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The Renovation Report: Trades Costs in 2009

By Alex Brooks

How much does it cost to call in a painter? What about a plumber or electrician? This story identifies the highest, lowest and average costs of trades and contractors supplying home repair and renovation services throughout Australia.


The cost of a home repair or renovation ranges from $15 an hour for lawn mowing all the way up to $250 an hour for a team of professional painters, according to ServiceSeeking.com.au .

Based on prices supplied for more than 26,536 home renovation and repair jobs across Australia between October 2007 and July 2009, the Pricing Guide for Household Trades & Services offers groundbreaking data on what homeowners should be paying for household trades & services.

There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to show the availability of trades and builders remains good, compared to the boom times of a few years ago. Now could be a great time to take advantage of steady pricing to complete work you may have put off around the house.

How much do architects charge for renovation or extension plans?

Architects charge between $50 and $110 per hour for their labour, with an average quoted hourly rate of $74 per hour. The average quoted price for renovation or extension drafting is $7,292.
Typically, an architect will make a site visit and work with the client to produce drawings and plans to their liking. Architects can also assist with submitting plans and development applications to councils and the relevant authorities.
Some architects can recommend builders and contractors, provide project management and interior design services, as well as help source fixtures and fittings. Often, architects have relationships with suppliers of building materials and can negotiate a better price than you can ordinarily get through retail channels.

How much should I pay for a bathroom renovation?

Builders charge between $35 and $80 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $57 per hour. The average total quoted price for bathroom renovation work is $5,726. Commonly, a bathroom renovation can include the services of several trade specialists like
plumbers and tilers. Most renovation quotes do not include prices for fixtures and fittings, but do include some basic consumables. Bathroom specialists will often be able to help their customers select appropriate fixtures for their new bathroom and negotiate favourable prices with suppliers.

How much should my kitchen renovation cost?

The average kitchen renovation job costs around $5,321. Builders charge anywhere between $40 and $70 per hour, with an average quoted price of $56 per hour. Total prices vary depending on whether materials are included. Prices for kitchen renovations vary dramatically depending on the quality of appliances, fixtures and fittings used. In many cases, kitchen renovations require the skills of many different tradesmen like plumbers and gasfitters to plumb in sinks, ovens and dishwashers, or carpenters to build and install cabinets and benches.

How much should I pay to install kitchen & bathroom fixtures & fittings?

Tradesmen typically charge $35 to $75 per hour to install fixtures with an average quoted rate of $56 per hour. The average quoted total for fixture installation is $283. The most common jobs involve fitting new taps, basins and vanity units in kitchens and
bathrooms.

How much should a plumber cost?

Plumbers charge anywhere between $25 and $178 per hour, with an average quoted price of $68 per hour. The average total price for a typical plumbing job is $1,093. Low end hourly rates are for basic work like fixing leaks and drips and can often be completed successfully by a handyman rather than a qualified plumber. High end hourly rates often include the labour of a plumber and apprentice. Total prices vary depending on whether materials are included. Simple consumables like washers and hoses are commonly included in the quoted price, whilst more expensive or specific parts are not included. As plumbing can be dirty work, many plumbers offer to clean up after themselves. You should make sure that a plumber is licensed and insured.

How much should I pay for gasfitting work?

Licensed gas-fitters typically charge between $50 and $88 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $66 per hour. These rates often include the services of a skilled gasfitter and an apprentice. The average quoted price for a complete gas-fitting job is $823.
Typically, gas-fitters are employed to install gas ovens and piping into new kitchens, repair gas piping and leaks, plumb in gas hot water systems, or install bayonet taps or connections for gas heaters. Some tradesmen often have relationships with suppliers of appliances like hot water heaters, and can help negotiate a good price for their customers. Any tradesmen working with gas installations and pipe repairs must be licensed and insured.

How much should my electrician cost?

Electricians charge anywhere between $30 and $140 per hour, with an average quoted price of $65 per hour. The average total price quoted for electrical work is $948. Common electrical jobs include small jobs like the installation of new lighting, fans, powerpoints,
or safety switches, through to complete re-wiring or circuit repair. As with many trades, quotes often include both the services of a skilled electrician and an apprentice. Basic materials like wiring and switches are commonly included in quotes, but more
expensive electrical fixtures like lights, fans or safety switches are priced separately. Make sure that any electrical work is carried out by a fully licensed tradesman.

How much does a cabinetmaker charge?

