How to Calculate Your Home’s Rebuild Cost

By Bob Atoo
January 29, 2015

how to calculate home rebuild costs

It is vital to calculate your home’s rebuild cost correctly when taking out building insurance and understanding how much your property is worth.

The rebuild cost refers to how much money it would take to rebuild your home if it was completely destroyed, and it includes all aspects of labour and necessary materials.

Using the rebuild cost for your policy means you will be prevented from paying too much insurance.

In most cases, the rebuild cost is lower than the market price of your property. However, if your home is made with specialist materials, rather than standard bricks, the cost can be higher.

It can also rise if your property has architectural features which add value to the house. It is important to get an accurate rebuild cost so that your insurance payments are correct and your home is completely protected.

Calculating your Rebuild Cost

There are two options when it comes to calculating the rebuild cost for your property – you can hire a surveyor or use a rebuild calculator.

Hiring a Surveyor

This is the best way to get an accurate rebuild cost for your home and the process is relatively simple. A chartered surveyor will take specific measurements, taking into account all areas of your home, and create a Rebuilding Cost Assessment. This is a professional and official document.

If you live in a house that has distinct architectural features, is larger than an average house, is a listed or historic building, or is made with non-standard materials, you must take the option to contact a surveyor rather than use a rebuild calculator.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors website is a recognised and reputable place to find a chartered surveyor.

Using a Rebuild Calculator

A rebuild calculator is advantageous as it is simple and free to use. However, it can only give you a rough estimate, and not a fully accurate reading, of your home’s rebuild cost.

Because of this, under and over insuring are a risk which could leave you out of pocket if something happened to your home.

Rebuild calculators cover five types of home: detached, semi, terraced, detached bungalow and semi bungalow. If you have a flat or maisonette, you should contact a surveyor.

To calculate the rebuild cost you must measure the external floor area of the downstairs floor. This is done by measuring the length and width of your outdoor walls and multiplying the two figures together.

If the upstairs is identical you can double this figure for the total external floor area of your home. If they are different, you must calculate the upstairs figure and add it to the downstairs figure.

After you input this information, the calculator will ask you a series of questions and then calculate the approximate rebuild cost of your home.

Reviewing Your Home’s Rebuild Cost

Remember that, when renewing your insurance, you should review the rebuild cost of your home.

Also, if you are planning an extension or renovation on your home, your rebuild cost will need to be recalculated to ensure your insurance policy still covers all of the property.

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