trademan

Get a Quote For Party Wall Surveyor

Save up to 40% by comparing quotes from trusted surveyors.

Last Updated on December 10, 2020

Party Wall Surveyor Cost – Guide To Fees, Disputes & Procedures

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Construction expert and founder of Loftera.

Let’s be clear from the get-go, party wall surveyor costs can increase by thousands if handled poorly.

With that in mind, it goes without saying that you want to ensure that the job is handled correctly from the outset.

Now that we have made sure that you’re aware of the importance of this project being taken seriously, let’s talk costs.

The majority of party wall surveyors charge a fixed hourly rate. This rate can range from £100 all the way up to £300, so it’s imperative that no time is wasted once a surveyor has been hired.

How long a surveyor will take to fully sign off on a project depends on the size of the build taking place. For instance, a loft conversion cost will take considerably less time to survey than a basement would.

The below table outlines how much you might expect to pay for your own surveyor’s work.

Project & Time

Lowest Hourly Rate (£100)

Medium Hourly Rate (£200)

Highest Hourly Rate (£300)

Loft Conversion

6-8 Hours

£600 – £800

£1,200 – £1,600

£1,800 – £2,400

Extension

8-10 Hours

£800 – £1,000

£1,600 – £2,000

£2,400 – £3,000

New Build

10-12 Hours

£1,000 – £1,200

£2,000 – £2,400

£3,000 – £3,600

Basement

12-18 Hours

£1,200 – £1,800

£2,400 – £3,600

£3,600 – £5,400


If your neighbour doesn’t agree to the work taking place, there is a possibility that they will insist on hiring their own solicitor. If they make that choice, it will still be your responsibility to cover the cost, given that it is you that is carrying out the work. If that is the case, and their independent surveyor charges the same (or similar) amount that yours does, then you can expect to pay around double.

Naturally, this is a situation that we want to avoid, so if the owner of the adjoining property insists on a surveyor, try to agree on using the same one to save additional costs.

party wall surveyor cost

Table of Contents

Party Wall Options

Let’s get down to business. Once the adjoining owner receives the necessary notice, there are three options that can present themselves.

Agree to the Works

The first option, and the one that you will have your fingers crossed for, is that they agree to the planned building. In this case, no further action is to be taken.

However, we would advise that a schedule of conditions is taken to record the state of your neighbour’s property before the work began. This takes away any potential complications down the line.

Dissent to the Notice but Agree on Same Surveyor

Your neighbour is well within their right to dissent to the notice (1). If they do so, the best option for you now is for them to agree to go with the same surveyor as the one you have hired for your property. This saves on costs.

Dissent to the Notice and Insist on Own Surveyor

If they were to insist on their own surveyor, the overall cost is about to double. As mentioned, you are the one committing to the building work, so it is your responsibility to pay for all fees. While your neighbour has a right to appoint their own surveyor, it is best to build a good relationship with them beforehand to try and avoid this situation.

The Party Wall Act Explained

It is a common misconception that obtaining a party wall agreement is always a complicated process. Sure, there are instances where it can take time and the price can increase, but not always.

Under the Party Wall Act, you must tell your neighbour if you want to build on, or at the boundary, of the two properties in question. You must also get their consent before commencing work on an existing wall or structure, or before you dig below and close to the foundations of their property – such a building a basement.

The Party Wall Act is purely in place to stop property owners from building what they want, when they want, and where they want.

Don’t worry, it is there to protect you.

england, united kingdom, houses

How Do I Know if I Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

If you are undertaking any of the above work, you will need one. Of course, it is only significant work that will require a party wall surveyor. If you’re hanging a couple of pictures and need to drill some holes in the wall, you’ll be fine. Additionally, if you’re putting up a shelf, you won’t be required to give your neighbour notice – unless you are feeling particularly neighbourly!

Bigger jobs that require steel beams or holes cutting into the wall is when you’ll be required to give notice.

Our advice would be to speak to a surveyor before undertaking any work, even if your neighbour has given you the green light. You’ll know exactly where you stand this way(2).

How to Keep Party Wall Surveyor Costs Down

If you’re embarking on a job big enough to require a surveyor, the chances are that it is already quite an expensive one. If so, you’ll want to do your best to keep any other costs down, including party wall surveyor fees.

Before we move on to some of our pointers that will help to reduce the overall cost, it is important that we discuss timesheets.

Hopefully, you can come to an agreement with your neighbour whereby an additional surveyor isn’t required. However, this isn’t always the case, and it is possible that you aren’t happy with the fees that their surveyor is charging. You’re absolutely right to question this, as you’re the one paying for it.

Your own surveyor will check the logged hours of the adjoining property surveyor and ensure that everything is as it should be.

You would much rather it didn’t come down to that, but it is always best to be prepared.

Now, onto those other tactics to keep your party wall surveyor costs down.

Keep Your Neighbours Sweet

The most technical of ways to keep costs down? No. The best way? Absolutely. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, they are much more likely to agree to the building work.

It is common courtesy to speak with them before starting with any plans, to be sure that they are okay with the work going ahead.

Love thy neighbour, and all that!

Appoint a Surveyor to Issue the Initial Notice

The internet is brilliant, we all know that. There is barely anything that you can’t find on there, including party wall notice templates.

However, in our experience, such notices tend to have some errors in there, which can cause problems down the line.

Also, your neighbour is more likely to say yes to the plans if the notice has been prepared by a professional.

Use the Same Surveyor

If the bad news strikes, and your neighbour does dissent to your notice, do all you can to use an agreed surveyor. If a second surveyor is required, your costs can double.

Offer a Schedule of Condition on Their Property

We touched on this briefly earlier, but it is wise to offer to carry out a schedule of condition on their property. If any damage is caused to their house in the building work, both parties will know whether the damage was there beforehand. If nothing else, your neighbour will be reassured that you are looking after their interests.

On the flip side, they won’t be able to pull a fast one on you and suggest that existing damage was caused by your work. You have to protect yourself as well.

Get a Fixed Fee Quote From Your Surveyor

The ‘how much does a party wall surveyor cost?’ question becomes a lot more difficult to answer with open ended charges.

Ask them to break down their costs beforehand, so that you know exactly where you stand from a financial perspective before agreeing to anything.

Think Ahead and Act Accordingly

If you know that you are planning such work, perhaps a few years down the line, think ahead. In that time, there is every chance that your neighbour will come to you with a notice. Be understanding, and don’t make life difficult.

If you object to their plans and hire your own surveyor, doubling their costs in doing so, don’t be surprised if they return the favour when the time comes.

After all, it pays to be kind.

Who Pays For a Party Wall Agreement?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you do. We have mentioned this previously, so shouldn’t come as too much of a shock.

You will be the sole financer of the agreement, so it is imperative that you look into all of our above points in a bid to keep the costs down.

What Happens if I Don’t Give Notice?

That’s a road you don’t want to go down. Plan ahead, give the notice in plenty of time, and don’t cut corners. As we have explained, there are plenty of ways to keep your party wall surveyor costs down, you’ve just got to be transparent throughout.

 

trademan

Get a Quote For Party Wall Surveyor

Save up to 40% by comparing quotes from trusted surveyors.