Assessment Notes

This page aims to inform you of our chosen direction with assessing a property for its building reinstatement cost.


1.1 Our rebuild cost assessment (the Assessment) is an estimate of the rebuilding costs in the event of a total loss of the property based on the gross external area and typical rates per square meter for the building use and type/quality of construction and excluding the contents of the property.

1.2 The external square meterage of the property is obtained from Ordnance Survey and other available data with an appropriate rate applied to each floor.

1.3 The Assessment is not derived from a detailed measured estimate, measured cost plan or bill of quantities. 


Costs included in the Assessment 

2.1 In calculating the Assessment figure, we have:

2.1.1 included an appropriate sum to cover the cost of debris removal and architects, consulting engineers and surveyors fees. Please note a higher level of fees could apply if the property was partially damaged. The sum we have included has been calculated on the basis of a total loss and assumes that no original architectural, engineering or surveying documentation is available to be reused;

2.1.2 included an appropriate sum to cover the cost of complying with the Building Regulation of a Local Government or Local Authority;

2.1.3 made an allowance for any unique materials;

2.1.4 made an allowance to take into consideration the listing of the property;

2.1.5 made an allowance for all foundations apart from abnormal foundations; and

2.1.6 made an allowance for all external works within the boundary of the property, including boundary walls and fences, stone paving, including sub-base etc.

Costs excluded from the Assessment

2.2 In calculating the Assessment figure we have:

2.2.1 excluded basements and sub-basements, piled foundations and ground improvement costs from the Assessment unless noted in the comments section of the report;

2.2.2 made no allowance for road closures or diversion of major services;

2.2.3 made no allowance for any amount required for excavation, replacement or stabilisation of land under or around the property;

2.2.4 made no allowance for any costs of demolishing pre-stressed or post-tensioned concrete structures or other such structures using modern materials;

2.2.5 made no allowance for any value in salvaged materials;

2.2.6 made no allowance for the removal of any hazardous materials or any improvements needed to unstable or contaminated land found post-demolition of the property or other permanent structures;

2.2.7 made no allowance for any fees arising from any issues referred to at paragraph 2.2.6 above. The necessity, extent and cost of such work cannot be reasonably determined without a detailed investigation beyond the scope of a desktop rebuild cost assessment;

2.2.8 made no allowance for cost inflation over the elapsed time from the date of an event that results in the need for a complete rebuild and the completion of that rebuild;

2.2.9 made no allowance for tenant’s fitting-out works, fixtures fittings or furnishings. However, in assessing the extent of the building structure, services and fittings, we have made reasonable assumptions in respect of the inclusion of items which may have been installed by tenants but which, by nature of their degree of permanence or annexation to the structure have inured to the benefit of the owner; 

2.2.10 made no provision in respect of process, plant and machinery, fitting out works and the like, in respect of which further advice should be taken; 

2.2.11 made no allowance for temporarily supporting or protecting any damaged structure; and

2.2.12 made no allowance for upgrading or improvements that may be incorporated in the redesign of the property. 

Rebuild Period 

2.3 The time it takes to rebuild the property will be influenced by many factors such as the nature of the event that caused the destruction, the extent of damage, the drafting of plans and securing of permissions, the availability of labour and so on. For example, any reconstruction work may be delayed due to the need to consult interested parties e.g. a mortgage company. It can also take time to source suitable building materials and draw up revised plans which will meet current Building Regulations. These will extend the period of reconstruction and therefore, depending on the property, greater inflationary factors may need to be taken into account than one may find in stated industry standards.  

2.4 From the information we have available without the benefit of having undertaken a site assessment, we have suggested a timeframe being necessary should a complete rebuild be required. This is noted under the Rebuild Cost Assessment Breakdown. A longer period may be necessary, depending on individual circumstances.

2.5 The period given assumes that planning and rebuilding proceeds expeditiously to completion following the event.

2.6 We are able to offer a Site Rebuild Cost Assessment if more specific guidance is required on the likely rebuild period.

3. VAT 

3.1 The Assessment does not extend to advising you on whether all or any elements of your rebuild cost will carry VAT and thus need to be included when determining the building sum insured for insurance purposes.

3.2 Consequently, the Assessment will always include a VAT breakdown for all elements of the rebuild cost and it is entirely at your discretion and risk as to whether you choose to include VAT on all or any element when arranging your insurance policy.

3.3 We would always recommend that you obtain professional advice from an accountant or local VAT office before making a decision to include or not include VAT within the sum insured. You can include or remove any element of VAT from the VAT breakdown as appropriate dependent on the advice you receive.


4.1 The Assessment is our opinion of the rebuild cost of the property for insurance purposes using current rebuilding costs and assumes tenders are sought in competition or realistically negotiated and is not related to the open market value of the site or the building. 

4.2 Our Assessment is based on the assumption that the property is totally destroyed or damaged to such an extent that total reconstruction is required. 

4.3 The Assessment is our opinion of the cost of rebuilding the property to its original size, design and quality using modern construction techniques and comparable materials and reconstructing in accordance with current Building Regulations. 

4.4 The Assessment assumes that rebuilding of the property in its present size, form and position will be permitted by the Local Authority in relation to:

4.4.1 current Building Regulations, but we recommend you clarify the position with them;

4.4.2 Town Planning Policy. Such policy, which determines the extent to which sites may be developed, varies from time to time and we recommend you clarify the position with the Local Authority. 


5.1 Depending upon the category of listing and the viewpoint of the relevant Local Authority conservation officer, the ability to use modern construction methods and/or materials will vary considerably. Where the property or part thereof is listed the Assessment assumes the use of modern construction techniques and modern materials except where the use of historic (pre 1900 AD) methods of construction and materials and the salvaging and reuse of existing materials are essential to the preservation of the historic character of the property and/or were a specific condition in the decision to list the property or part thereof.

5.2 The Assessment allows for the cost of taking down the remaining structure and salvaging of materials for reuse or replication. It also allows for the excavation and, where practicable, conservation of the debris and recording of the remains together with the cost of any research necessary for reasonably accurate (but not meticulous) reinstatement.


6.1 The Assessment relates to the building only and not the contents. Consequently, no allowances have been made for the contents of the building, including without limitation general loose contents and furnishings, computer equipment and cable or wiring distribution.

6.2 We have also excluded:

6.2.1 from the external works in the Assessment allowances for all trees, shrubs and soft landscaping and grassed areas; and

6.2.2 from the Assessment claim negotiations fees for loss assessors.


7.1 With reference to part 2A of the “Environmental Protection Act 1990”, if a building is destroyed and the land upon which it was constructed is assessed as contaminated, the Local Authority or such other statutory body may require the clean-up of the land before it is reinstated. No allowance has been made in the Assessment for such costs. 


8.1 We strongly recommend that the property is reassessed as stated in the report to take account of changes in rebuilding costs, construction techniques and market conditions i.e. shortage of labour or materials would have a great effect on the rebuild cost.


If you would like more information on Rebuild Cost Assessments and how they could benefit you, contact us today.


Henleaze Business Centre,
13 Harbury Road, Henleaze,
Bristol BS9 4PN
Tel: 01172 872199


56 Gloucester Road,
South Kensington,
London SW7 4UB
Tel: 020 3633 2515


Unit 2b Manaton Court,
Manaton Close, Marsh Barton,
Exeter EX2 8PF
Tel: 01392 984364