Plastering Industry Overview

Plastering accounts for approximately 3% of the specialist construction sector.* Required in almost all industrial, commercial, residential and public buildings, the industry relies heavily on demand from ‘downstream’ construction markets.

The sector encompasses specialist contractors that install plasterboard and ornamental plastering products, finish and render walls and apply solid or fibrous plastering. Contractors can also repair buildings and structures and install wall systems / laths ready for the application of plaster.

Residential contracts provide the industry with a major source of revenue, particularly for smaller subcontractors. The profound drop in demand from these markets, bought about by the economic downturn, has adversely affected the plastering industry’s revenue, with a decline of 4.9% to £1.6 billion estimated over the five years through 2013/14*.

Industry analysts predict steady growth for the plastering sector over the next five years with stronger growth forecast for the later part of the five-year growth period. However, growth experts predict that rates are likely to be much lower than those enjoyed by the sector before the recession hit.

The commercial sector is expected to experience a well-needed boost in the long term thanks to increases in business confidence and consumer spending. This should provide better opportunities for contractors operating in the sector. However, it is predicted that the industry will benefit most from investment in private housing and a shift in demand for maintenance and repair contracts.

Whilst public spending remains inhibited, there will be few opportunities for plastering contractors in  the public non-housing sectors.

Plastering Industry Statistics*

  • Revenue: £2bn
  • Growth (09-14): -4.9%
  • Employment: 12,738
  • Businesses: 4,252

* Plastering in the UK: Market Research Report, Ibis World, July 2013

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