How To Reduce Party Wall Costs

The cost of a party wall agreement will depend on the type of project being carried out, the quality of the design information in place and the number of surveyors involved. The cost is determined by the surveyors hourly rate and the amount of time they are required to spend to put the awards in place. The cost of the party wall process will be reduced if surveyors hours can be kept to a minimum.

How To Reduce Party Wall Costs


The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to reach a party wall agreement is to receive the consent of the adjoining owners.

If a notice has been served, and the adjoining owners provide a written consent, then this is the end of the process.

We strongly recommend that building owners discuss their works with the adjoining owners, outlining the specific aspects that may affect them.

Adjoining owners are far more likely to consent if they understand the works and the reason for serving notice.

It is worth bearing in mind that the two parties (building owner and adjoining owner) are free to reach any agreement they want. It is perfectly valid for an adjoining owner to consent on the basis that the building owners provides something in return. 

This could be:

  • A survey of the adjoining property
  • A promise to repair the fence
  • A bottle of wine
  • A future consent to future work by the adjoining owner
  • Anything that both parties decide
Less complex jobs are most efficiently dealt with by an agreed surveyor (where one surveyor acts for both parties). This route needs the agreement of all parties (both property owners and the surveyor in question) but it usually represents the quickest and most cost effective means of putting a party wall agreement in place.

The agreed surveyor route means the building owner is liable for one set of fees rather than two, so it is worth discussing with the adjoining owner to see if this is a viable option.

It is worth checking the competency and experience of the design team before appointing them. Incomplete or poorly considered designs can delay the party wall process and add a significant cost.

Competent architects and engineers should be aware of the information that is required for the party wall agreement. If there is any doubt then you should pass the design information to a party wall surveyor for comments on its adequacy before starting the party wall process.


Costs will be higher if the adjoining owners surveyor is spending significant amounts of time correcting mistakes or poorly presented information form the building owners surveyor.

The building owners surveyor is usually responsible for:

  1. Preparing and sending notices
  2. Preparing the schedule of condition
  3. Preparing the draft award
  4. Reviewing design information before sending on
  5. Preparing the document register

If the one surveyor is spending time correcting mistakes made by the other then costs will be higher.

It is therefore worth checking the accreditation and experience of a surveyor before appointing them.

Do not be put off by a higher hourly rate. This will usually signify greater competency and experience so the process should go through quicker and smoother, meaning a lower total cost.

A party wall agreement often turns into a negotiation, whereby the adjoining owners may have specific concerns they would like addressed (often revolving around hours of work, location of scaffolding, the use of protective hoarding…etc).

Often the cost of enforcing a particular point can outweigh the cost of agreeing to it, so a flexible and conciliatory approach can be an effective way of minimising costs.

It falls to the building owners surveyor to determine whether or not the adjoining owners surveyors fees are reasonable. If there is concern then surveyors will review timesheets and ensure that all time spent is within the surveyors remit and in direct relation to the work being carried out.

If there is concern over the fees then the matter may be referred to the third surveyor for a determination.

If an award is served containing unreasonable fees then it may be appealed, in the County Court, within 14 days of being served.

This action can incur additional cost and we always recommend that specialist advice is sought before referring a matter to the third surveyor or appealing an award.

We are party wall specialists

We are party wall specialists with over 15 years experience in the industry. We are based in Thames Ditton, Surrey and operate throughout Surrey and South West London.

We hope this has been useful. If you have any questions please contact us at:

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