accommodate.
- They moved 4 large furniture items around, and took off and replaced electric socket covers, shutters, curtain poles. They removed a radiator.
- They are including a carpet-clean with their own machine in the price (not done yet)
- Very good quality finish from what I can tell.
- They encountered some blown plaster around chimney breast and one alcove and needed to go back to brick on these small areas, they charged extra on top of the quote to rectify this, which brought the total up to £1150.

It did take them about 5 person-days in total, making me think the price is not bad for the labour involved. I was in the house the whole time so I know when they were here and followed their progress.

But it seems SO much more than what a normal person seems to pay and this seems to be a common theme with anything we pay to get done!

Various online price websites suggest a room should cost £300-£600 to skim. Are we being fleeced paying £1150? I would appreciate any thoughts from others who have had similar work done or knowledge of the industry. Thanks for reading.

KoolKoala07 Wed 04-Oct-17 22:31:42

We paid 250 (or there abouts) for a 9ftx9ft room. Walls and ceiling but all he did was skim. We done all the prep, room was clear and had no cleaning up to do. We also live in a cheaper part of the country than you. For what you've got I would say it isn't a bad price.

KoolKoala07 Wed 04-Oct-17 22:32:45

Also a perfectly square room, with one door and one normal window.

ContraryLollipop Wed 04-Oct-17 22:44:05

Thank you KoolKoala. I guess all those little extra jobs do take time and money. It's a sickening amount to pay just for slightly smoother walls though!

KoolKoala07 Wed 04-Oct-17 22:56:42

Yes and it's something that isn't particularly obvious in a room, unlike for example decoration or fancy curtains. If it was 1 person over 5 days it gives them £230 a day but from that you have to consider insurance, tax, travel, supplies etc.

Humptynumpty02 Wed 04-Oct-17 22:56:50

We recently had a single wall in a bedroom taken back to brick and then skimmed. Cost about £750 I think so yours sounds about right. We are Surrey

ContraryLollipop Thu 05-Oct-17 00:23:36

Thanks Humpty. Only a small section of ours was back to brick. He said the walls were in better state than he'd expected (still charged extra for the 'unforeseen' blown areas mind)

It's the disparity with the online price guides that had me worried. Maybe they are just considering new-builds or best-case-scenarios. E.g., Which?Local and others.

I think that's it Koala. You kind of take having smooth walls for granted rather than them being an expensive feature to be admired smile

When we bought the house a few years back I didn't even notice what was on the walls and ceilings (artex, wood chip) and could not have dreamt how much it would cost to just have smooth walls throughout!

YorkshireTea86 Thu 05-Oct-17 07:27:49

We're paying £880 for our kitchen and utility, total about 30msq, which is an odd shape and includes the ceiling and blocking up a door, however we stripped it all first and the room is empty, plus we're in the north which is cheaper too. Considering those things it's probably not too bad

JoJoSM2 Thu 05-Oct-17 07:35:24

I'm in outer London too. I got a bunch of quotes and some were similar to your price and others a lot higher and some cheaper. I'm not sure what took them 5 man-days to be honest...

We went with a cheap quote and paid the same as you to have our sitting and dining rooms replastered (walls and ceilings). The rooms are a tad bigger but the ceilings lower as it's a 20's house (265cm ceilings) and they are knocked through. Both have bays and only one a fireplace with alcoves. The paper had been taken off already and there was no furniture to move or floor to cover. It took the guy about 25h and he did it over the weekend which seems a little mental but I was happy with the finish.

InfiniteSheldon Thu 05-Oct-17 07:45:52

That's relatively cheap! All the stripping of wallpaper moving furniture pushes the price up. If you want to pay less do all that prep yourself. We've done two houses up in the last year and here in the SE you'd pay more than that and wait longer. DH does all our plastering now but that's a very reasonable price.

5rivers7hills Thu 05-Oct-17 08:13:50

Lots of fiddly prep jobs - 5 days at £250 doesn’t seem that bad.

ContraryLollipop Thu 05-Oct-17 11:42:59

Thanks everyone for your views, feeling much happier about it now. It does seem a fair price for the labour.

FruitBadger Thu 05-Oct-17 11:49:00

Surrey / Sussex / Hampshire borders here & DH is a tradesman. DH sub-contracts plastering work. A good plasterer in our area is c£180 per day, including the cost of materials it doesn't sound a ridiculous amount at all for 5 days labour.

ContraryLollipop Thu 05-Oct-17 20:27:38

Thanks Fruitbadger, that is helpful inside knowledge.

I was expecting a few comments saying we'd been ripped off but there's been nothing of that nature, which is a relief!

Welldoneme Fri 06-Oct-17 14:55:39

I've always budgeted for about £200 a day for labour so I don't think you was ripped off x

LoveNunxxx Sat 07-Oct-17 11:00:53

Well, my 32m2 kitchen lounger cost 1750 and they did the ceilings too. were in the north west and the plasterer has an excelent name.

newmumwithquestions Sat 07-Oct-17 11:11:23

The fiddly jobs add up. Also it's worth getting several rooms done at once if you can.

It's a lot for a skim on a room but if it took 5 days it's quite cheap. We paid our plasterer 360/day (south not London). He's a machine though - good finish and works like an ox.

It would work out a similar price per room as you. But better value as every room was back to brick. But we pva'd the walls first, plasterboarded the ceiling and rooms were totally cleared so no radiators, wiring sorted, etc so all he had to do was the plastering.

ContraryLollipop Sat 07-Oct-17 17:36:57

Thanks very much all.

Agree newmum it's better to bulk up jobs, we did have a lot of plastering done when we first moved in as part of bigger decorating jobs, but we ran out of time/money/inclination and hence left this bedroom until now.

I've just uploaded this job to in case it helps others.

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