Owning a significant asset like a commercial property carries risk. Understanding the financial implications of damage and loss, therefore, is crucial for your financial security and peace of mind. This is where Reinstatement Cost Assessment services, often abbreviated to RCAs, become invaluable.  An RCA precisely estimates the cost required to reconstruct your property in the event of it being destroyed. This is known as the Declared Value or Day One Construction Cost and the figure is central to your building’s insurance arrangements. 

For London property owners, an accurate RCA requires specialist knowledge. The unique architectural diversity and historical significance of many properties in London can mean that rebuilding costs are significantly higher than initial expectations.  An accurate up-to-date RCA provides a solid foundation for your financial decision-making regarding any London property. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommends an assessment be made every three years. 

The good news is that Fresson & Tee has a wealth of experience providing RCAs across London. We have a proven methodology that has provided many clients with accurate reinstatement costs over the years. 

Undertaking Site Inspections

A site inspection is a critical component of conducting thorough property Reinstatement Cost Assessments in London or elsewhere. These inspections allow suitably qualified and experienced professionals to gather essential data firsthand, ensuring that every unique feature and potential risk factor of a property is accounted for in the final assessment.

During a site inspection, Fresson & Tee will meticulously evaluate the property’s structural integrity, architectural features, construction materials and the quality of finishes. They also consider geographical location and accessibility, which can significantly influence rebuilding costs.   It is only through the detailed on-the-ground analysis, that suppliers can provide reinstatement cost assessments that genuinely reflect the true cost of reconstructing your property to its original standard.  For owners, this means more accurate insurance coverage and, ultimately, more effective financial planning. 

By choosing Fresson & Tee, you can be confident a Royal Institute Chartered Surveyor will visit your property to undertake the necessary assessments to the highest of standards. 

Reviewing Existing Drawings

Alongside site inspections, accurate reinstatement cost assessments also require the review of any existing architectural drawings. This additional desk research process provides assessors with critical insights into the original design and structural blueprints of your building. Existing drawings and related documents help in identifying the specific construction methods used. They are particularly useful if properties feature historical or non-standard elements. Drawings can also reveal previous modifications or adaptations that are not immediately apparent during a physical site inspection. This information ensures that all aspects of the property and its entire history are included in the reinstatement cost assessment. This prevents any oversight that could lead to costly inaccurate insurance.

For property owners and insurers alike, having a comprehensive reinstatement cost assessment that includes a review of existing drawings means greater accuracy and peace of mind in the face of potential rebuilding scenarios.

Undertaking a Measured Survey

Undertaking a measured survey will ascertain the gross internal floor areas of any building. Checked and valued dimensions are a key part of any reinstatement cost assessment. Typically conducted by a chartered surveyor and closely aligned to the drawings and document review, measurements cover the entire property documenting the dimensions and layout of all rooms and spaces and noting significant structural elements. It extends to ancillary buildings and might include special features such as fireplaces, mouldings, and bespoke fixtures which may impact the overall replacement cost valuation.

By providing a detailed blueprint of the building to compare to desk research, a measured survey ensures that any reinstatement cost assessment reflects the true potential expenses in rebuilding rather than an estimate. This process supports insurers and property owners alike in achieving financial prudence and risk management.

Fresson & Tee has a wealth of experience undertaking measured surveys. Our teams, always led by Royal Institute Chartered Surveyors, can ensure the process is smooth, efficient and, most importantly, complete and accurate.

Calculating The Day One Building Reinstatement Value

Calculating the Day One Building Reinstatement Value or Declared value is the final essential output of any building Reinstatement Cost Assessment. This figure represents the estimated cost to completely rebuild the property on the first day of any insurance policy term. It must be complete and include all associated expenses such as labour, materials, professional fees, and compliance with current building regulations.

As described above, calculations are typically based on a site survey, a desk review of documents and drawings and detailed measurements.  Unique architectural features, modifications and adaptations must be taken into account too. From the collated data, a suitably qualified and experienced quantity surveyor or other building cost professional can prepare a detailed cost estimate. They calculate the gross internal area and apply current construction rates, which are often provided by cost indices like the BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) in the UK. These rates are adjusted for the property’s location, size, and complexity.

Professional fees, typically ranging from 10-15% of the construction cost, are added to cover the costs of architects, surveyors, and legal services. An allowance for site clearance and demolition is also included, which is crucial following any catastrophic event.

The Day One Reinstatement, or Declared, Value is a comprehensive estimation that reflects the cost to rebuild the property entirely. It should also include a prudent margin to safeguard against inflationary pressures, helping property owners avoid under-insurance risks. The calculated figure is vital because it forms the basis of the building’s insurance policy. Any inaccuracy could prove costly.

Preparing A Clear Written Report

Preparing a clear and well-written report is the final, crucial part of any building reinstatement cost assessment service. A report, delivered correctly in line with building industry guidelines, becomes a foundational document that influences financial and insurance-related decisions. Reports should outline the calculated Day One Building Reinstatement Value and share all the critical information gathered during the cost assessment process. Every detail, from structural elements to special features, ought to be thoroughly documented and, importantly, easy to understand by non-specialist readers.

The value of such a report lies in its ability to communicate complex data in a clear, concise manner. All stakeholders involved, including property owners, insurers and financial advisors, should be considered. A well-articulated report helps avoid misunderstandings and provides a transparent basis for insurance coverage.

Poor reporting risks costly disputes around coverage limits and, ultimately, claims. Success comes from summarising detailed, reliable data. A meticulously prepared report is an indispensable tool in ensuring integrity, clarity and utility in building reinstatement assessments.

Fresson & Tee’s Reinstatement Cost Assessment Offering

Fresson & Tee prides itself on providing Reinstatement Cost Assessment Services fully in line with Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) guidelines. As RICS members, you have confidence our surveys, reviews and cost estimations will be of the highest standard. Working with reputable experts greatly reduces the risk of under-insurance or over-insurance for your building; both of which could prove costly in the long run.

Successful reinstatement cost assessment depends on the diligent and meticulous attention of suitably qualified experts. In partnering with Fresson & Tee’s team of experienced construction professionals, our clients and their stakeholders feel supported with complete, accurate and clearly communicated information.