How to Calculate the Cost of Rebuilding a Home

Rebuilding a home after a fire, natural disaster or other property loss, restores your home to like new condition, while making it safer and more modern. However, rebuilding can cost more than the value of your home or even more than a new construction. This is often the case when home values have declined but the cost of materials and labor has risen. You might want to calculate the cost to rebuild a home before damage strikes. This allows you to purchase enough insurance coverage to reconstruct your home to its original state if you suffer a total loss.

Factors That Affect the Cost to Rebuild

Consider all of the variables that affect the cost of rebuilding your home, such as:

  • Square footage
  • Architectural style
  • Exterior wall construction
  • Quality of materials
  • Garage type
  • Design features
  • Additions
  • Debris removal

For example, a 3,500-square-foot home in a Mediterranean style would cost more to rebuild than an 1,800-square-foot, ranch-style house in a similar location. The construction method used to build a home's exterior walls, the use of high-quality materials, and additional features and enhancements, such as porches, fireplaces and finished basements, also add significantly to the cost of rebuilding.

Know Your Home

You can estimate the cost of rebuilding your home online, using home-replacement cost estimators. Websites, such as HMFacts.com, charge a small fee -- less than $10 at the time of publication -- to analyse the cost of rebuilding your exact property in your area. You must fill out a detailed questionnaire which requires information about your home, such as its structural components, size and amenities. Industry professionals, such as insurance agents, home appraisers and contractors use similar tools to determine the cost to rebuild a home.

Professional Opinions

A professional home-replacement estimate costs about $300, but may be more accurate than an online tool. Insurance agents may rely on these to determine the cost to rebuild your home. However, insurers often offer the service of estimating your rebuilding costs for free if you purchase a high-value policy, according to Forbes.

Determine the price to rebuild per square foot in your area. According to an article published by Kiplinger, the average cost to rebuild is $200 to $250 per square foot. Homes in high-priced or hard-to-locate areas cost up to $400 per square foot. A local builder, contractor or builder's association can often tell you the average price per square foot cost in your area, according to Forbes.