Trusted Home Replacement Residential Cost Valuation Tools

The Douglas Residential Cost Guide, although a newer product, has been in use for approximately 7 years, and has the same accuracy and reliability as the agricultural cost guide. The Douglas Residential Cost Guide is a great resource to have in your library, on your desk or on your computer as an online replacement cost calculator. The costing data is market sourced and is reflective of current conditions and trends within the residential construction field.

Home Insurance Replacement Value Calculator

Researched, Compiled, and Published in Canada

The Douglas Cost Guides have been developed in Canada, as a resource for professionals within the insurance industry, real estate appraisers, government agencies and financial institutions, to accurately estimate/calculate the Replacement Cost New of a wide variety of agricultural use structures and single-family residences. It is a must for the library and desks and computers, of all professionals, where an accurate, quick and reliable estimate of Home Replacement Cost New and Actual Cash Value is required.

Just like the industry-trusted Agricultural Cost Guide, The Douglas Residential Cost Guide has been developed with the same research and market data investigation and insights, to provide users with more accurate home rebuild estimate data.

Canadian Home Replacement Cost Calculator

The home insurance costing tool/calculator is intended as a resource for:

  • Assisting with home insurance coverage recommendations
  • Assisting with the settlement of residential insurance claims
  • Financial management
  • Accounting functions
  • Budgeting for new home construction
  • Assisting with obtaining financing
  • Assisting in the settlement of disputes/litigation

Estimate the Rebuild Cost of a House with the Douglas Residential Cost Guide

The Douglas Residential Cost Guide utilizes the compilation of actual residential construction costs, the use of various estimates for residential occupancies and other construction cost sources from across Canada for home insurance calculation purposes.The online home replacement cost calculator employs the same techniques for calculating the Replacement Cost New as the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide, utilizing a rate per square foot as the base rate and then applying adjustments for the various additional and unique features. The Douglas Residential Cost Guide is a newer product, having been developed within the past 7 years, it features recently compiled data from across Canada.

Home Building Insurance Calculator for Canadian Homes

The Residential Cost Guide encompasses a wide variety of home / dwelling / residence models for home insurance rebuild cost estimating / calculating purposes, including:

Home Insurance Rebuild Calculator Trusted by Industry Professionals

The Douglas Cost Guides are utilized primarily by the insurance industry, across Canada,
but are also trusted by industry professionals and organizations such as:


Insurance Agents



Insurance Industry

Loss prevention inspector / adjusters

Cost Guides for Government

Revenue Canada


Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (Ontario)

Real Estate Appraisers

Major Canadian Banks & Financial Institutions 

Banks and Financial Institutions

Features of the Douglas Residential Cost Guide:

  • Adjustment Factors for Unique Home Building & Residential Construction Situations

    Within the Douglas Cost Guides, there are location adjustment factors, as required, to allow for differences in residential construction costs between the various provinces. There are also adjustments for unique construction situations.

  • Tools for Estimating Actual Cash Value / Depreciation Value of Your Home

    The Douglas Cost Guides include a physical depreciation schedule for estimating the Actual Cash Value / Depreciated Value of the residence or structure being valued.

    Both the Residential and Agricultural cost guides are available online or as physical, book versions. Both have been created to include the most accurate data available and have been researched, compiled and published right here in Canada.

  • The Douglas Cost Guide Manual

    The printed / book version of the Douglas Cost Guides is updated and reprinted on an annual basis to include the most recent data.

  • Douglas Cost Guide Online Home Replacement Cost Evaluation Tool

    The web-based version of the Douglas Cost Guides is an online software program that is updated on an on-going basis. The costing data, with respect to the online versions, is updated as market conditions indicate and change whether that be on a monthly basis or every few months or more regular as new costing data is gathered.

The Douglas Cost Guide Online Replacement Cost Evaluation Tool is a responsive program that is fully functional and can be used on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and most mobile devices.

Developed by Karl Douglas

The developer of the cost guide, Karl Douglas, has been involved in the estimating and appraisal/evaluation of agricultural use buildings and residential occupancies, for over 30 years.

