How Much Does It Cost To Level An Old House Reconstruction Costs

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Reconstruction Costs

Have you done a major renovation in your home lately? If you have, it will likely affect the rebuilding costs associated with rebuilding your home and is a recommended time for a conversation with your insurance professional. Remembering to regularly review your home coverage with an insurance professional is a good step towards maintaining an adequate level of insurance to rebuild your home in the event of a disaster.

So why do rebuild costs differ from the market value of a home or even the cost of new construction? Reconstruction costs can be affected by a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Economies of scale: When houses are originally built, it is usually a case of many houses being built at the same time. This means that the contractor can buy the materials and accessories needed for the constructions in a single transaction, and often in bulk. Just as buying 50 or 100 bathtubs at once will cost less per unit than buying just one, you can apply the same financial benefit to buying almost anything else needed for home building in quantity. This can save you thousands of dollars compared to individual home builds.

  • Reverse Rebuild: New construction almost always follows the pattern of laying a foundation and building from there. When you need to rebuild and you need to rebuild a house that is not a total loss, you need to start by removing the roof and work from the top down. Because this process is labor intensive and takes more time to complete, it is also generally more expensive.

  • Site Preparation: When a house is to be rebuilt, the site it sits on must be prepared before any new construction can proceed. This usually entails additional costs for the demolition of any remaining (unusable) structures and the disposal of the resulting debris. In cases of intense fire, soil remediation may also be required. In new construction projects, site preparation is typically limited to brush removal and grading costs.

  • Labor Costs: Having tradesmen such as carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers, electricians, plumbers, roofers and painters on site for an extended period of time can help with scheduling and efficient use. If a particular house isn’t ready for work that requires your specific expertise, you can probably move to work in a house that is. This flexibility in scheduling isn’t usually possible when working on a single house, and it has a big impact on overall costs when you consider labor to be one of the biggest components of rebuilding costs.

  • Accessibility: Rebuilding a destroyed home is often required in established neighborhoods with mature trees, lawns, landscaping and fencing. These and other obstructions can limit access to the job site and therefore increase the costs of bringing the necessary reconstruction materials to the job site.

  • Older and Custom Homes: Rebuilding older or custom homes generally must include replacing features and finishes that are considered unusual compared to more conventional homes. Whether rebuild materials are scarce due to age or classified as “high-end,” the expectation is that they will be more expensive to replace. Examples of expensive items to replace in the home may include roofs or tile or slate floors; wool and plaster walls; coating; ceilings covered with tin, with exposed beams, or with a customized shape; solid wood doors; ornamental fireplaces; leaded or stained glass windows; stairs in shape; and custom hardware.

  • Updated Building Codes: In cases where homes are more than a few years old, it should be a normal expectation that building codes have changed since the home was originally built. Adherence to newer codes may require rewiring, replacement, the use of safety glass, or working with fireproof roofing materials.

  • Natural disasters: If your home was damaged or destroyed due to a natural disaster, it’s likely that other homes in your area will also need to be repaired or rebuilt. In this case, it is not surprising that the costs of material and labor are higher due to the scarcity and increased demand for both.

  • Partial Damage: If your home was only damaged and not destroyed, the remaining structure must be protected from looting and the possibility of further damage. In normal cases, personal property must be stored off-site until the home can be repaired. To prevent further damage, plastic sheeting material is usually used to temporarily cover the remaining parts of the structure exposed to the elements.

  • Permits and Fees: Remodeling may require permits, home inspection fees, and architectural/engineering fees.

  • Inflation: It’s no secret that the costs of both materials and labor continue to rise due to inflation. Depending on when the cost of rebuilding your home was originally estimated, it may cost more to complete the project today.

For the reasons listed above, rebuild costs can differ significantly from market value and the cost of new construction. Be well prepared for a disaster by regularly reviewing your coverage with an insurance professional. Remember that the adequacy of your home insurance coverage depends on accurate information about the size, location, age, unusual features and finishes of your home, as well as specifications about any renovations or addition The more you disclose relevant information about your home, the more your coverage can protect you in the event of a disaster.

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