I own a BISF house in Nottingham, I feel the interior wall cladding in the bedrooms needs to replaced. It appears to be hardboard that has been wall papered over. There is cracking along the board joins and some of the boards are loose.

Is it possible to replace the hardboard panels with plaster board then skim over with plaster? I’ve been told that this is not possible due to movement (expansion and contraction) in the steel frame, will just cause the plaster skim to crack.

Any knowledgable advise welcome, well any advise welcome.


  • Ed (Senior Member)

    Hi Matt and welcome! The idea that you can't skim the interior of a BISF house due to expansion and contraction of the steel frame sounds plausible, but is in fact false. It is pretty standard to skim the interior of a BISF house. Gypsum plaster is pretty flexible and you have to remember that the timber it is usually mounted on also expands and contracts with changes in humidity etc and so it is designed for this.

    I have had three of our rooms skimmed (back bedroom, living room and bathroom) and not had any significant problems with cracking. The back bedroom faces south and heats up a lot in the sun but has had no cracking at all. A tiny hairline crack did appear in the living room, but I don't think that is unusual in any type of house.

    I did just what you proposed with replacing the hardboard with plasterboard and had it skimmed, but took the opportunity to replace and improve the insulation behind it, which has made a dramatic difference to comfort, there is a post about it here: http://bisfhouse.com/internal-insulation-project-of-bisf-bedroom-by-ed


    • Guest
    • 3 years ago

    Ed Thanks for the reply this is exactly what I'd like to do. Having a good read now. Matt

    • Guest
    • 3 years ago

    Hi, first of all I have to thank you all as I got some insight of BISF house from all of your post.

    At this moment all the walls of my house is covered with wall papers which are uneven (?becuse of uneven walls) so I am also planning to go for plasterboard .
    Can I pls ask how much would it cost to do plaster boarding in the large room by a professional?
    Also there are some squeaky sound from the upstairs floor while we walk. So I am planning to re do the floor but I have been told due to movement of the steel , squeaky sound will never go . Is that true?

    My house is in dagenham East in Essex. Is there any professional around this area who knows about this type of building work?

    Sorry asking too many question as I really want to sort out the wall &floor of my house. We are firt time buyer so was a bit excited before buying this house without knowing much about it but now become really disappointed :-(

    Eagerly waiting for the reply.

  • You must to post comments

Complete tosh.

The only thing that would cause significant cracks would be significant stuctural movement, which doesnt happen, and even then you have to remember the steel frame is not what youre plastering directly to, the more flexible wooden frame is which would reduce the movement ever felt by the extra layer of the somewhat flexible but equally strong top layer of plasterboard, so you’ll have no more reason for cracks in a BISF house than that of a brick built one.

Either way its a messy job I can warn you of that 🙂

My whole BISF house has been plasterboarded and fully skimmed, and considering the strong winds we’ve had throughout this time theres not been a single crack FYI – Youl have more movement but you leaning on the wall than the frame of the building flexing slightly.

Get a different plasterer

Grangey 🙂

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