Building a party wall in a loft does not have to be very complicated. Following a guide is one way to make it even simpler.
In this article, we will take you through how to get your party wall sorted. We will also tackle some related questions.
What to do when there’s no partition wall in the loft?
A partition wall in the loft can be the border that separates your land from that of your neighbours. You will often find this when there are houses attached or semi-attached. It is also common in lofts.
Think of a loft with two sides to it that share the same ceiling. Everything that happens on the one side has the potential to affect the other owner. There are also fire concerns for both parties if they do not act on the party walls.
It's understood that both parties should maintain the wall as it belongs to both. In the event of damage to the wall, then both owners’ properties could be at risk. That is why they should work together to find a solution.
In the case that there is no partition in the wall on the loft you will have to serve the other owner with notice. They will then accept this or deny (for their reasons). Once done, you can serve notice of the wall going up.
You're allowed by law to perform such work. This right's guaranteed to you through the party wall act.
The act requires that you serve adequate notice to your neighbours. This will prepare them for the noise that’s to come and offer any inconveniences.
The act also allows you to seek compensation for putting the wall up. Remember, as we said, this's done in the interest of both parties involved. When you get the wall surveyor to come and inspect the place, he/she will give you the quotation for how much it will cost.
When you get this if you pay the full amount then your neighbour might be liable for the balance you paid. It becomes much more difficult when there are more than two people who own the loft. In this case, you will need approval from every single owner; otherwise, they can work against you.
The wall will often need a new structure put into place that will protect the building. Usually, steelwork's required, and from this, the flank wall in the loft will most likely be the one used for this. A partition wall in the loft can be the border that separates your land from that of your neighbours. You will often find this when there are houses attached or semi-attached. It is also common in lofts.
How can home insurance be invalidated if there’s no partition wall in the attic or loft?
The wall has serious fire safety implications and this is why owners have the freedom to act on it. If a fire is to break out on one side of the loft, then it can reach the other owners’ properties. This means that even if your section's insured then you can still get affected by other people’s actions.
Insurance will not pay for that because they only insure you and not your neighbours. Surveyors will also provide you with certification over the structure of the building.
Without this, the insurance company cannot be sure that the loft you are insuring is in good shape. This document is important should an emergency occur, and you need to claim insurance.
What type of material must I use to build up the wall?
Questions and Topics
Do I need a party wall agreement if there’s no wall already in place?
Yes, you will need a party wall agreement in this case. A party wall agreement is not required in advance but rather meant to inform your partners. Sometimes people may say they are okay with something and then change their minds.
If you do not get it in writing, then this can come back to haunt you. Yet, if you have all the signatures required, you can rest easy that people cannot change their minds.
The party wall agreement comes in the form of written approval by the other owners of the loft. This approval will be for any work that you intend to do on your property that can affect theirs. They will often only provide this approval should you meet their requirements.
Some people may prefer the work to be during the day, and others prefer at night. For it to be binding, an agreement should have the following:
1. Your name and the address of the loft
2. You must include the address of the building where the works are taking place.
3. There should be a well-derived summary of the job you want to have done. This should include all structural drawings and plans.
4. You will need to state the amount of time you will need and when you expect to be up and operational with the work.
5. Notice of over two months is the standard period. If you are in good books with the people, you are serving the notice too then this period can be mutually shortened.
There are large gaps in the brickwork. What do I use to fill-in?
To fill this in you can make use of Thermalite bricks and mortar. This will prevent your wall from catching fire and moisture from travelling through. In doing so you should ensure that you have the skills required to mix these attributes and apply them.
The surveyor you have chosen should okay this decision and provide more information. This is because often, different solutions work in different places.
Will you be building your party wall in the loft, or is hiring someone else better? Whatever way you choose, will put you in a good place when dealing with contractors.
If you decide to do it yourself, allow enough time for planning and preparation. That tends to make execution much easier. Getting this wrong may throw the entire project into disarray.
About The Author
Reece Thompson: Reece has been involved in property in one way or another for the past 10 years. He's gained a lot of experience when it comes to the home, kitchen and garden. He shares his knowledge with enthusiasm and honesty.