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Property Surveying Blog

Written by Karim El Shenawi-Ali

Here at Berry Lodge, we specialise in various types of valuation services. I personally have been in involved in insurance valuation recently and thought this would be a great time to share the knowledge I gained and the experiences that I had.

First of let’s go to the source, what does a valuation do?

Naturally a valuation provides you with an unbiased and rational view on an estimated value of either a property value, asset, rent and various other interests. In this particular case, I have undertaken an insurance rebuild valuation.

An insurance rebuild valuation essentially is a report that estimates the costs of rebuilding a particular structure from the ground up as if the property was completed demolished beyond repair, whether it be residential, retail, industrial or commercial, pretty much any tangible structure.

What is the purpose of obtaining a rebuild valuation?

Obtaining an accurate rebuild valuation of your property allows you to tailor your insurance policy to ensure you are paying the correct premium relative to the rebuild valuation of your property. One thing you never want to do is either over pay insurance premiums or pay a lot less than you should be could be out of pocket if you do make a claim as a result of a potential natural disaster, fire or any other disaster.

So what do we do to calculate the rebuild cost of your property?

First steps include undertaking an inspection of the property in question. I will conduct a systematic walk through of the property, noting the existing condition of the property, any items of fittings that may add value, including floor materials, wall materials, kitchen fittings, alarms and various other items.

I would then, using a Disto Meter, measure the layout of the property, which includes measuring the floor plan of each room, which would help calculate the entire NIA (Net Internal Area).

Once I have completed the inspection, it will then be time to calculate the value of the rebuild cost. This would be conducted in the office and by BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) which is a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors recommended tool of obtaining accurate calculation of build costs.

This calculation tool would take into account various variables that influence the build cost. This will include, the type, size, location and age of the property in question. In addition, it would then consider the additional information I obtained from my inspection, including the bathroom and kitchen fittings, and other items and materials that add value to the property i.e. rare marble flooring or fixtures. Furthermore, additional items that were noted on site would be included and added to the rebuild cost including external gates, and shutters.

However, the value of these items, cannot simply be plucked out of thin air. The surveyor would undertake some due diligence and can do one or two things, construction tables which can be quite generic, or most accurately, getting quotes from local contractors or suppliers who would originally give a market price on various fixtures and fittings that you require the value for.

I would recommend for any owner who has just undertaken construction works to their property, whether it be a loft conversion, rear extension and basement conversion to update their insurance policy with an updated rebuild value of their property, taking into account the additional extension. As I mentioned at the start of this blog, an inaccurate rebuild value on your insurance policy could result in either paying out of your picket for the works or paying a higher premium than you should be paying.

If you want to discuss this further or you are looking to get a valuation done, feel free to give us a call and we would be more than happy to assist!