Where Do You Actually Find Your Building’s Material Composition?

This is probably a silly question overall.

I’m looking to get home contents insurance, and two of the questions they ask are:

  • What is the external wall material?
  • What is the roofing material?

It’s a silly question but probably comes obvious and you can guess it, but nothings worse than getting insurance voided if you’re wrong.

Is there a definitive answer to knowing what your building is made of?


  • -1 vote

    What is the external wall material?

    Should have selection like brick, weatherboard…

    What is the roofing material?

    Should have selection colourbond, tiles (terracotta, cement, etc…) …

    It’s a silly question

    It shouldn't be seen as a science question… and getting your answer from the periodic table.

    So, what is your house made of? Maybe it is glass and there isn't an option? :D

  • Yes, as SF3 says they should be giving you the main options, and perhaps also providing a box called 'Other; please specify' (in case you live in a mud brick house or something quirky like that).

    Re 'What is the external wall material?', the most common in most areas are weatherboard/wood (in older homes/areas), brick, or one of various types of mixtures of 'fortified' (with metal inserts) concrete/cement-type panels (as in, the stuff apartment buildings are all made of nowadays).

    Re 'What is the roofing material?', the most common on a single-story house in suburbia would simply be 'tiles', but another possibility depending on your area/region would be something akin to 'tin' (i.e. a roof made from thin, metal sheets of some type). It should be easy enough to ascertain which is the case just by looking at your roof. If you are in a multi-story apartment building/cannot see the top of the roof, have a look on Google-Maps, or consult your landlord/real-estate agent if you are renting.

    Feel free to post more questions if none of this is helpful or matches your situation.

    • Yeah it’s a high rise apartment, the walls are probably concrete (as you mentioned), but I’m just not too sure about the roofing since Google maps just shows it as a flat roof (I’m also guessing concrete?). Most of the roof options for insurance mention tiling, but the roof definitely doesn’t look like tiles.

      Definitely will be having a chat with the real estate agent today to see if they’d have an idea, or at least know who I can chat with to confirm the make.

      • Unless it is something really odd it will be concrete or concrete with brick fill (call it masonry).

        If the roof looks flat it will be concrete with a waterproof membrane or possibly tin. If it's pitched it will be tile or tin.

        Are you sure it's contents you are applying for? These sound like building insurance questions.

        edit: ring the insurer and ask them what to put.

  • Put a picture if your unsure.

  • Beware, if you put it wrong and make a claim, insurance will refund your premium when they assess it with an expert who points out the correct material and say your premiums would have been different.

    But thanks to self regulation laws, your premiums are low!!

  • Which of the 3 little pigs are you ?

  • Some houses are made from cheap flammable polystyrene, rendered to look like an expensive rendered brick house.
    Thump test will reveal if it is polystyrene, by the noise and level of pain.
    Roof should be easy to determine by visually inspecting it and comparing it to google images.