Basements and The Party Wall Surveyor Team

Prinsegate

Prinsegate

Chartered Surveyors

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Basement excavations are becoming increasingly popular, according to our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team. Living spaces are generally becoming smaller. People are today taking advantage of basements. Excavations are now very common; this provides additional living space, also possibly increasing house values. More innovative ideas are being used for basements to get the best out of the area.

If you are thinking of undertaking basement works, please contact our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team. We can provide all the help you need with this matter.

Basements and The Party Wall Act

Concern is growing around the structural stability of properties when basement works are being carried out. Some basement works can be quite grand. There has also been concern about how this is affecting underground streams and groundwater. Interestingly, the Local Authority Town Planning policy is changing; this is a result of those growing concerns. Our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team is here to chat with regarding these matters.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is not designed to hold you back from doing these works. It is there to facilitate you with this process. The Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team at Prinsegate can help you understand these matters.

Party Wall Notices

Section 6 of the Party Wall etc. Act (Notice of Adjacent Excavation) is the most commonly used. The statutory notice period for this work is 1 month.

Section 2 of the Act deals with semi-detached or terraced properties; this is for a Party Structure Notice; this has a statutory notice period of 2 months.

Section 1 (Line of Junction Notice) of the Act deals with extensions going beyond the footprint of the original property; this has a statutory notice period of 1 month.

When establishing which notices to serve, it becomes complex. Just from the above, you can see how complex this can be. It is imperative to get the correct information. The Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team can explain all of this to you.

Special Foundations

Special foundations are defined in Section 20 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. In basements works, this usually means a reinforced concrete foundation. It is generally reinforced with metal rods. Unique means that reinforcement is used; this often creates complex foundations. These rely on integrity for strength.

Please click the link below if you would like more information on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996; this is a short booklet from the government to help you understand the process.


What Other Problems are Encountered?

When excavation works are being undertaken, several problems can be encountered. Apart from structural issues, other issues can be discovered.

Do you live on a small street? If so, parking and traffic could be a problem. Lorries/tow trucks etc. would need to dispose of the soil. There could be issues with Intolerable noise pollution. Increased dirt and dust is guaranteed. Even if the companies carrying out the works are considerate, problems can still arise. Most engineers work at weekends. Skips might be regularly dropped off and picked up.

If you live near a school, for example, this could cause considerable problems; this could also disrupt your enjoyment at these times. There has been mention even that people have not been able to stay on their property during the day. The noise and drilling have become too much for them.

More severe problems can sometimes arise. Damage to property does happen. We can not possibly write down all of the issues that can be encountered. With all these things in mind, you can see why it is essential to contact our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team. We have extensive expertise and experience in these matters.


Damage

Basement extensions/excavations carry some problems. There is a risk of damage to adjoining properties. In some cases, minor damage is inevitable. The building owner has to make good all damage.

Say you are the adjoining neighbour and notice some cracking. You aren’t sure whether this is from the works being carried out. The Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team’s role is to determine whether the damage is a result of the basement works. It could be just settlement or shrinkage.

A monitoring program can be set up; this will track whether there is a movement happening; this is one thing that the Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team can discuss with you.
As with all party wall matters, it is imperative to receive the correct information. The Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team has the expertise required. Please contact us for more details.

Timescales

Basement excavations can take a long time. Generally, they can take anything up to 18 months for more significant works. Time scales will vary. Check this out with the Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team if you are involved in basement works.

Summary

As living spaces become smaller, basements are being used more frequently. The additional living accommodation is a precious commodity to have. I could have written so much more with regards to this matter. Basement works are complex issues. Some various rules and regulations need to be adhered to.

Please contact us.

We can provide you all the information you need for this matter and all other matters regarding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. It is very important that you get a Party Wall Surveyor to help with notices and understanding of these matters.

For more information relating to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, please click here.

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