Party Wall or External Wall?

May 29, 2020

At The Hopps Partnership, we often get asked whether a party wall should be used instead of an external wall.

Benefits For Building Owners

Constructing a new wall on the boundary is likely to invoke Section 1 of the Party Wall Act, whether it is an external wall or a party wall. Some Building Owners naively think that by proposing an external wall that they circumvent the Act, this is not the case.

Having a party wall for a Building Owner will almost always be beneficial, as it allows the wall to be astride the boundary (as opposed to up to it) and thus gains more space for any extension proposed.

Furthermore, if a party wall is utilised in future by their neighbour, they will be entitled to half the cost of the construction under Section 11(11) of the Act, thus recouping some of their expenses.

Benefits For Adjoining Owners

Having a party wall requires the consent of Adjoining Owners, and it is not uncommon for us to be asked whether this is the right thing to do.

If the Adjoining Owner is likely to consider undertaking works which utilise the party wall themselves in future, then this is certainly beneficial for the same reasons noted above; saving space and cost.

If this is not the case, then an external wall will take less of their space and may be preferential.

Benefits For Adjoining Owners

Having a party wall requires the consent of Adjoining Owners, and it is not uncommon for us to be asked whether this is the right thing to do.

If the Adjoining Owner is likely to consider undertaking works which utilise the party wall themselves in future, then this is certainly beneficial for the same reasons noted above; saving space and cost.

If this is not the case, then an external wall will take less of their space and may be preferential.

What is a ‘type B’ party wall?

A type B party wall is when an external wall is enclosed upon to form a party wall. There is no express right to do this under the Party Wall Act, so requires the agreement of the walls’ owner.

This seems to be becoming more common and the increasing frequency may well demonstrate the practical benefits that a party wall has for both owners over an external wall.

 

Detailing

Whichever type of wall is used, architects and designers must carefully consider their proposed construction.

Poor detailing between extensions is not uncommon and can lead to (amo; water ingress, maintenance issues and poor acoustic properties.

At The Hopps Partnership, we are well versed to dealing with a variety of party wall matters including advising on Section 1 notices and acknowledgements.

 

Posted by:

Sam Thompson

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