If you have a period house think about the details that set it apart
- Ceiling height – a higher ceiling will mean your home needs more framing, plasterboard and will require more labour to rebuild
- Ceiling features and skirting boards – timber batons, ornate ceilings and higher skirting boards may require a specialised craftsman
- Native timbers and woodwork – a lot of native timber is costly, and some is no longer available. Also consider any ‘fret work’ on the outside of your home
- Period fittings – such as light switches, help retain the feel of a period home. Don’t forget to account for these in your rebuild cost.
Custom built homes often include higher end fittings and features
- Flooring materials used – native timbers, polished concrete etc
- Full automation of household lighting, music, heating and alarms
- Expensive building materials such as schist or marble
- Extensive use of glass
- Custom designs, such as oversized doors or rounded walls.
Multi-level homes will also have a higher rebuild cost – not only because there are more materials used, but because the construction can become more complex. For example rebuilding a two story house can add $200-$300+ per square metre to the build costs.
If you share ownership of a feature you should allow for your portion of it
You will also want to consider any features that you co-own with your neighbours. This could include common driveways, boundary fences and retaining walls. Usually there will be some responsibility on each neighbour to bear a proportion of the cost to repair and maintain shared property. You will need to understand the extent of your responsibility and allow for this in your sum insured.
You'll also need to consider sustainable building features
If you’ve renovated or built your home in recent years, there’s a chance you’ve included some sustainable features. Remember to consider these in your rebuild cost. Common sustainable features include:
- Water tanks and rainwater collection
- Permanently installed heat pumps
- Sustainably sourced materials
- Low toxicity materials and paints
- Solar panels
You’ll also need to make sure you include costs for any demolition, site clearing and preparation that may be required before a new build or repairs can commence. Remember, if something happened to your home that required rebuilding then you’ll also need to be building to the current building code. For many older houses, this means building some features to a higher standard than they would have initially. Factor in an allowance for these costs – such as double glazing for windows.
You need to be confident that the sum insured value you provide to TOWER Insurance will adequately cover your house. The Cordell calculator can help with estimating this amount, as can professionals such as a valuer or quantity surveyor. If you’re at all unsure about your rebuild value, we recommend getting in touch with one of these professionals.