Party Wall
Apr 26, 2024

How is a Schedule of Condition made?

The text highlights the importance of a written description in a schedule of condition, which is a document used...

The text highlights the importance of a written description in a schedule of condition, which is a document used in the context of party wall matters to record the condition of a property before construction works commence. The schedule typically includes a detailed description of the property's condition, supported by photographs. 

Proximity

A record should be made of the areas potentially at risk of the Building Owner’s works. So, only those parts of the Adjoining Owner’s property in proximity to the works would be scheduled, both internally and externally.

Photographs

Relying solely on photographs for a schedule of condition is generally discouraged, as cameras may struggle to capture hairline cracks, especially on white walls.

Close-range photos of minor cracks may lack context, making them less useful as a general record, so there should be reference points. Some surveyors use hand signals in the photo to illustrate where the defect is.

Written Description

Writing schedules of condition off-site using the photographs as a reference might compromise the document's purpose and accuracy, so dictated notes describing the property condition should be recorded on site.

Elements

Thorough schedules of condition include more than just crack descriptions. They should include floor levels and window operability photos and descriptions.

Post-inspection

Many party wall awards allow the adjoining owner's surveyor to re-inspect the property and compare its latest condition against the schedule after the works are complete. 

Summary

While photographs are valuable for comparison in "before" and "after" shots during final inspections, they are not yet considered a complete replacement for a written record. Both aspects of the schedule of condition should therefore be included.