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Party Wall Surveyor Cost

If you're planning any home improvement works or constructions that impact a party wall between you and your neighbours, you will likely need to hire a surveyor with a specialism in this area. The average UK party wall surveyor cost is around £1,000, with hourly rates varying from £90 to £450 per hour.

Much of the cost depends on how long the work will take and how complex any party wall agreements or negotiations turn out to be.

Here we'll explain some of the primary cost factors to help you understand what to budget for.

For more accurate party wall surveyor cost quotations, please complete the below form with your requirements, and local surveyors will provide you with their pricing indications.

What Factors Impact My Party Wall Surveyor Cost?

Party walls are any shared walls or boundaries with a neighbouring property. For example, a terraced property with a wall between the front gardens will be considered a party wall.

If you have a wall on your property that officially belongs to you but is used to separate your property from another, it also falls into this category.

The Party Wall Act 1996 sets out a process for ensuring homeowners have the proper permission to proceed with work impacting a party wall. A surveyor is a specialist who can make recommendations, help resolve disputes and review the work plans.

Costs range quite substantially, depending on factors such as:

  • The property size - a more significant, complex job or one impacting multiple homes will require more time and carry higher surveyor costs than a simple project.
  • Whether you have good quality designs - if you're working with an architect who has drawn up clear plans and diagrams, complete with materials, sizes, measurements and specifications, this will reduce the amount of work required from the surveyor.
  • How many surveyors you need - there can be multiple surveyors involved in any one project. You may also need to pay for a neighbour's party wall surveyor if you wish to carry out work.
  • Whether the risk to the adjoining property is high, or there is a strong likelihood of your work, causing damage that a neighbour is likely to object to.
  • Where you live - properties in London and the southeast will typically pay around 5-10% more for their surveyors than in other regions.
  • How much negotiation is needed - the more serious the dispute, the more time a surveyor will need to spend finding resolutions, and the higher the costs.

The UK average charge for a party wall surveyor is £1,000, but this can be much lower or substantially higher, depending on the above factors.

Where multiple surveyors are required, your costs will increase again. Options include:

  • Using one surveyor for both your property and your neighbours.
  • Having one surveyor for each property, but with both surveyors working together to reach fair agreements.
  • Appointing two separate surveyors and then requiring a third impartial professional to decide if this hasn't yet been possible.

Undoubtedly, the more surveyors involved in the project, the larger the budget needs to be. The nature of the work will also have an impact. The below table shows the average minimum and maximum prices for a range of typical party wall agreement situations for one or two surveyors.

Project The average cost for a single surveyor The average cost for two surveyors
Loft conversion £900 - £1,200 £1,800 - £2,400
Building an extension £1,200 - £1,500 £2,400 - £3,000
Constructing a new-build property £1,500 - £1,800 £3,000 - £3,600
Extending into a basement £1,800 - £2,700 £3,600 - £5,400

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Other Cost Considerations in Hiring a Party Wall Surveyor

Your surveyor costs are additional to the building works themselves, but you can do a few things to streamline the process and potentially reduce the amount of time required.

The first is to inspect the land or area where you wish to build and ensure there aren't any underlying problems or potential concerns - if you can resolve these beforehand, the party wall agreement negotiations should be more straightforward.

For example:

  • Booking a Drain Survey to ensure that any drainage systems close to an area of work are in good condition and won't be impacted or damaged by your construction. If you find any issues, it would be wise to book Drain Relining or Drain Repairs beforehand.
  • Communicating directly with your neighbours before the surveyor makes contact to ensure they understand what you would like to achieve.
  • Investing in a good architect who can draw up clear plans and designs. You can also share these with your neighbours so they can visualise what the finished work will look like.

You should always ensure your party wall surveyor carries an appropriate qualification, such as an RICS accreditation or being a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

How to Understand a Party Wall Surveyor Quotation

Surveyors will often quote an hourly cost if you haven't provided more detail, such as drawings or existing communications with your neighbours.

