Your property questions answered
How do I calculate the cost of rebuilding my house?
Q In the event of my two-bedroom semi-detached bungalow – area 756sq ft – being burned down, what would it cost me per sq ft to have it rebuilt?
ALosing a family home to fire is devastating and hopefully a once in a lifetime occurrence, at most. Accordingly, it is critical that one is adequately insured so as to ease the pain and loss. The basis upon which one insures a property is calculated on a total loss, such as what would it cost to demolish the property and rebuild from foundations to roof including new electrics, plumbing, heating, interiors, etc. This figure is called the “buildings sum insured” and is referred to in a household insurance policy.
Each year the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) compiles and publishes a house rebuilding cost guide which assists owners in calculating the minimum rebuilding cost of their house. The SCSI House Rebuilding Guide guide covers the most common house types, such as terraced, semi-detached and detached houses, and also is divided into regions, such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford, Limerick, North East and North West regions. The guide will calculate the base rebuilding costs for a selected house type.
In general, rebuilding costs have increased marginally since last year, due mainly to changes in building regulation, such as an increase in insulation and air-tightness requirements and increases in material costs arising from increase in oil prices and the increase in VAT on professional fees. The guide indicates a minimum rebuilding cost (buildings sum insured) for a 756sq ft bungalow in the Dublin region of €120,204, or €159 per sq ft, or €93,744 (€124 per sq ft) in the Cork region.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has also launched an online calculator and smart phone app for this year’s House Rebuilding Guide which can be found at scsi.ie, or alternatively downloaded from the app store.
It is important to note that the guide should only be used on estate-type properties built since the 1960s, and owners of “one-off”, or period houses, should contact their local surveyor with any queries.
Andrew Nugent is chairman of the quantity surveying professional group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
How do we test a house for pyrite?
Q We have made an offer on a house in a development in Co Meath. We have heard reports that some developments in the county have been affected by pyrite, although we were told this development has not been affected. We are worried that it just may not have shown up yet. Should I get it tested for pyrite and, if so, how do I go about this?
AWe do not yet know the full extent of the pyrite problem in Ireland and varying reports suggest that between 20,000 and 50,000 units could be affected. This is obviously a very serious issue and has made life very difficult for people who have found out that their homes have been affected by pyrite.
Pyrite occurs in stone used as fill for foundations in houses.
The Department of Environment and Local Government has established a pyrite panel to assess the extent of the problem and to report back with recommendations to the Minister. The group is expected to report its findings in the next few weeks.