Building Surveying

Ticking all the boxes.

Maidenhead Planning is a building surveying and architectural planning and design practice based in Maidenhead. Alongside our design services, we also offer the following building surveying services: 

Party Wall Agreements and Awards

When you are building onto a boundary line, building a new party wall or doing any work to a party wall, then a party wall agreement is required. Common projects that involve the Party Wall etc Act 1996 are:

  • Extensions to the back or front where you are building up to the boundary.
  • If building within 3 or 6 metres of another building and your foundations are likely to be LOWER than the existing building
  • Loft conversions where a ridge beam or floor beams are being installed to the party wall.

These are just a few examples but there are many more. Luckily there is legislation that covers this, namely the Party Wall etc Act, 1996. Which states that you must tell your neighbours if you want to carry out any building work near or on your shared property boundary, or 'party wall', in England and Wales. 

This is an ENABLING act, so it gives you the right to build to a party wall or do works to it if you follow the Act’s procedures. It also protects you and your neighbour against common law civil cases costing thousands to litigate.

Get in contact to see how we can help make use of this Act for your building project, or if your neighbour is building and you want to know where you stand in terms of the Act, we can help.

We can act as your agent serving notices to all relevant parties as well as act as the agreed surveyor or one of two surveyors if a dispute arises. Feel free to contact us to see if this affects you.

Structural Surveys and Designs

If you are in doubt about the structural integrity of any building, or you wish to have a structural wall removed, or even just find our whether a wall is structural in the first place, then please get in touch. We have a fast turnaround from query through to site visit in order to help you along the way. Knowing early the structural implications of any planned works will help immensely with the design and avoid wasted time spent on designs that would push the project outside of your budget. 

Meeting about construction plans
Ruler and floor plan
Construction workers checking live site

SAP Calculations

SAP calculations are a Building Regulations requirement for all new houses & conversions and some extensions. The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is a measure of the energy efficiency of a property and must be carried out by an accredited company) We can undertake this for you, we merely ask for your set of drawings and we can undertake the SAP assessment and send the report out within 5-10 working days. If the assessment fails advice will be given in order to gain approval 

If you would like to know where to start then visit my recent blog here

Building surveying FAQs

What is the Party Wall Act etc 1996?

The Party Wall Act 1996 was put in place to protect the person wanting to build and the person on the adjoining wall from dispute.

If you want to carry out works to a party wall, you must notify your neighbour or the adjoining owner. You need to specify the works intended to be carried out and request your neighbour’s agreement.

Of course, you have rights as a building owner. Your neighbour can’t refuse without grounds.

If a dispute arises, a building surveyor will act as a neutral body to decide the best way forward. The Party Wall Act mitigates any disputes and sets out procedures for arbitration.

When do I need to serve a Party Wall Notice?

If you’re:

  • working close to an adjoining building
  • carrying out work to the party wall (for example, inserting beams, cutting roof flashings into it, or knocking holes in it
  • undermining a party wall

you must issue a Party Wall Notice.

We always advise getting a party wall surveyor to evaluate your case and decide which notices are required.

What do I do when I receive a Party Wall Notice?

Firstly, read through the Party Wall Notice it make sure you understand the nature of the works being carried out. Then, contact a party wall surveyor to advise and/or act on your behalf. 

Who pays for the Party Wall Notices?

The person carrying out the building works is liable to pay for the Party Wall Notice. Please note, the notice must be sent out to all adjoining owners.

Who pays for the surveyors if it goes into dispute?

Again, it is usually the person carrying out the building works. However, some costs can be attributed to the adjoining owner

As a general rule of thumb, expect to pay between £2k-5k for a measure survey, planning drawings, planning applications and building regulations, drawings, and approvals. 

Can I refuse to agree to a Party Wall Notice?

No, you cannot.

You can notify your neighbour that you are in dispute and that you wish to appoint a party wall surveyor. The party wall surveyor will act on your behalf; they will follow the party wall procedures to arbitrate the dispute. At this point, a Party Wall Award will be issued, which is a legally binding document outlining how the Party Wall Act is been adhered to, and what next steps are for all parties involved.

If you need further information on what to do next, please see our 'What do I do' flow chart.

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