Party wall question(4 Posts)
I'm trying to work out whether the regs around party wall apply in our situation and wondered if anyone could help.
I've attached a pic and the wall in question is highlighted. We live in a terraced house and in 1998 (long before us living here) the previous owners built the wall highlighted to create a utility next to the kitchen.
We have had planning permission to knock the wall between the kitchen and utility down and create a large kitchen and dining area incorporating the current kitchen and utility.
The wall highlighted will likely need knocking down and rebuilding to take the weight and to create a more permanent structure. From my reading I think party wall applies but wondered what others views were.
For context we're having the loft converted and so have just gone through party wall for that. I'm kicking myself we didn't spot this before as we've already forked out a tonne for surveyors.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Welsh Mammy,
You will be required to serve party wall notices.
It would be good to know if the wall is built across the boundary line or if the wall is built up to the boundary line but wholly on your land.
If the wall needs to be demolished with the old foundations being removed, then a section 6 notice will need to be served to all leaseholders and freeholders to the property next door, because you are excavating within 3 metres of an adjoining property.
Depending on the status of the wall, you will also need to serve either a section 1 or a section 3 notice.
It shouldn't have cost you loads in surveyor fees. From party wall perspective, a loft conversion is about as simple as party wall work comes.
We charge £575 for an award including the schedule of condition and as a company 'mr party wall' has one of the best reputations around.
Let me know if you need any further advice
That's really helpful - thank you. The expense was driven by the fact that our neighbours wanted to use their own surveyor and their fees were extortionate. We negotiated them down marginally but still cost us a fair whack.
In terms of timescales am I right in thinking it's 1 month we need to give or will it be 2 like we did with the loft?
I'll definitely have a look at your website as well. Thanks again.
If the wall is a party wall and you are serving a section 3 notice, then a two months notice period must be given.
But an adjoining owner can waive the notice period if they wish as the award can normally be ready in 2 weeks.
The adjoining owner's surveyors fees should not have been extortionate.
It is the building owner's surveyor that writes the schedule of condition and the award.
The adjoining owner's surveyor just reads your surveyor's work.
If it is written correct the adjoining owner's surveyor does not need to write a single word.
The adjoining owner's surveyor ( if local to the property will book 3-4 hours which will include travel).
Have you considered not knocking down the wall?
The wall be the outer skin of the property and it is the inner skin wall that takes the weight of the roof.
Why not just build a new inner skin and tie it to the existing wall?
The foundation for the new wall would need to be excavated in a hit and miss fashion so will take the builder a little longer as he will have the concrete delivered in a couple of loads instead of one trip but he will have one less wall to build and no need for the skip.
The builder/architect might be concerned about the old foundation but it's really easy for someone to dig a trial hole to find the depth of it.
Removing the old wall is easy, removing the old foundation is not and builders tend to use a kango to remove them. The vibration of the ground can cause movement in an adjoining property.
Have a trial hole dug and even if the wall has a shallow foundation
consider having the wall underpinned at the same time as filling the new concrete bays in.
Underpinning sounds expensive but in reality it's just digging sequenced holes under your existing foundation and filling them with concrete (underpinning normally done 750mm at a time).
After a trial hole you will know your options
Send me your plans to email@example.com and I'll take a look.
I should be able to tell you what notices after I've viewed them
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