The average full price quoted for cabinetmaking & joinery jobs is $5,678. Cabinetmakers charge anywhere between $35 and $89 per hour, with an average quoted price of $53 per hour. Total prices vary depending on whether the job is part of a larger project. Many customers request quotes for cabinetmaking & joinery as part of a larger renovation or commercial fit out. Prices are also often exclusive of materials. Examples of cabinetmaking and joinery jobs include shelving, custom pieces and walk in wardrobes. Prices for custom pieces are usually quoted on a per hour basis.

How much should my carpentry job cost?

The average full quoted price for carpentry jobs is $3,052. Carpenters charge anywhere between $25 and $100 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Customers most often request quotes for timber and patio decking and staircase installation.
Carpenters also quote on new home builds and general renovation jobs which can be co-ordinated by a project manager. Some customers require carpenters for maintenance and smaller jobs such as planing back doors and window sills. Quotes can include timber and building materials. Carpenters sometimes work in teams and customers will pay more if more than one carpenter is required to complete the job.

How much should my bricklaying cost?

The average full quoted price for bricklaying is $8,165. Bricklayers charge anywhere between $35 and $85 per hour, with an average quoted price of $52 per hour. Builders often arrange bricklaying as one part of a larger home renovation or landscaping job. They will often exclude the cost of materials in their quote when quoting on an hourly basis. If a fixed price is provided, then bricks and materials are usually included. Customers request quotes for bricklaying to build retaining walls, besserblock walls, internal walls, external brick fences, garage conversions, residential and holiday home construction.

How much should general building & labouring cost?

The average building and labouring job costs around $27,910. Builders charge anywhere between $20 and $95 per hour, with an average quoted price of $51 per hour. General Building & Labouring covers everything from full new home builds, renovations, decking, new storey builds, knock down and rebuild, narrow block new home construction, garage construction, commercial fit outs and subdivisions. Materials are often quoted separately. Builders often work in teams and the hourly rate quoted can often include more than one labourer. Customers often include individuals with no building experience and also owner builders.

How much should I pay for a handyman?

The average home handiwork job costs around $1,010. Handymen charge anywhere between $15 and $150 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Handymen commonly perform basic tasks like gardening or clearing gutters, hanging pictures, replacing light globes or smoke detector batteries, through to more complicated repairs of plaster or tiles, fixing leaking taps, and simple carpentry jobs.

How much should I pay for building maintenance?

The average quote for building maintenance work is $5,209. Building maintenance experts charge anywhere between $25 and $70 per hour, with an average quoted price of $47 per hour. Building Maintenance jobs range from strata maintenance in apartment complexes to jobs around the house. Customers request quotes for a wide range of different jobs, including patching walls, tightening door hinges, fixing leaks and repairing appliances. Larger jobs that require more than one tradesman will result in quotes with higher hourly
rates.

How much should furniture removal cost?

Removalists charge between $20 and $154 per hour, with an average quoted price of $106 per hour. The average total price for a typical furniture removal job is $811. Often hourly rates include many removalists and vehicle hire as well, which explains the
variation between low and high quotes. Some removal companies offer added services like packing and unpacking, box hire, or
insurance which can increase the total quoted price, but offer better value for you.

How much should a glazier cost for window repairs?

Glaziers cost between $50 and $150 per hour with an average hourly rate of $83. An average glass and windows job costs $3,084. Quotes typically include installation and supply of materials.

 

How much should my air conditioning installation cost?

The average air conditioning installation costs $1,613 and you should expect to pay anywhere between $55 and $140 per hour for labour. The average rate quoted for an air conditioning installation is $83 per hour. Typically, quotes include basic materials like brackets and drainage piping, electrical work and the removal of old air conditioning units, but generally do not include the supply of the
new air conditioner. Some installation companies also deal and distribute air conditioning units and can often negotiate a discount or a cash-back offer for the hardware.

How much should I pay for hot water installation & repairs?

It will cost between $50 and $100 per hour with an average quoted rate of $81 per hour for hot water system installation and repairs. The average total price quoted for hot water system work is $1933, which often includes the supply of a new unit. Many quotes include the supply of a new unit and removal of the old unit. Commonly, customers are switching to solar or off peak systems to reduce energy costs. Many consumers may be entitled to a State or Federal government rebate for installing more energy efficient and environmentally friendly systems.

How much should I pay for a locksmith?

Locksmiths charge anywhere between $45 and $55 per hour, with an average quoted price of $48 per hour. The average total price quoted for locks and security work is $449. Commonly, customers request quotes for replacing door and window locks or alarm
systems.

What should I pay for an alarm system to be installed?

The average total quoted price for Security Alarm installation is $930. Security experts charge between $50 and $77 per hour with an average quoted rate of $68. Typically, quotes include the supply of the alarm system itself as well as installation. An alarm system usually includes a central console or panel, several motion sensors, internal and external sirens and cabling.

