A replacement cost estimator is needed when you are planning to demolish and rebuild your home or any type of property that you own, for example an office building, industrial facility or apartments. You will also need a replacement consultant when you lose a home through man-made accidents and catastrophic natural phenomena. Facility managers are well aware of the life cycle of a building and they take steps to decrease the rate of depreciation by implementing a maintenance plan that includes periodic repairs, renovations and upgrading.
A consistent maintenance program maintains the value of a building and in some cases it can actually increase the resell price, considering that other economic conditions such as demand and inflation are constant. A maintenance program prolongs the life of a building.However, after a 100 years or so, buildings which are not properly maintained begin to show signs of stress and decay. In most regions, there are building regulations which govern the lifespan of a particular type of building. Such regulations may require an aged building to be vacated and demolished after a specific period (e.g. 75 years) or whenever a building inspector determines that the building is unsafe for continued occupation.
The need to replace a building is not only necessitated by building regulations, but it can be brought about by unforeseeable circumstances such as fire accidents, motor vehicles crashing into your home or destructive weather / climate conditions such as floods and typhoons. Earthquakes, forest fires and volcanoes are also known to destroy homes.
This article is going to focus on planned replacement i.e. when you intend to demolish your home and replace it with a totally new building. The quote supplied by a replacement cost estimator includes some elements which you are required to pay for. The consultant will normally give you an initial estimate that allows for unforeseeable conditions that might arise during the course of demolition and construction.
The costs of replacement include the following:
- Demolition or Breakdown of Building
Before you proceed in hiring a demolition company, you have to understand that demolition is different from a breakdown. Demolition involves completely destroying the building into rubble with nothing to be salvaged during the procedure. A crane hoisting a huge heavy metal ball is used to pummel and break the brickwalls into pieces. The rubble that is left at the end of the process is moved to a dumpsite or in some cases, the brick rubble can used as hardcore filling under concrete floors and pavings.Explosives are another alternative that can be used for total demolition.
A Breakdown involves carefully taking out window frames, door frames and other fittings before destroying the building with an explosive or hoisted ball. Items that are in good condition are salvaged and stored in a safe place for re-use. Salvaging items for re-use can save the client some money if they are on a tight budget. You might also want to salvage items for a garage sale. A breakdown is a step that precedes demolition but it is also necessary when you intend to preserve brickwalls or when you intend to destroy only a part of the building.
- Breaking Down and Removing the Floor
The old floors need to be broken up if you intend to build a new floor. The contractor will break down the concrete as well as the covering i.e. tiles and screeds. If the owner wants to preserve the concrete beds, the contractor will only remove the covering and prepare the surface accordingly for new screed.
- Breaking Down and Removing the Foundations
The contractor will be required to dig around the foundations and break down the walls and concrete beds. The rubble will be transported to a dump site or preserved for re-use as hardcore filling.
- Carting Away the Rubble and Clearing Up
This involves moving the rubble to a dumpsite. The cost depends on the location of the dumpsite and the type of transport that is used in moving the rubble. The contractor has to clean the place too.
- New Construction
When demolition and clearing up the place is done, the contractor begins the new construction. The cost estimate of the new building is done normally as that of a fresh project. In order to start working, the contractor needs new drawings and a detailed Bill of Quantities. Depending on the owner, the demolition works and new project can be done by the same contractor or separate tenders may be awarded to different contractors for demolitions and new construction.
The replacement cost estimator prepares Bills of Quantities during the final drawings stage which form part of the bid documents for tendering. The contract price in the BOQ represents the total cost of replacing a building.