Use the day rates below when calculating how much a home improvement project will cost.
We have also provided information about wages for employed tradespeople for comparison.
This page contains the following information:
- Day rates for self-employed construction workers
- An explanation of the difference between a day rate and a wage
- Updated annual wages for employed construction workers on PAYE
Day Rates For the Self Employed
The difference in value is because day rates vary depending on location and experience:
|Double Glazing Installer||£120||£180|
|Tiler (walls and floors)||£140||£200|
|Painter and Decorator||£120||£180|
Read This First
When calculating the “day rate” for labour, do consider that some tradespeople work in a team of two.
This is usually an experienced and qualified tradesperson along with a labourer/trainee.
However, there are occasions when two fully qualified people will work together, this costs more per day, but the work should be completed in fewer days.
Also, where you live has a considerable impact on the cost of labour. Tradespeople in the north of the UK earn much less than those living in London.
The day rate for labour usually includes the wages of the tradesperson and the running of a van or vehicle for that day. The rate doesn’t include any other major overheads, materials or profits a larger company would be looking to make.
The day rates in our table above are a good starting point when trying to calculate how much a project will cost.
Is a “Day Rate” the Same as a Wage?
While we don’t want to use this website to defend high labour fees, we do understand why tradespeople charge the amount they do.
We also understand why some homeowners feel they are being ripped off.
One should remember that even small “one man” type traders have overheads.
Vans, training, insurance, tools and access equipment such as scaffold towers can cost many thousands of pounds. Also, the self-employed, unlike employed persons, do not earn when they are off work sick or on holiday, so they have to charge more per-day when they are at work to compensate for this.
So no, a day rate for the self-employed cannot be fairly compared to a wage that is paid to an employed person.
A tradesperson’s day rate will always be higher than an employed person’s wage, assuming they work in the same sector.
Average Wages/Earnings For Tradespeople (employed persons)
The section below provides details of average wages for employed people in the construction industry.
We have gathered the data from reliable sources and have also cited them:
Below is our guide to plumber’s earnings, both sources cite roughly the same amount:
|£28362 pa||Total Jobs||Updated March 2017 and based on sample of 154 jobs|
|£27330 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
According to our two sources, electricians earn roughly the same as plumbers.
The data from Total Jobs is based on 340 job vacancies on their website, so seems accurate:
|£29000 pa||Total Jobs||Based on sample of 340 jobs|
|£30345 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
The difference between the two wages cited below is stark.
We know several experienced employed roofers in the south of the UK that earn around £40,000 pa so the lower figure suggested below appears to be an error. It’s similar to what a semi-experienced labourer would earn in this sector:
|£37500 pa||Total Jobs||Based on sample of 152 jobs|
|£22800 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
Window Fitter’s Pay:
Again, we see a huge difference between the data supplied by Total Jobs and This is Money.
A realistic wage in the south of the UK is probably closer to £30,000, based on our experience.
|£52500 pa||Total Jobs||Based on limited sample of 18 jobs|
|£20853 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
Below is data for plasterer’s wages:
|£25406 pa||Total Jobs||Based on sample of 94 jobs|
|£22370 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
Carpenters wages seem a little low, we expected them to be a few thousand higher pa.
|£25000 pa||Total Jobs||Based on sample of 124 jobs|
|£24817 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
Landscape Gardener’s Wages:
General landscape gardening is not always a well paid job for employed persons.
We do know from experience that those who become specialists can earn considerably more than those who do general landscaping.
Also, hard landscaping (patios, decking, fences, retaining walls etc) tends to pay more than soft landscaping:
|£27000 pa||Total Jobs||Based on sample of 90 jobs|
|£18010 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
Painters and Decorator’s Pay
Wages in this sector were suppressed for several years due to the influx of unskilled labour from Eastern Europe, but earnings have now started to increase and this is reflected in the data below:
|Painters and Decorators||Source||Info|
|£23724 pa||Total Jobs||Based on sample of 54 jobs|
|£22351 pa||This is Money||Updated December 2014|
Average Wages by Sector (Updated for 2017)
Figures released by the Office For National Statistics in 2017 revealed several interesting insights.
Highlights include train drivers earning more than architects and the average wage in the UK now being £27200.
The data is based on 21.5million jobs.
Try This Salary Checker
Total Jobs have created a helpful Salary Checker that you can try here.
Our price list is the most popular page on our website: