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How much would it cost to rebuild your home?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Guidance on how to effectively use the BCIS residential rebuilding cost calculator

How much would it cost to rebuild your home?

Most domestic house insurance policies require the sum insured to be the full rebuilding cost of the property. This is different from your home’s market value.

It is the responsibility of you as the policyholder to obtain the correct rebuilding cost for your home, but the free BCIS House Rebuilding Cost Calculator can help you work out what that is.

The calculator estimates the costs of demolishing and clearing the existing structure and rebuilding it to its existing design in modern materials, using modern techniques. The estimate covers a standard equal to the existing property and is in accordance with current Building Regulations and other statutory requirements.

What does the rebuild cost include?

The calculator covers the structure of a house or flat, including:

  • Foundations;
  • All walls;
  • Roof;
  • Floors;
  • Partitions;
  • Doors and windows;
  • Any applied finishes and decorations;
  • Built-in fittings including fitted wardrobes and kitchens;
  • The installations for heating, hot and cold water, gas, electricity, lighting (excluding decorative light fittings), ventilation, sanitation and disposal, including all sanitary fittings.

The estimate does not include loose fittings and furnishing such as carpets, cookers.

When you carry out an assessment you should check that all items covered by the policy are included. Policies usually extend to include outbuildings such as garages, greenhouses and garden sheds. Boundary walls, fences, gates, paths, drives and swimming pools may not be covered.

For many domestic properties, the cost of external works other than garages may be small, but in some circumstances may have a significant effect on the total sum insured.

Why calculate for individual properties?

No two properties are exactly the same and consequently, the total rebuilding cost for every house or flat will be different. The calculator gives a general indication of rebuilding costs for many common properties within the UK, but it is not appropriate for all dwellings (i.e. listed buildings) and the rebuilding cost of even similar houses can vary depending on individual specification.

Is the rebuild cost the same for houses and flats?

It is recommended that all flats and maisonettes in a block are insured under one policy, rather than individually. This will avoid complications which may arise if units are insured individually, and give you the widest possible cover available for common parts which may not be available under an individual policy. To calculate the rebuilding cost of a block of flats please ensure you seek professional advice.

New build

If it is not possible to insure the block then you may be able to take out a policy on an individual flat and the calculator can help with a rebuilding cost.

Finding a Surveyor

You can use the calculator to check for sums insured but it is no substitute for professional advice and judgment, particularly where a property has unusual features.

If the rebuilding cost from the calculator is very different from your current sum insured, contact your insurance company, broker or a local chartered surveyor. Professional advice can be obtained from a chartered surveyor – the RICS can help you find one in your area.

A number of insurance comparison sites also provide BCIS rebuild cost estimates based on the information you provide.

Benefits of the House Rebuilding Cost Calculator:

  • Check your buildings insurance amount still covers the rebuild cost;
  • Get a rough idea of your home’s rebuild cost so you don’t pay the shortfall;
  • Avoid paying a premium for cover that you do not need;
  • SIMPLE and FREE to use.