Building Type: Lowrise Residential Building

Location: Whiterock, BC

Year Built: 1993

Client: Self Managed Strata

This stratified wood frame low-rise building consists of 56 units in one building. They have an underground parkade, shared laundry room, mechanical rooms and basic landscaping, but no elevator.


When determining the total insurable value, one of the Normac’s biggest considerations is to account for provincial and national building codes and municipality parking bylaws required for reconstruction. This building doesn’t have enough parking spaces, an elevator for adequate handicap access, or sprinklers in the units which will all need to be costed for in the replacement cost report.

Light Industrial

Building Type: Light Industrial

Location: Calgary, AB

Year Built: 1994

Client: Owner

This property is comprised of a concrete block-framed light industrial development with 18 commercial units in two buildings. It is being leased out by a private owner. The exterior cladding features concrete blocks, cultured stone, wood, and glass panels. Some units also have skylights. 

The appraisal team must figure out what is included for the appraisal report when we go on the site inspection. The owners often leave commercial units as a shell finish, which is just the bare structure with minimal finishing, pre-wired or basic HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. As tenants rent out spaces, they put in their own betterments and improvements for the units. We need to determine what is included for the replacement cost for the owner and the remaining improvements are under the tenant’s responsibility. Difficulties arise when tenants leave behind significant equipment such as rooftop HVAC units, plumbing, fire safety equipment and interior finishes such as wall partitions and flooring.

Hotel Condo Resort

Building Type: Hotel Condo Resort

Location: Whistler, BC

Year Built: 2002

Client: Group Ownership

This Hotel Resort is a wood-framed Condo building. There are 71 residential suites and one commercial unit used as an office in one building. Included is a concierge desk, change rooms, common washrooms, housekeeping rooms, gym, lobby, mechanical rooms, concrete underground parkade, steam rooms, storage, vestibules, and various site improvements. 


All the suites are owned by individuals or businesses. The property ownership group has operational control over the property, which includes day-to-day operations, rentals for the suites, as well as maintenance and suite renewals. 


With this type of property, we often receive requests to estimate for replacement of all hotel contents. This includes all the portable furniture and equipment used in the day-to-day operation of the hotel.  Examples would include suite furniture and appliances, commercial kitchen equipment, lobby furniture, linens, housewares, audio/visual equipment, banquet inventory, and hardware inventory.

Townhome Complex

Building Type: Townhome Complex

Location: Edmonton, AB

Year Built: 2002

Client: Condo Board via Property Manager


This is a wood framed townhouse complex with 174 units in 27 buildings. Each building has three floors with unfinished basements, attached garages, balconies, and prewired security alarms, and basic site improvements including irrigation. There is a shared playground, gazebo, benches, and other hard and soft landscaping features. The roofing is made up of wood trusses and wood shingles.

The appraisal team must use our own notes from the site inspection and condo plans to identify and determine the different building areas, as well as measure the distance between each building for risk of fire spreading. The roof material is now becoming obsolete so we must account for a current, equivalent material to be used in a rebuild as part of our appraisal.

Mixed Use Development

Building Type: Mixed Use Development

Location: Winnipeg, MB

Year Built: 2004

Client: Condo Board via Property Manager

This is a mixed frame, mixed use development comprised of 122 residential units on 16 floors and 25 commercial units on 4 floors. They have two elevators servicing the residential units, one elevator for the commercial units, an amenity room, bicycle room, common washrooms, mechanical rooms, concrete underground parkade, storage. There are also various site improvements, including a bicycle rack, curbing, fencing, lighting, metal poles, patios, pedestrian gates, railing, roadways, surface parking, walkways 

We are frequently asked by insurance brokers to separate the commercial portion from the residential, including the commercial parking and loading areas. It simplifies their ability to determine responsibility for certain areas and to obtain coverage for different types of building frames.

High Rise Building

Building Type: High Rise Building

Location: Toronto, ON

Year Built: 2015

Client: Property Manager and Directors

This reinforced concrete high-rise apartment development has 396 residential units in 2 towers. Each tower has 33 storeys with 3 elevators serving all levels, and their own multi-level parkade. They share common facilities including a recreation centre with meeting room, lounge, pool, jacuzzi, gym, a rooftop garden with a pond and water feature.  Each unit also has their own fireplace and high-end finishes and appliances.

In addition to costing out equipment and furniture for the common facilities, our appraisers also consider the location of this complex. Being in downtown Toronto, demolition and removal fees will be inflated due to required permits and close proximity to other buildings. There might also be higher professional fees, and perhaps stricter municipality bylaws to account for.

Bareland Property

Building Type: Bareland / Common Elements Property

Location: Ottawa, ON

Year Built: 1997

Client: Board of Directors

Bare land or common elements insurance appraisal reports look at all the common property improvements and elements of the residential development. Structures within the condo lots are typically not included as part of the replacement cost report, but may be requested.  This common elements property consists of 162 lots, a pool house, outdoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, fire pit, street lights, signs, mechanical rooms, common washrooms, and common property improvements.  

It is important to investigate all of the potential inclusions by carefully reviewing the condo bylaws and checking with the condo board. Most of the valuation is made up of hard and soft landscaping and underground site services. What can be challenging is determining all of the underground services, such as plumbing and electrical, and which elements are common versus which are the responsibility of the homeowners. Items that typically require review are fencing, gates, retaining walls, roadways, lighting, sewage, etc.