Remedies: internal walls and ceilings

Problems may include walls that are out of plumb or are unsuitable for paint finish, and linings that have cracked due to building movement.

Internal linings may have been affected by building movement or the general deterioration or damage that occurs over time.


Where wallpaper was used, the original surface of the walls may not be suitable for a paint finish – a full skim coat may need to be applied first.
Plasterboard joints may not have been reinforced, and it is common for the vertical sheet joints to crack. Typically this was hidden under the wallpaper, but where a paint finish is used, cracks will be visible.

Walls out of plumb

If walls are not square or plumb but are stable that in itself is unlikely to cause a problem but incorporating new work is more difficult. The decision about how much to rectify depends on:

  • how far out of square/plumb the wall is
  • whether it will be noticeable or compromise the finished work
  • whether it can be accommodated in the new or repair work
  • what can be done and what it will cost to make good.

Generally, walls out of plumb are unlikely to be particularly noticeable in finished work, or the work can mask it. Where repairs are necessary, options include:

  • fir the walls to make them plumb
  • adjust the wall position with a sledge hammer
  • demolish and rebuild the wall.

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Damage to ceilings is not common, but cracking may have occurred if there has been building movement. If the ceiling is secure, the only repair required is cosmetic.

A plasterboard ceiling may be preferred to replace a softboard ceiling, in which case the softboard may be left in place and covered with plasterboard to retain the insulating and sound absorption benefits of the softboard.

Incorporating insulation

See insulation.