How much should I pay for my household appliance repairs?

The total quoted price for an appliance repair is $781. Repairers charge anywhere from $15 to $110 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $67 per hour. Common appliance repair jobs include installing dishwashers or waste disposal units that
can require the skills of a plumber. Often, appliance repair quotes include expensive spare parts, especially for whitegoods, like
fridges, washing machines or dryers. This often makes the cost of repair almost as expensive as buying a replacement appliance.

How much should lighting installation and repair cost?

Electricians and lighting specialists charge anywhere from $20 to $90 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $54 per hour. The average total quote for lighting repair or installation is $250. Most lighting work requires the services of a licensed electrician. Common jobs include repairing halogen down-lights, installing bathroom lights like the IXL Tastic or installing basic security lights. Most quotes do not include the lights themselves.

How much does pest control cost?

Pest controllers and exterminators charge between $50 and $90 per hour, with an average quoted price of $61 per hour. The average total quote for pest control work like an inspection and spray is $271. General pest control usually includes an inspection and chemical spray treatment to get rid of ants, silverfish, moths, cockroaches, fleas or termites.

How much should my flooring job cost?

The average full price for flooring work is $3,264. Flooring experts charge anywhere between $35 and $66 per hour, with an average quoted price of $52 per hour. Flooring experts are often carpenters by trade. Common flooring jobs include floor polishing, laminated floor installation, vinyl flooring installation and timber flooring installation. Carpet removal is often included as part of fixed price quotes.

How much should my ceiling repair or installation cost?

The average full price quoted for work on ceilings is $2,003. Builders charge anywhere between $30 and $65 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Ceiling experts quote on jobs that range from repairs and maintenance to installation of new ceilings and cornices. Paint and plaster is often included as part of the quote. Hourly rates rise if a customer requires more than one trades person.

How much should my walls and cladding job cost?

The average full quoted price for walls and cladding jobs is $3,311. Walls and cladding experts charge anywhere between $34 and $90 per hour with an average quoted rate of $49 per hour. Common jobs include the installation and design of feature walls, erection and installation of internal and external walls, cornice/skirting work, wall sheeting, plastering, rendering and taping. Quotes often exclude painting and electrical work. Walls and cladding experts will charge more if more than one trades person is required to do the job.

How much should gyprock installation or repair cost?

The average total quoted price for work with gyprock is $3,016. Builders charge anywhere between $29 and $75 per hour, with an average quoted price of $47 per hour for installing and repairing plasterboard and Gyprock. Commonly, customers request quotes from Gyprock experts for ceiling and wall installation and repairs. If more than one person is required to do the job, the hourly rate increases.

How much does plastering and rendering cost?

The average total price for plastering and rendering is $2,545. Plasterers and renderers charge anywhere between $25 and $70 per hour, with an average quoted price of $46 per hour. The most common plastering job is to repair holes in walls. Many plasterers will include undercoat and matched paint in the cost of the quote. Many plasterers prefer to give fixed price quotes rather than hourly rates.
Rendering quotes are usually priced on an hourly rate basis and many quotes include supply of bondcrete, supply of steel corners, supply of sand and cement and other materials to finish off the job.

How much should painting cost?

Painters charge anywhere between $25 and $250 per hour, with an average quoted price of $41 per hour. The average full quoted price for painting work is $3,139. Painters generally work in teams. Larger jobs typically require 3 or more painters and that is when the quoted hourly rate creeps above $150 per hour. Painting quotes typically include labour, paint and materials, two coats on walls, doors and trims and three coats on the ceiling. Sometimes quotes require the preparation of surfaces, like sanding or removing wallpaper.

How much should tiling and paving cost?

Tilers charge between $26 and $128 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $43 per hour. The average quoted full price for tiling & paving jobs is $2,470. Customers look for tiling and paving quotes across a wide range of activities, including home renovation, bathroom renovation, commercial fit outs, swimming pool areas, landscaping and “whole of house” tiling. Quotes often include labour, and basic materials like glue or grout, but will not usually include the cost of the tiles. Tilers often have relationships with suppliers and can negotiate better prices on tiles than customers can though retail channels.

How much should my demolition cost?

Demolition experts charge anywhere between $32 and $95 per hour, with an average quoted price of $53 per hour. The average quoted price for demolition work is $3,684. Total prices vary depending on whether the job is part of a larger project. Many quotes
exclude or list separately bobcat hire and council waste disposal fees and charges separately. Customers request quotes for demolition of internal walls as part of a larger renovation, demolition of entire houses, site levelling, removal of above ground pools, stripping out kitchen and bathrooms.

