Being a homeowner sure isn’t cheap. From the down payment to the monthly mortgage to upgrades and maintenance, sometimes it feels like your house is more like a money pit.
That’s why significant fixes are every homeowner’s nightmare. Worst of all, these types of repairs are difficult to budget for, as they’re almost impossible to predict.
After all, you never know when that water heater will go out, or the roof is going to spring a leak, or the A/C unit is going to kick the bucket, or… you get the picture.
To add to the confusion, home repair prices vary widely from state to state or even from city to city. Here are the most expensive (and unfortunately common) home repairs.
Asbestos is a hazardous material that can cause cancer and has been linked to severe several lung diseases. Unfortunately, it also used to be used as a flame retardant. If you have an older home, you might discover that asbestos was used in attic insulation or your kitchen flooring. Find out asbestos in an area of your home that needs to be renovated or fixed up. You’ll have to call a professional asbestos remover because it is such a dangerous material. Though this is a necessary expense, it can come at a high cost. Check out our range of dual occupancy builder for your dream house.
Foundation repair, on average, can cost anywhere between $10,000-$40,000. That’s quite a chunk of change on a repair that doesn’t improve your home’s look or functionality. But, foundation damage is a big deal. If left alone, foundation problems can lead to your entire home becoming unstable and unsuitable for living in. Foundation damage is particularly problematic if you’re planning to sell your home. This is one of those problems that many buyers will run from rather than consider fixing.
Here in Michigan, most homes have central heating and cooling systems, also known as HVAC systems. While it’s fantastic to flip on air conditioning or heat whenever you need it, an HVAC unit is a costly home expense and is one of those things you don’t want to fix. The unit itself can cost a few thousand dollars, not to mention the labour to fix it. If you have any issues with your HVAC ductwork, that will be an additional expense.
The wiring of your home is crucial to your safety and the security of your house. Faulty wiring has been known to cause house fires, power outages, and more, so always make sure you’re checking for electrical problems and talking to a certified professional if you do run across any issues. When done poorly, rewiring your home can cost thousands and be a significant hassle, as electricians usually have to break into your home walls to make the proper repairs.
Mould is one of those sneaky home invaders that’s easy to look past until it’s too late. Unfortunately, mould has severe implications for your health and the integrity of your home. If mould has grown in your home in an area larger than 10 feet, you’ll have to hire a professional to get rid of it because of the health hazards it presents. This is a costly expense that can take some time and often requires you to replace all of the materials that mould has grown on.
Roof replacement can be one of the most expensive home repairs to make. A new roof costs thousands of dollars, and it’s an essential component of your home. A faulty roof can cause interior leaks that lead to excessive water damage and mould, and if you let a roof problem sit for too long, you’ll likely need to replace the entire thing rather than just repairing the damage.
Sewer Pipe and Plumbing Problems
Sewer pipes and plumbing problems are notoriously difficult and expensive to resolve. Unfortunately, most of the time, these problems are out of sight, so it can be hard to tell what’s going on until a pipe bursts and it’s too late. It’s good to remember that the city is only responsible for the sewer pipes up to the end of the street. Anything on your property is your responsibility, so it’s a good idea to have it checked regularly.
Fallen Tree Damage
Fallen trees cause some of the most massive damage to residential homes and are also a hazard to your family’s safety. What makes this particular damage so expensive is that it’s usually not limited to just one component of your home. When a tree falls, it’s likely to take out parts of your roof, electrical wiring, potentially plumbing and parts of your HVAC, and more.
Fire or Smoke Damage
Faulty fireplaces cause a reported 36% of home fires in rural areas. Home appliances, like toasters and microwaves, are responsible for another large percentage of home fires. Fire and smoke damage are costly to repair because they require the total replacement of the damaged areas. Since smoke affects your home’s air quality, it’s also responsible for a large portion of the expenses that go into repairing a home after a fire.
To avoid fires caused by other culprits in your home, make sure that kitchen appliances like toasters and coffee makers are unplugged when they’re not in use. Changing the batteries in your smoke detectors is also the easiest and least expensive way to avoid a house fire.
Wet basements are an all-too-common problem for older homes, especially those with a traditional unfinished Michigan basement. While a little water is likely to come in occasionally, depending on your home and your foundation, a constantly wet basement is a bad sign and an expensive repair. Continuous moisture in the basement can lead to mould, cracks in your foundation, and more, all of which are costly repairs to make.
Here’s An Essential Regular Home Maintenance Checklist Every Australian Homeowner Should Perform:
- Sewer Pipes: Roots from trees living close to your home can clog sewer pipes and cause sewage to back up into your home. Be sure to have a professional sewer and drain company clear your home’s line at least once a year.
- Water heater: Indications of corrosion or leaks mean trouble. Flushing your water heater helps rid it of mineral deposits that can hasten corrosion. Check the pressure release valve yearly to prevent an explosion.
- Wiring: Look for cracks, breaks, tears and anything that looks like a fire hazard. Check outlets and fixtures for anything that might be loose and cause electrocution. Call in an electrician for any needed repairs and adjustments: Wiring is something you don’t want to DYK.
- HVAC: Change air filters every 30 to 90 days to take the strain off your HVAC system and extend its life. Annual maintenance checks by a professional technician for the air conditioning in the spring and the furnace in the fall will allow your home to avoid breakdowns during the hottest and coldest times of the year.
