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Property Surveying Blog
November 19, 2018

What are Party Wall Works?

Written by Liam Wilkinson

Party Wall WorksIf you are planning some works upon your house, then it is possible that you have come across the phrase ‘Party Wall Works’.

It is also possible that, if you have stumbled across this blog, that you are unsure what Party Wall Works is.

Briefly stated, Party Wall Works are building works which are notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

But what kind of works are notifiable by the Party Wall Act, and what does this mean to those undertaking those works?

These are questions which I will answer in today’s blog.

What works are notifiable by the Party Wall Act?

There are three main types of works which are notifiable by the Party Wall Act. These three types of works are notifiable under different Sections of the Act. What these works are, along with examples of how they may manifest, are as follows.

Building new walls up to or astride the line of junction between two properties

These kinds of works refer to when a new wall is built up to or astride the line of junction or boundary line of two properties. This is usually seen in the rear or side extensions build, however this may also include the building of entirely new structures.

Undertaking works directly upon a Party Wall or Party Structure

These works consist of mainly structural works upon the Party Wall or PartyStructure itself. Common examples of this are the removal of chimney breasts and cutting into the Party Wall to insert the steel beams required for making a loft extension. Less common examples of this are raising a party wall or underpinning it. Please note that minor works such as plastering, changing electrical plugs and drilling into the wall to put up shelves etc are not notifiable.

Excavating near the walls or external structures of an adjoining owner’s (neighbour’s) property

Though excavation works do not directly affect the Party Wall, due to the risk they can pose to the foundations and structure from soil movement, it is still notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

These kinds of works involve digging within 6m of a neighbour’s foundations. These kinds of excavation works are involved in all kinds of construction, though it is most commonly seen with side and rear extensions, alongside the building of new structures near the neighbour’s property.

These are the types of works which are considered Party Wall Works.

What does this mean for me?

So, you have read the above and you have figured out that you are indeed undertaking Party Wall Works, and you are wondering what this means for yourself.

The simple answer is that you need to now undertake the Party Wall Process and get a Party Wall Notice served upon your neighbour.

We recommend you start the Party Wall Procedure in the pre-planning stage of your works, mainly because the process itself can be lengthy and needs to be completed before any works can take place.

If you have any further questions regarding the above or any other Party Wall matter, please call us for 30 minutes of free advice.