Party wall procedures will apply if the planned construction works fall within the realm of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
Here at Stokemont, we have a number of dedicated blogposts on what the typical type of party wall construction works are. We also have a dedicated webpage titled; What are Party Wall Works?’, which we would advise clicking on if you are unsure of this.
One of the most typical concerns for building owners in the run-up to their planned construction work is cost control.
Building owners will naturally, and rightfully so, want to ensure that the overall construction costs are well within their means. Furthermore, they will want to ensure that they have a full understanding of all construction costs so they are best prepared for the financial outlay to follow.
Through this blogpost, we are going to be looking at some of the average party wall surveying costs which we believe are reflective of the current market rates, industry norms and party wall surveying conventions.
There are various different party wall surveying exercises, which will render a cost. In order to best advise on these, we are going to look at these respectively and as follows to ensure that you are fully informed of what to expect from them.
Party Wall Notices
Party Wall Notice fees will vary in range throughout the profession.
It is also worth noting, that Party Wall Notices can indeed be served directly by building owners upon adjoining owners.
The beauty and benefit of party wall service in this manner, is that the building owner will not find themselves liable for any cost or fees to prepare and serve their Notice.
In our experience, here at Stokemont, party wall surveying Notice costs can range from £25 plus VAT up to £250 plus VAT.
Here at Stokemont, our Party Wall Notice fees tend to be in the region of the £45 plus VAT to £50 plus VAT mark.
As set out above, we also have a free Party Wall Notice creator on our website.
You can access this on our ‘Free Party Wall Notices’ page.
We will only ever advise that Party Wall Notice service in a DIY manner is undertaken when there are very good relations with the adjoining owner, and importantly, the adjoining owner is well aware of the Party Wall Notice service and party wall surveying procedures as a whole.
Schedule of Condition Reports
Schedule of Condition Reports are the standard inspection that will take place of the adjoining owner’s property prior to the planned construction works commencing.
The Schedule of Condition Report is in place to formulate a record of condition of the neighbouring property in advance of the works commencing.
We have a dedicated page on our website titled ‘Schedule of Condition Report’ which we would advise having a look at, to gain better understanding of what to expect from a Schedule of Condition Report.
Furthermore, we also have an example Schedule of Condition Report, which you can review in an effort to get a full understanding of what to expect from this surveyor inspection.
If the adjoining owner consents to the Party Wall Notice, in many cases they will be given the option to select a party wall surveyor’s Schedule of Condition Report or not.
Equally, if an adjoining owner dissents to the Party Wall Notice, the Schedule of Condition Report will naturally form part of the Party Wall Award which will follow.
Schedule of Condition Reports range from £200 plus VAT up to £500 plus VAT, the lower cost being towards the more straightforward and standardised end of the spectrum when it comes to the construction works taking place.
The upper cost scenarios being applicable to your more complex construction works. The latter often meaning that the party wall surveyor’s inspection will need to cover a wider scope of the adjoining owner’s property.
This additional coverage trickling down to added time on site, and the overall increased Schedule of Condition fees.
There are surveyors on the market who offer a photographic only Schedule of Condition Report. We would very much advise approaching such instruction with caution.
While a Photographic Schedule of Condition Report is helpful and by all means better than not having one at all, ultimately, the protections offered by a full written Schedule of Condition Report combined with a Photographic Schedule of Condition Report will far outweigh the Photographic Schedule of Condition Report as a standalone vessel.
Building Owner’s Party Wall Surveyor
Building owner’s party wall surveyor fees are generally speaking fixed.
Prior to accepting the instruction, the building owner is likely to obtain a number of different quotes from different service providers.
At the time that the party wall surveyor prepares their quote, they are likely to not only review the construction plans, they are also likely to cross-refer with the number of adjoining owners to whom the construction plans and party wall works are notifiable to.
The party wall surveyor will then prepare and present a fixed-cost quotation, with the aim of achieving the instruction and taking on the file.
There are always naturally going to be cost-efficiencies put forward, not only in the effort to achieve the instruction, but also with the surveyors implementing strategies to best reduce the overall office time they will need to spend on the matters.
Savings usually coming by way of office admin savings.