Hourly surveyor costs can vary from £90 to £450 per hour, so it's best to provide as much information as you can in your quotation request so that surveyors have a rough idea as to how much work will be involved.

They might also itemise services and administrative tasks such as serving a Party Wall notice or issuing other documents.

If your quotation is based on an hourly rate, it's advisable to have a chat before you hire the surveyor so you can get an indication as to how many hours they expect to need.

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party wall survey cost

When Do I Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

Party wall surveyor costs aren't cheap but can be a vital part of the process if you want to do any work that affects a wall between terraced or semi-detached properties.

That includes:

  • Garden walls crossing over between your home and the next.
  • Excavation works near another property.
  • Work within three or six metres, depending on how deep the foundations will be.
  • Building projects such as loft conversions, digging new foundations, constructing an extension or inserting a damp proof course.

Before these works can begin, you will need a Party Wall Agreement that allows you permission to start, with consent from the adjoining owners.

Your surveyor can also prepare a Party Wall Award, a document setting out how the work should progress. 

The first step is to issue a Party Wall Notice to your neighbours, which explains what you wish to do, and how it will impact their property.

While you can serve a Party Wall Notice yourself, you should always use a template provided by your party wall surveyor to ensure this is legally valid and contains all the essential information.

If your neighbour is happy for you to go ahead, they can confirm this back in writing. If not, you will need your surveyor to negotiate the terms and issue a Party Wall Award as required.

You must give one months notice if you wish to dig foundations or start an excavation project or two months for any other building works. This may include a structure such as a garden office or shed - learn more about brick shed costs.

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FAQs - Costs of Hiring a Party Wall Surveyor

Here we'll answer some of the most popular questions about the costs of hiring a party wall surveyor.

How Much Does a Party Wall Surveyor Cost?

Surveyor rates depend on how much work is required and how long the project will take until a Party Wall Agreement or Award has been finalised.

Average costs come to £1,000 overall, and the typical hourly rate is between £150 and £200 per hour - with some surveyors charging much more or much less.

How Can I Find a Reasonable Party Wall Surveyor Quotation?

The best way to find a range of quotations for your party wall surveyor work is to complete our quotation request form. You will receive pricing back based on the information provided by local surveyors.

Can My Neighbour Refuse a Party Wall Agreement?

Yes, if your neighbour doesn't reply to a Party Wall Notice within 14 days or objects, you will require a party wall surveyor to make an award.

In this scenario, you and your neighbour are both entitled to appoint one surveyor each, within around ten days, or one surveyor who can act impartially for both property owners. Your neighbour will need to be comfortable that the surveyor is neutral if they are working for both parties, so more often, you will have one surveyor each.

The surveyor will produce the Award, which lays out what the works will involve, and the conditions around them - for example, repairing any damage to a neighbouring property or only carrying out works within particular times or locations.

What are the Common Mistakes in Obtaining a Party Wall Agreement?

Negotiating an agreement calmly and reasonably is the ideal - some of the most typical mistakes that can drag out the process include:

  • Not giving the appropriate notice period.
  • Not informing all neighbours, including leasehold owners and freeholders, and properties on every side of the home.
  • Not providing sufficient information or detail for the neighbour to make a decision.
  • Using incorrect forms or paperwork - your surveyor will advise which notice you need depending on the work in question.

How Far In Advance of Building Work Should I Hire a Party Wall Surveyor?

You must serve notice at least two months before the work occurs or with at least one month's notice for excavation works.

Do I Need to Hire a Party Wall Surveyor?

Not always, no. Any minor work such as drilling to erect shelving or plastering a wall doesn't need a party wall agreement.

If you do need consent from your neighbour, you can decide to issue the Party Wall Notice yourself; however, you should always use a registered professional to ensure you are sending the correct form.

Should your neighbour agree in writing, no further work is required, and your building project can begin.