Anybody contemplating any sort of house extensions should get advice from a suitable architect like architects for home at Ivor St, London NW1 9PL well before going ahead with the extension particularly if there is a party wall that is likely to be involved in the modifications. Party walls are not walls that you have a party alongside but are walls that separate you from a neighbour. Party wall disagreements are common and appear to becoming more problematic so it is advisable to understand the issues and preferably get them resolved before commencing construction.
The party wall act was formulated in 1996 and introduced a year later. It was introduced to help resolve and speed up issues arising from the common wall or walls that separate neighbours. Anybody contemplating a house extension in a semi detached or terraced house will possibly have to deal with a party wall.
There seems to be doubt whether the Party Wall Act really has improved the often troublesome neighbour disputes over their common boundaries. Quite a number of surveyors and lawyers think that it has made things worse. Whether this is the case or not, it remains, at least for now, the legal framework which has to be dealt with if somebody wishes to make alterations to a structure which is common to separate householders.
The Party Wall Act basically states that if a house owner wishes to commence building work on a party wall or fence then they must inform their neighbour of their intentions and get their approval in writing before any modifications can take place.
The Party Wall Act also applies to a common garden or backyard fence or wall as well as floors, walls or any other type of partition between two adjoining home owners.
As can be expected the problems normally arise when neighbour have had some previous experience of incidents or problems that might have caused mistrust or unpleasantness, whereas neighbours that have always enjoyed good relations normally acquiesce quite readily when asked to give their consent.
Anybody who wishes to make modifications to a party wall as defined above normally has to give notice to their neighbour at least two months before work is to be commenced or a month in the case of a party fence (this is any wall or fence that is surrounded on both sides by land rather than buildings). A prudent homeowner who wishes to carry out a house extension which is going to affect a party wall and suspects that there might be delays is probably going to opt for a longer period of notice than the minimum two months as any delays in the construction work caused by a dispute might prove to be expensive.
A surveyor is appointed to oversee the implementation of the Party Wall Act as it applies to the construction or modification proposals with the homeowner wishing to carry out the modifications being responsible for paying the bill. In some cases, if the party wall changes benefit both parties, then the surveyor’s payment will be paid by a portion from each of the tow parties concerned.
The surveyor’s job is to record the state of the party wall or fence before any construction has been done and lay out the work that has to be done and the manner in which it should be done and the provisions for access to the wall so that work can be done effectively. The information the surveyor prepares is then recorded in an “award”.

Comments are closed.