Certainly, here at Stokemont, we have tried and tested methods in place to best reduce our overall time on jobs. Importantly, ensuring this transfers down to our clients, and offers a cost saving for the fees that we quote and charge.
Generally speaking, as an industry norm, building owner’s party wall surveyor fees are going to cost anywhere from £400 plus VAT up to £1,200 plus VAT, the latter end of this spectrum being reserved for those more complicated or complex instruction jobs.
Commonly, these are going to be your basement excavations, complex construction works, or construction works that affect various different areas, levels and floors of the building owner’s property.
Adjoining Owner’s Party Wall Surveyor
Unlike a building owner’s party wall surveyor instruction, an adjoining owner’s party wall surveyor is unlikely to offer a fixed fee scenario.
Instead, the party wall surveyor will likely quote hourly rates upon instruction, and present these to the building owner’s party wall surveyor.
It is important to note, that the surveyor’s hourly rate, which is commonly going to be higher than administrative hourly rates, is unlikely to be charged for the entirety of the job at hand.
In fact, here at Stokemont, we would go as far as saying that it would be unreasonable for the party wall surveyor to apply their hourly rate to the entirety of the job.
The main factor behind this, being that the party wall surveying file will have elements of administrative tasks that can be better delegated to junior surveyors, assistant surveyors, or even administrators.
It is therefore natural for these cost savings to be transferred and passed onto the building owner.
The party wall surveyor will apply the applicable office hourly rate to the overall hours that they spend on the job, often presenting a timesheet or quantity of time to the building owner’s party wall surveyor upon completion of the party wall procedures.
Assuming the building owner’s party wall surveyor deems the fee reasonable, it will then be written into the Party Wall Award, giving the adjoining owner the right to recoup it.
As an average and assessing industry norms, we would expect an adjoining owner’s party wall surveying fee to range from the £700 plus VAT mark up to the £2,000 plus VAT mark.
Obviously, the latter end of this being applicable again to your more complex jobs that involve a higher degree of professional time.
Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
The final type of party wall surveyor appointment is an agreed party wall surveyor.
An agreed party wall surveyor will act on behalf of both the building owner and adjoining owner.
They will undertake all of the normal roles and protocols that they would do if they were acting on behalf of one of the building owners or adjoining owners respectively.
The key difference here being that they are acting on behalf of both owners in an impartial manner.
It is important to note, that an agreed surveyor appointment is only applicable if indeed the adjoining owner is agreeable to that form of party wall surveyor instruction.
The key to this is in the name and referral agreed surveyor. You cannot have an agreed surveyor without the agreement of the adjoining owner.
Agreed surveyor fees are much like a building owner’s party wall surveyor fee going to be fixed. Again, the logic behind this is that the party wall surveyor will have full control over the office time that they are going to incur and spend on the matter.
They are then obviously then able to give a building owner a fixed fee quote to take this into account or consideration.
Here at Stokemont, assessing industry averages and norms, we believe that agreed surveyor party wall surveyor appointments are likely to be anywhere from £500 plus VAT up to £1,700 plus VAT.
With all of the fees we have put forward, it is important to note that these are very much an average, and based on our assessment at the time of this blog’s publication.
Party wall surveying fees are often changing and varying as demand and office availability fluctuates and changes.
To put this into perspective, the winter months tend to be the quieter months for building surveyors and party wall surveyors as a whole.
The summer months naturally being busier, as many owners want to crack on with construction works during that period of time.
It is therefore natural to expect surveyor availability to be less in the summer and greater in the winter. This is always going to have an effect on the overall fees that the surveyor is quoting, as they are going to have better availability in the colder months of the year, when compared to the warmer months of the year.
Here at Stokemont, we are very proud to offer an industry first traffic light system quotation process.
We put this in place to ensure that our clients and building owners have a full understanding of exactly what to expect when it comes to party wall surveying costs.
This traffic light system will not only cover our own quoted party wall surveying fees, it will also deal with the adjoining owner’s party wall surveyor fees, and any other costs, disbursements, or fees that we believe may become applicable throughout the party wall surveying procedures.
If you would like to discuss party wall surveying matters with our team of experienced and qualified party wall surveyors here at Stokemont, please feel free to give us a call today. We will be more than happy to assist and advise you.