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Last updated on May 11th, 2022

Ceiling repair cost guide

Curious about ceiling repair and replacement costs? With many older ceilings suffering from water damage, cracks, cheap unappealing finishes and some even containing dangerous asbestos fibres, replacing your ceiling is an opportunity to not only introduce your own style but also to safety proof and future proof an integral part of your home.

Read on to discover costs as well as important factors to consider.

Average price of ceiling repair and replacement

If the problem is purely cosmetic or due to structural issues, there are many costs to consider when repairing or replacing your ceiling. These include the size of your room, whether you only need a small repair, or if your ceiling needs to be completely re-plastered.

To help you price this job we spoke to Bob Branscombe (MRICS and MCIOB qualified), who has 34 years in the industry with Branscombe Consulting. Together, we have compiled the following table to give you a rough estimate of the average cost of ceiling repairs and replacements.

Ceiling repair costsUnitCost +VAT (low range)Cost +VAT (high range) Average cost
Replacing a ceilingPer project£400£1,000£700
Replace whole ceiling in a small box roomPer project£400£600£500
Replace a whole ceiling in a large roomPer project£750£1,000£875
Small patch and repair workPer project£150£200£175
Remedial simple repairsPer m--£11
Plaster a small ceilingPer project£200£350£275
Plaster a medium ceilingPer project£280£440£360
Plaster a large ceilingPer project£425£1,150£725
Water leak ceiling repair (including electrician attending, moving light, and fixing new plasterboard)Per project£1,400£1,700£1,550

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

What does ceiling repair involve?

In many cases it will be possible to repair both small and large areas of your ceiling, however this all depends on the level of damage and the quality of your current ceiling. Also, if you have historical features that you wish to preserve this will affect the time required and the ceiling repair price you pay.

The most common method of repair is done using plasterboard and this can be purchased in sheets, creating a nice uniform result. Large repairs will require two plasterers due to the weight of the material and will begin with the boards being screwed to the overhead framing. The joints will be sealed then the ceiling will be ready to be plastered.

If your ceiling has damage to features such as cornices and mould, it is often possible to preserve these through careful repair jobs. This may involve hiring a skilled worker to recast these beautiful fittings.

Factors affecting the cost of ceiling repair

There are many factors to consider when estimating the cost of repairing a ceiling. The main issues are:

Size of the room: the larger the room or damaged section of ceiling, the more materials and time required, which will lead to higher costs.

The type of ceiling: there are many different materials that can be used for ceilings, including lath and plaster, lime plaster and plasterboard. Depending on the type of ceiling you are repairing the cost will range from £150 to £200.

The finish: depending on whether you wish to simply have a hole patched with plasterboard or to have the repair plastered and decorated the cost will widely vary.

The type of damage: depending on the scope of the damage (e.g. the cost to repair a hole in the ceiling and the cost to repair a leaking ceiling differ greatly) will start at around £150 and increase due to the size of the hole or water damaged area.

If water damage is the cause, it’s important that any leaks, plumbing, or other remedial work is completed before any repair work is started.

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How much does it cost to repair a ceiling?

The previous table includes the average costs of ceiling repair, this can be anything from £150 to £400+ depending on the size of the repair and the material used.

The cost of repairing a small hole in the ceiling will start at about £150 and take around 2 to 3 hours. Larger patches of damage will take 3 to 4 hours and could cost upwards of £400.

If it’s a simple issue, you can often mend it yourself. One method involves cutting out a crack and making good with filler. In this case, ceiling repair costs per square metre could be as little as £11.

Ceiling replacement and repair costWhat does a ceiling replacement involve?

For larger areas of damage where a repair is simply not feasible, or for a completely new aesthetic, it is recommended that you replace your whole ceiling.

Tearing down a ceiling is very messy, so ensure your room and furniture are protected before beginning. Once the old ceiling has been removed, plasterers will check for any hidden damage before proceeding.

It’s worth noting that this can flag issues that will need to be fixed before continuing.

Sheets of plasterboard or drywall will then be cut to fit the shape of your ceiling and screwed onto the joists. Once the joints of these boards are sealed, a layer of plaster will need to be applied.

Plastering is incredibly difficult, so it is strongly recommended you seek professional help to ensure a perfect finish.

Finally, when the plaster is dry, your ceiling is ready to be painted.

Ceiling repair cost calculator

To calculate the cost of ceiling repair you’ll need to take into account the various factors that will affect the price of the job. The size and condition of the ceiling are two of the most influential factors when it comes to the cost of repairing a ceiling. The type of damage being the third key factor, as it will directly affect the type of repair work needed.