Karl Douglas will provide consulting services for unusual or challenging situations. Most consultation work can be accomplished through email correspondence with the use of written information and photographs, as well as through telephone conversations.

The Canadian Standard for Estimating Residential and Agricultural Replacement Cost

Trust the Canadian standard and go-to resource for estimating the Replacement Cost for both residential and agriculture buildings. Gain industry-trusted insights and data to acquire the most accurate Replacement Cost.

  • What is home replacement cost?

    Home replacement cost refers to the estimated price of rebuilding a home after a total loss. This entails factors such as local construction costs based on labour, materials, and other pertinent items. The estimate is based on a new construction estimate to restore the structure with a similar level of quality. Replacement costs estimates are not necessarily the same as the market value of a home.

  • How do I calculate the replacement cost of my home?

    It’s important to understand that rebuilding costs and a property’s value are mutually exclusive. To calculate replacement cost, you will need to know the square footage and multiply that times the local cost of new construction. With that base figure, additional costs such as specialty materials, permits, fees, razing, specific home design, number of floors, and many other items must be taken into consideration. Each home has unique aspects that drive costs.

  • How do you measure for total square footage?

    To measure for square footage of your home, always the exterior of the perimeter walls, calculating for angles, possible upper level overhangs which are finished living space, but not below grade level / basement level. 

  • What is the 80% insurance rule?

    Insurance companies may not reimburse the full amount of rebuilding unless a homeowner has taken out a minimum of 80 percent of the structure’s total replacement cost. This remains a significant issue for homeowners who make home improvements without increasing their insurance. In the event of a loss, you may not be fully reimbursed. 

  • Does home insurance impact replacement value?

    Your home insurance policy will outline your home’s replacement value. Each home insurance policy is different, and it is important to check your replacement cost or “blanket” amount. This amount is the insurance provided to rebuild your home if it were destroyed in a fire or other disastrous events.

  • Does replacement cost impact insurance premiums?

    Yes, replacement cost does impact the cost of your insurance premiums. A lower replacement value and lower levels of coverage can reduce your insurance rates.

  • What is the difference between market value and replacement cost?

    Market value is an estimation of the price that your property can sell for on the current market between a buyer and a seller. Replacement cost is the estimated cost to replace a building with equal features and utility to the building being assessed.

  • What is the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?

    Replacement cost insurance will ensure you receive a payment equal to what would be required to replace the home, whereas Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the estimated depreciated value of your home at the time of the loss.

See all Frequently Asked Questions About Home Replacement Cost

Factors that Affect Home Replacement Cost

There are many factors that can impact the replacement cost and rebuild cost of your home, including:

  • Building Codes: Building codes may not be the same as they were when your home was built. If your home is older, you must meet the new standards and safety requirements to ensure it adheres to current building codes. Homeowners typically do not need to upgrade their homes every time building codes change, but if your home needs to be rebuilt, any current building codes in place will apply to your dwelling.
  • Age of Home: If your home is older and has features such as custom moldings or outdated plumping and electrical, you may find it difficult to repair or replace these features.
  • Building Materials: The original materials that were used to build your home will impact the replacement costs associated with the dwelling.

Items Used to Calculate Home Insurance Rebuild Cost

  • Replacement Cost Calculator: The Douglas Residential Cost Guide can help estimate the replacement cost of your home.
  • Insurance Companies: Your insurance provider can assist in calculating your rebuild cost by referencing the information they have about your home. Many insurance companies rely on The Douglas Residential Cost Guide to assist in their estimating process.
  • Hiring an Appraiser: Appraisers can be hired to assess your home replacement cost.
  • Do it Yourself: This method can take a lot of research and planning, but it is possible to calculate your home’s rebuild cost by yourself. This can be time consuming and could end up costing you more if you are incorrect in your calculations.

The intent of the Douglas Residential Cost Guide is to provide the user with a tool for making general estimates of replacement costs for specific residential use buildings. No book can be more than a guide to the valuator, as each cost estimate must be considered in light of actual conditions encountered as of each specific date and structure being valued. This cost guide is not to be construed as a substitute for a detailed evaluation or quantity survey where more specific detail and / or data is required. Click here to read the full disclaimer.