Calculating the rebuild cost of a listed building

Building materials, location, timing and unforeseen fees can impact rebuild cost

As any surveyor and valuer of UK residential properties will tell you, listed buildings typically cost more to rebuild than their modern counterparts. Unfortunately, there is no determinant factor that can push your rebuild costs through the roof. Instead, there are numerous factors which can all have a knock-on effect.

Pay attention

Specialist buildings will often require specialist attention. You may choose to have a building surveyor with knowledge of historic houses or conservation assess the property. An expert’s services will be more costly but, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Time is money

Renovation or repair work on a listed building tends to take longer than it would on a traditional house. This is usually due to the building materials used. Where a modern building has walls made of plasterboard, your listed building might be lime, which can take longer to construct and will involve a specialist tradesman. In rare cases, your local authority can delay repairs if the site becomes of archaeological interest, and your local authority needs to agree that renovations can go ahead.

Do as you’re told, unless told otherwise

Listed building owners are beholden to their local authority’s Conservation Officer who has the authority to grant or refuse alteration and/or renovation. In some cases, authorities may insist that traditional methods and materials are used which can be very costly. Imagine having to import stone from a quarry to rebuild your garden wall after a flood, rather than arranging a delivery of bricks from your local DIY store.

In short, it is not strictly the listed status that drives up rebuild costs. It is the cost of traditional building materials and specialist labourers, as well as location, timing and additional unforeseen fees that impact the rebuild cost of a listed building.

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