How much should asbestos removal cost?

Asbestos removal typically costs between $65 and $75 per hour, with an average quoted
rate of $69 per hour. The average total amount quoted is $1,084.
As broken asbestos is a known carcinogen, removal is typically more expensive than ordinary
rubbish removal. Whilst not dangerous when intact, broken asbestos can cause serious
health problems and should not be disposed of along with normal waste.
Asbestos is typically found in walls, roofing and eaves, and typically its removal is part of a
larger job like a roofing restoration or renovation.

 

How much should landscaping cost?

The average full price for landscaping is $4,296. Landscapers charge anywhere between
$20 and $100 per hour, with an average quoted price of $51 per hour.
Landscapers will typically charge less for general pruning and maintenance and much more
if they are redesigning your garden. Quotes at the higher end of the pricing spectrum often
include construction of retaining walls or some earthmoving and excavation.
Landscapers often work in teams and prices creep up when more than one landscaper is
required to complete the job.

How much should I pay for installation or repairs to doors, fences & gates?

The average door, fencing and gate jobs is $2,833. Door, fencing and gate experts charge anywhere between $25 and $75 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Fencing jobs are the most common job in this category. Customers often seek builders to construct boundary fences or to update a fence that might be old or dilapidated. Door jobs are usually treated separately. Customers ask for door experts to install new doors in residential housing and holiday homes. Customers request bi-fold doors, exterior doors, panoramic doors, interior doors and French doors to be installed.

How much should I pay for roofing or guttering work?

Roofing specialists charge between $36 and $90 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $59 per hour. On average the full quoted price for roofing works is $3,458. Simple roofing jobs include the cleaning and repairing of guttering, waterproofing, or repairing
leaks and cracked tiles. Small projects may cost a few hundred dollars in labour and materials. More complex projects include the complete replacement of corrugated iron or roof tiling, which can cost several thousand dollars. Quotes often include the provision of materials and many roofing experts offer to clean up at the end of the job.

How much should I pay for drainage & sewer work?

Plumbers typically charge between $70 and $85 per hour with an average quoted rate of $77 per hour for drainage and sewerage work. The average full quoted price for drainage work is $1,313. Typically, these types of jobs include plumbing new connections into existing sewerage systems, installing or repairing stormwater drainage or unblocking drains and sewer pipes. Some plumbers use closed circuit TV cameras to identify blocks and breaks in drains and sewer pipes.

How much should concreting cost?

Concreters charge anywhere between $30 and $140 per hour, with an average quoted price of $49 per hour. The average full price quoted is $4,287. Customers generally request concreting quotes as part of a home renovation. Concreting quotes have been submitted for stencilling, construction of driveways and garages, general slab pouring, polished concrete flooring, and tiling work.

How much should pool, spa and sauna work cost?

The average quoted price for work on pools, spas and saunas is $4,686. Tradespeople charge anywhere between $35 and $66 per hour, with an average quoted price of $46 per hour. The most common job in this category is an above ground pool installation and quotes are generally on an hourly rate basis. Occasionally quotes will include a fixed price and may include excavation, reinforced
concrete shells, plumbing, filtration, plans and approval. Generally, removal of excavated soil, electrical connection, pool fencing, surrounds and landscaping and lighting will be extra.

How much should I pay for a gardener?

Gardeners typically charge between $15 and $80 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $39 per hour. The average quoted price for a gardening job is $792, though regular gardening or lawn-mowing services cost significantly less than this. Quotes with high hourly rates often include the services of several gardeners simultaneously. Small gardening jobs include recurring lawn-mowing and regular garden maintenance. These typically cost far less than larger one-off jobs which can involve some landscaping like laying
turf, or removing trees and large amounts of vegetation. Before contracting gardeners to remove trees or perform large landscaping projects, customers should be sure not to violate local council regulations.

How much should rubbish removal cost?

Rubbish removal costs between $35 and $40 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $37 per hour. The average full quoted price for rubbish removal is $434. Rubbish removal quotes often include tipping fees and skip hire. Quotes generally assume
that the waste or rubbish to be removed is ready to be taken away.

How much should I pay for excavation work?

Excavators typically charge between $30 and $85 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $73 per hour. The average total price quoted for earthmoving and excavation jobs is $2,242. Typical jobs include clearing land, levelling or grading sites for new building projects, or basic landscaping projects. Quotes typically include the supply of bobcats or other machinery and can sometimes
include the removal of earth and waste.

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© 2007 Alex May