To work out exactly what the price will be, we recommend speaking to local ceiling repair experts to get accurate costs in your area for your specific ceiling repair job.

Ceiling repair quote

We recommend obtaining at least three quotes from our trusted tradespeople. Our request a quote feature is perfect for getting quotes – simply post details about the job you want doing, provide measurements if necessary, and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out!

Ceiling repair hourly rates

Most ceiling repair work will be carried out by a plasterer, often with a labourer helping out. The hourly rate for a plasterer is around £15 to £20 per hour, or they’ll charge a day rate in the region of £150 to £200 per day. A labourer will cost about £80 to £100 per day.

How much does it cost to replace a ceiling?

The cost to fully replace a ceiling can vary widely, with a small room costing between £400 to £600 and a large room between £750 to £1000. If you are skilled in DIY and are confident in your ability to do everything but the plastering, this will save you around £250.

The time taken to replace a ceiling will depend on how large the room is and how many workers are required. On average the time for two tradespeople to replace a ceiling will be five hours for a small room and seven hours for a large room.

How much does it cost to re-plaster a ceiling?

While replacing a whole ceiling is costly and time-consuming, re-plastering your ceiling can be a viable option that will repair plaster damage and give your room a fresh and modern feel. It is of course important to remember that any structural damage underneath the plaster should be remedied swiftly to avoid any future issues.

On average the cost to plaster a small room ranges from £200 to £350, a medium room from £280 to £440 and a larger room from £425 to £725. The time this will take again depends on the size of your room but will be approximately four hours.

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Fixing a leak costHow much does it cost to repair a ceiling leak?

If you are unlucky enough to have your ceiling damaged by a leak, there are a few steps involved to remedy this. Repairing the damage will require the following:

  • An electrician checking over and replacing broken wiring.
  • Moving any lighting.
  • Installing new plasterboard.
  • Plastering the finished surface.

The cost to repair a leaking or water damaged ceiling factors in the time-consuming nature of the job, due to the number of tradespeople being required and the cost will reflect this.

On average you can expect to pay anything from £1,400 to £1,700. This will likely take several days to allow for separate work by electricians and plasterers.

Once the damage has been repaired, you could complete the finishing touches yourself to bring down the cost per square metre.

Do ceiling repair kits work?

You can purchase a wide range of ceiling repair kits from many different sellers; however, it is important to consider that not all will be up to the same standard. As a general rule, the price you pay will reflect the quality of any kit you choose.

Whether the ceiling repair kit you purchase will work or not largely depends on the size of the damaged area you are repairing. Kits are generally designed to be used on small patches so if your issue is large it is important to seek the help of a qualified professional.

Minor ceiling repairOther costs to consider

It is important when budgeting for repairs and ceiling replacements to take into account the numerous other issues that can be pricey and time-consuming on top of your ceiling repair cost.

Below is a list outlining some of the common additional costs involved:

Preparing the room – during complete ceiling replacements, all furniture needs to be removed, and the room should be sealed in order to prevent dust from damaging fixtures and escaping into the other rooms. This can be a lengthy process but will be worth the effort.

Hidden damage – until the old ceiling is torn down, it will be unclear what condition the underlying structures are in and this will increase the cost and duration of the job.

Considering the different types of finish available – there are several levels of finish offered by tradespeople, you will need to decide which best fits your requirements. For example, a Level 0 finish will leave the plasterboard exposed and a Level 5 finish includes covering the surface with three compound coatings. The higher the level you choose, the higher the time required and cost will be.

Deciding which materials you prefer – there are many different materials that can be used to create a ceiling. These will cost differing amounts and include lath and plaster, and plasterboard.

Retaining period features – including cornices and moulds, you may wish to keep these features or even repair damage to them which will add on time and cost to the job.

The health and safety of the workers and people living in the house – older ceilings may contain lead or even asbestos which is harmful to anyone who comes into contact with it. It is essential to use proper protection and to take any extra steps necessary to ensure the safety of all involved. Need a ceiling repair or replacement quote?

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Key takeaways for ceiling repair and replacements

  • Check what material your ceiling is currently made from and decide whether to refurbish this or install a whole new ceiling.
  • Ensure proper safety measures are taken for workers and residents of the house.
  • Speak to a professional to help you to decide whether a repair is possible or if a whole ceiling replacement is necessary.
  • Do not attempt to plaster the ceiling yourself as this is a complex and difficult job.
  • Water damage must be dealt with professionally, despite the cost, to avoid serious damage at a later date.

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