Common Home Repair Needs And How To Prepare For Them
While owning a home is a good investment, it is also a huge responsibility. After all, the expenses don’t end after you have completed a purchase or have finished paying your mortgage – you also need to set aside a considerable amount of your budget every year for maintenance and repair costs.
When renting a home, you can simply call your landlord and get him to handle the repairs. As the homeowner, the buck stops with you this time, and you have to deal with all the problems yourself. Of course, proper handling and care of the house and all the appliances inside it will help prolong their lifespan and reduce your worries. However, normal wear and tear can happen, so better to always be prepared for any eventuality.
Factors That Can Affect Your Home Repair Needs
Home repairs have increased significantly during the pandemic due to people spending more time in their homes than usual. About 50% more people have worked from home, while around 70% have also cooked more frequently at home. This added another level of wear and tear to home systems and appliances, resulting in earlier breakdowns and malfunctions.
In 2021, home repair expenses grew by almost 10% compared to the previous year. This was driven mainly by increased demand and compounded by shortages in labor and materials. Studies have shown that the average repair and maintenance cost for a single-family home has reached almost $5,000 annually. In comparison, expenses for townhomes and apartments grew by nearly 9% to almost $2,000 each year.
This estimate considers the usual repair and maintenance projects of homeowners, including roof and gutter cleaning, as well as care for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system or HVAC. The highest expenses came from sprinkler and irrigation system maintenance which comprises almost 30% of all costs, followed by appliance maintenance as well as duct and vent cleaning at nearly 20%.
Despite the ballooning maintenance costs, it is still a better alternative than the price of a repair or complete replacement. For example, maintenance cost for HVAC could cost around $400 in a year, but this is significantly lower than a system replacement which can reach up to $12,000 or more.
Home repair costs vary from household to household because many factors need to be considered when estimating possible expenses. Here are the basic information that you need to take note of when preparing for your home repairs:
- Size Of The House
Generally, properties with larger spaces tend to require more maintenance and repair both in the interior and exterior parts of the home. For example, a small condo or tiny house in the city is easier to manage than a single-family residence in the suburbs. However, this is only one consideration and must be evaluated along with the other factors on this list.
- Age And Condition Of The Property
Repair and maintenance costs have a lot to do with the actual age and physical condition of the property. Newly-built homes will have lesser issues, provided that suitable materials were used during construction. You may also enjoy a warranty from the builder for the home systems and a warranty for the appliances from the supplier or seller, which would cover or reduce repair expenses in the first few years.
On the other hand, older homes are expected to require more care, repair, and maintenance due to wear and tear over the years. Those that are more than a decade old would likely need major upgrades in the plumbing, as well as the structural and electrical systems. Some of the finishing and exterior parts, like the roof, may also need to be replaced to prevent more extensive repairs in the future.
- Materials Used And The Location Of The Property
The environment and weather conditions in your property’s location have a lot to do with the possible repairs that may be required to keep your home system and appliances running smoothly. Constant exposure to snow, humidity, temperature changes like extreme heat or cold, as well as rain and wind damages, could impact the number of repairs you need.
For example, homes in humid areas tend to have more issues with mold and mildew. The materials used for the property also determine how much it can withstand the wear and tear from its environment. There is also a difference between a house that is made of wood, especially if it is regularly exposed to wet climates, versus a concrete home with stucco finishing and is located in a place with a mostly dry climate.
- The Number Of Occupants In The Property
Consider the size of your family when estimating your budget for the repair of home systems and appliances. The more people there are in a household, the higher the chance of repairs being required, especially if small kids are in the house, due to frequent usage and possible misuse leading to damage.
How To Budget For Your Home Repair Needs
Home repair costs vary from household to household due to the different factors that need to be considered in estimating repairs. However, experts say it is safe to allocate about 1% of the property value for repair and replacement costs. For example, in the US, homeowners have reported an average spending of roughly $3,200 a year on home repairs and maintenance, with a median value of homes at about $300,000. Other experts suggest setting an annual repair budget of $1 per square foot of the house.
Keep in mind, though, that this is only a general guide and is not an exact estimate of your possible expenses for home repairs. Other experts claim that 1% is on the lower boundary and that it applies mainly to more modern homes that use durable materials and are located in temperate and dry climates. If the house is older and located in a less friendly environment, repair expenses could go as high as 4% of the property value.
It would be best if you also accounted for price differences in cost and labor depending on where you live. In the US, some states cost more than others, and it would be very beneficial to know the prices in your area in advance. For example, research has shown that it costs more to get home repairs in Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, DC, and Maryland. At the same time, it is relatively lower in Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
The bottom line is that it is tricky to get an accurate costing because your home components may last longer than you expect, or they may break down way earlier than they should. In the latter case, you may need to call in emergency repairs, which would generate additional expenses on your part.
To protect yourself from sudden expenses that could break your budget, consider getting a home buyers warranty for yourself. This could help cover the repair and replacement costs for your home’s systems and appliances, including plumbing as well as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC, when they break down from routine use.
Most Common Home Repair Needs
Your home systems and appliances need regular care and maintenance in order to function properly. While the actual wear time depends on your usage and handling, some systems and appliances are more prone to breakdowns simply because of how they are made.
It is important to keep warranty and repair information for all your home appliances so you would know what to do when you encounter problems. A warranty can save you from unnecessary expenses as long as the damage is still within the coverage period. On the other hand, knowing the repair information will help you recognize signs of wear early so you can get it repaired before the condition worsens and cause you to spend much more than you had to in the early stages.
Among appliances, the refrigerator is one of the most expensive to repair, with expenses reaching up to a thousand dollars depending on the damage. Replacing your HVAC system, though, can cost anywhere from $5,000 to nearly $10,000.
Aside from this, your other home systems are also susceptible to malfunctioning. While regular maintenance can extend their lifespan and minimize repairs, some defects cannot be avoided. The electrical system in a home is one of the most common repair requirements, costing you around $200 to $400 for minor repairs like fixing light fixtures. However, major repairs like upgrading electrical panels or installing new wiring throughout the property could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000.
Water heater repairs and water damage are also common issues in a home. Fixing a gas control valve in a water heater can cost around $300, while a replacement can reach up to $5,000, depending on the kind of heater you use. Meanwhile, a burst pipe can be more costly to fix, especially if it has resulted in flooding in some parts of your house. Cleaning costs will increase if dirty water is involved, such as gray water from water drains of appliances like washing machines and dishwater.
You must also watch out for issues with plumbing, water service lines, and sewer lines. Simple plumbing and piping concerns like pipe or drain repairs can get you to spend around $200 to $60, but major plumbing work, such as installing new screens, can set you back from $2,000 to $4,000. On the other hand, clogs in the sewers are easy to clear as long as it has not caused the entire system to become backed up.
Last on the list, but not necessarily the simplest or cheapest, is your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. HVAC repairs involve different components, and the repair cost depends on the component that has been damaged. Minor repairs can cost you around $100, but extensive repairs can go as high as $4,000 or more. This is still better than replacements, though, which can reach up to $10,000, depending on the unit involved.