Metal gate post put in our foundations

Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby ahb » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:21 pm

There is a private concrete driveway which runs between our house and next door, the length of the houses and gardens then round to the back of ours to the owner's house.

The owner recently had an altercation with the householder on the other side of the driveway which resulted in the owner of the driveway putting up a metal gate across the width of the drive between our two houses. The dispute was nothing to do with us, but in putting up the gate the owner of the drive has sunk a large metal supporting post into the foundations of our house, about half an inch from our wall. When the gate is closed, unless it is closed very, very gently, it rattles through the walls. If they had spoken to us before they put it up we could have suggested they put it further back down the drive beside a fence.

They didn't ask our opinion, except to say they were 'putting up a gate', so maybe we were a bit naïve but we didn't expect this. I suppose they didn't need to tell us where they intended to site the gate (the drive is fairly long) but the day they did it, it sounded as though someone was knocking the wall down. I've got photos of the hole before the post went in and of the nearness of the post to our wall. We have spoken to them but they don't plan on doing anything. If anyone parks near the entrance they tend to slam the gate in anger, which really rattles our walls. I'm worried that being such a heavy post it will start to undermine our foundations.

Our house wall runs up to the boundary with their driveway so I'm not sure whether the Party Wall Act is applicable.

We are a bit at a loss with this one and any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:55 pm

Hi ahb,

in order to be sure of the depth your foundations were constructed you'd need to dig a test hole - and this would be more than what your neighbour did.

does the post touch the building you occupy and are you the owner of the building?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby ahb » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:51 pm

Mac

Thank you for replying so quickly.

I'll have to look in to how to find the depth of our foundations, although wouldn't think the post went to the depth of the foundations. (Sorry, being a bit girly here). It is an extension so I think we've got some plans somewhere. It's a galvanised steel industrial style post and the photos I took before they filled in the hole show that it was put in between our wall and a couple of pipes (sewer and gas?) running along beside the wall. It doesn't quite touch the wall but is just a few mm away from both the wall and the pipe - I suppose it does touch the wall underground.

We do own the house although feel like moving at the moment!
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby despair » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:02 pm

given the neighbours behaviour which may of course get worse I would seriously suggest you move quick and hope the new owner is a real bully who gives your current neighbour trouble
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby COGGY » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:00 pm

Hi

I can imagine how bad the noise annoyance is. Have you thought of putting something between the post and your wall to deaden the impact and also between the post and the gate when it closes? Thd best I can think of would be pipe lagging but I'm sure others will have better suggestions. I have every sympathy with you. Kitchen suppliers stock something to make doors close quietly, maybe that would help you.

Kind regards
Coggy
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:02 pm

Hi ahb,

you've misunderstood me - probably because I wasn't very clear.

let us suppose the house on the other side of the drive was demolished and then some time later someone wanted to build on the land (not on the drive).
they would need to serve you with a Party Wall notice if this involved excavating to a depth below your foundations within a certain distance from your building.
how would they know how deep your foundations were?
they would only know for sure by digging a test hole - a hole beside your wall of relatively small diameter.
referring to the plan would only indicate how deep the foundations were intended to be.
such a test hole would present no risk to the structural integrity of your building (if your building has been soundly constructed).
such a test hole would be bigger than the hole that has been dug for the gatepost.

does that make more sense?

why not offer to pay for a slow-close mechanism to be retro fitted...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby cobdale » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:32 pm

if the dispute is nothing to do with you,and you usually get on with the ones that have put the gates up why don't you go see them ,explain the problems ur having and what your concerns are,ask them to move the gates further up the drive away from the house, or if you are able bodied offer to relocate the gates yourself,I know it's work but it would solve your problem
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:36 am

Hi,

Guessing here.

For the vibrations from the gate post to be transmitted into your house. I would guess that there would have to be something rigid between the post and your house. Concrete would be my prime suspect.

They may have dug down until they hit your strip foundations, which will project beyond the brickwork by a few inches. Who owns the land above your strip fondations? Dunno!

Or they may have used your brick foundations as a guide when digging the hole, thus exposing the bricks. Poke the post in the hole, and backfill with concrete. What other way is there? But that means that they will have poured concrete against YOUR bricks. If a neighbour cannot paint his side of your fence, does that mean that he should not pour concrete against your wall?

Perhaps there would be less of a clang if the gate was hinged from "your" post?

I understood that the PWA referred to digging below the bottom of your foundations, which I would expect to be at least a metre down. I'm happy to be corrected.

John W
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby ukmicky » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:32 pm

A damper needs to be placed on the gate that comes into action just before the gate get to its closed position and will absorb the energy of the gate closing.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby arborlad » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:05 pm

ahb wrote: I'm worried that being such a heavy post it will start to undermine our foundations..



I think the foundations specifically, are probably robust enough to be unaffected by the post but your house wall is a different matter. When trying to locate any sort of post, it's usual to avoid anywhere near the building because there is an expectation there will be footings. With no gap between gatepost and wall, it's quite likely the bottom of the post will be bearing on your wall.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby ahb » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:19 am

Thank you all for your replies and advice. We'll have to think about them all to see if anything can be done. There's no point in asking them to move the gate, they are not amenable people. When we first moved here she asked if they could cut back some bushes which were climbing over their side of the fence. Of course we didn't mind and offered to do it for them. On getting home later that day we found someone had been into our garden and cut down at ground level a lovely clematis which had rambled all through our apple tree and down the fence, along with a lilac tree and a spirea. We did nothing as we have to live with these people and we are not alone in having difficulties with them. It's easier to replace a plant than have a dispute with a neighbour, but it taught us to keep a distance from them.

We'll see if they'll let us deaden the impact with piping or something and/or fit a soft close mechanism. And I'll look further into their pouring concrete against our wall and setting a metal post set into it which, I suppose, means the post is technically attached to our house, albeit only below ground. The post itself is a really small distance from our wall, maybe half an inch.

If we have a breakthrough I'll pop a quick reply on here - if nothing else we may be able to help someone else in this situation. To be honest, we've just had a week away and it's made us pretty much decide to move house.

Thank you again

Annette
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Re: Metal gate post put in our foundations

Postby arsie » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:11 pm

At least you do not officially have a dispute going on that you need to mention on the SPIF when you sell. But how you manage showing people round might be tricky if someone slams the gate ...
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