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Why Checking Engineers Are Required Under the Party Wall Act

Prinsegate

Prinsegate

Chartered Surveyors

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Party Wall Surveyor – Structural Design

The structural design of a building for the Party Wall Surveyor is essential. Our party wall surveyors may refer matters to a checking engineer. Why do we need them? An excellent professional will never step outside of his or her discipline. Concerning party wall matters, typically, a surveyor will be appointed to resolve any dispute between neighbours. The surveyor is appointed by statute to administer the Party Wall Act and will sometimes require some help. Often from a structural engineer, this is assuming that the surveyor is not a structural engineer.

The Party Wall Act Explained

The Act covers this under section 10(13) in the reasonable costs incurred in making or obtaining the award. Any other matter arising out of the dispute shall be paid by the parties as the surveyor(s) determine.


In Surrey, a 
party wall surveyor, preparing an award, should first ensure that the elements are fair and balanced next, that the construction and design are fit for purpose. Other experts may therefore be called in to assist; this is understandable, as there are so many areas of building work to consider

Checking Engineer

The party wall surveyor team does not expect any engineer to take over the entire job. The engineer is also not expected to determine the whole program. An engineer is there to assist by checking technical details; this is why we use the term “checking engineer.” These details may pertain to the building’s general principles to design and how the proposal might affect the adjoining owner. The checking engineer’s work should only concern the notifiable works. He or she may also wish to take into account broader issues. Other feedback from the checking engineer includes advising if any temporary works are to be considered. He/she may also request a method statement if necessary. The drawings may also need to be amended to ensure viability.

Pyramus & Thisbe explain other factors in party wall matters here.

Generally, our Surrey party wall surveyors do not expect engineers to check every fine detail or re-design the scheme. This is more the responsibility of the architect. The checking engineer is neither expected to conduct site inspections nor monitor the project.

Also, read our other blog post on replastering and whether it is considered to be relevant to a party wall.


Expenses

A quotation from the checking engineer should first be obtained to avoid any excessive spending. Often, this can cause further disputes to arise. The party wall surveyor is usually responsible for checking the engineer’s fees. However, these costs are added as a separate item in the Award. This is paid for by the building owner.

 

Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team’s Conclusion

The Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team at Prinsegate strive to be considerate of building owners. We only request the services of a checking engineer where necessary. This keeps the total expenditure for party wall matters as reasonable as possible.

Have a look at My Property Guide for additional information on party walls.

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