- Roofing: Remember, some of the most pricy and pressing home repair issues come from above and your home’s first line of defence. Undiscovered and unattended to leaks can lead to water damage and rot. Check areas of penetration such as skylights, flashing and vents. Unclog gutters and ensure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation.
- Termites: Forget water, wind and fire. Termites pose the greatest threat to your home’s wood structures. Look for signs of their wood-terminating presence and call in a termite control professional and repair any structural damage.
- Wet Basements: The potential disasters are multi-fold: Improper grading, downspouts dumping water too close to the foundation, a concrete patio or driveway angled downward toward the foundation and butting against it. All these issues can cause water seepage and eventually structural damage. Eliminate basement leaks with waterproofing.
- Foundation Damage: Remember, an average $10,000-plus repair bill awaits homeowners dealing with significant foundation issues. Inspect the basement, crawlspaces and foundation for signs of water penetration and foundation movements such as drywall cracks, door frames out of square and uneven floors.
- Mould Remediation: Mold growth more significant than 10 square feet requires professional remediation due to its serious health hazards. Look for the telling signs of mould: Water stains, water damage and areas of apparent excessive moisture. To prevent mould from growing, eliminate the moisture source, fix leaks and properly ventilate any damp areas.
How To Avoid Expensive Home Repairs?
Your home’s foundations provide stability for the entire structure of the house, so it’s no surprise that you have to keep a close eye on its condition. Also, unsurprisingly, foundational problems can be very hard to fix. Repairs can be complex, expensive, and take a long time, so not only do you have to pay for the work, but you also might have to pay for alternative accommodation until your home is safe again. Foundation problems can occur in either very wet or very dry weather, so make sure all your drainage is working correctly, and use soaker hoses around the edges of your house during periods of drought. It’s also worth getting a professional to take a look every once in a while – every five years, perhaps.
If your roof starts to have problems, you can expect a hefty bill to pay for its repair. If you need it replaced entirely, it could cost you as much as £10,000. Make sure you are checking your roof at least once a year – preferably after the winter period. Look for leaks and sort the issue asap. You should also have your roof inspected a minimum of once every five years to ensure it is in good shape. The quicker you notice problems, the cheaper they will be to fix.
Boilers and heating systems
The trouble with boilers is that they tend to break down when you need them at the times of the year. They are also incredibly expensive to repair in some cases, and buying a new boiler will be a big hit in the pocket. Again, it’s essential to spot trouble before it gets too severe, so get in touch with your local boiler experts and arrange a regular service. You should aim to have a service once a year, and you should avoid minor issues turning into huge, expensive ones.
Plumbing and piping
Finally, plumbing and piping are hidden behind your walls and underground, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to hear that it can lead to some expensive repair bills. It’s a four-figure sum to repair, in general, and the impact of leaks or rusty water can be harmful to your home and your health. It’s worth hiring a plumber to clean out your sewage pipes once every few years, and also try to avoid using chemical cleaners to unclog your drains – it can lead to flaking, discolouration and weakening of pipes. Planning for a new look for your house? Look no further! MJS Construction Group is here to help in your dual occupancy builder Melbourne.
How to Budget for Costly Home Repairs?
Contribute to a Home Repair Fund
When setting aside money for home repairs, financial experts typically recommend that you save 1% of your property’s purchase price each year. This gives you a cushion for any repairs that may come up throughout the year. However, if your house is a bit older and will likely need more repairs, it’s recommended that you save closer to 3%. For example, if you have a newer house that costs $500,000, you should save $5,000 per year for home repairs. If you have an older home worth $200,000, you should set aside $6,000 each year for your home repair fund.
Do the Repairs Yourself When Possible
Many home repairs and home maintenance tasks aren’t as complicated as we might think. If you’re good at DIY home maintenance, simple home repairs such as refinishing hardwood floors, replacing a toilet or fixing garbage disposal may be something you can do on your own.
Before requesting service for someone to fix the problem, see if it’s something professionally, you can do yourself. But if it’s a more complicated repair and you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s likely better to opt for someone to help you rather than do it yourself.
Some home repairs are more pressing than others, so you need to prioritize your repairs by which ones are most important. For example, you might’ve been saving up for a new roof. But if you decide to spend your savings on a new conditioner, you’ll be in a tight spot when it’s time for you to get that new roof.
Your home can fall into unexpected damages, so it can be not easy to plan or prioritize repairs. But try to be aware of home repairs and, if possible, prioritize which ones are most important. Try to tackle those first before you fund more minor, less important maintenance.
Find Other Ways to Save Money
If you narrow your budget and find other ways to save money, you’ll have more funds you can put towards home repairs and even home improvements that you don’t necessarily need. For example, you might’ve been wanting to redo your master bathroom for a while. If you don’t have any major home repairs, you need to be done, making redoing your bathroom a priority. Put aside more money to fund that project.
Home repairs aren’t just the unexciting things like fixing a broken sink or water heater. They can be the fun projects you’ve wanted to do since you moved into your home. However, be cautious with funding these projects, and make sure you still have an emergency fund for unexpected home repairs you need.
Be Prepared For Home Repairs.
Major home repairs can be hard to predict, especially if it’s been years since you bought your property and had it inspected by a professional for lurking problems. And generally, your homeowner’s insurance policy won’t pay for repairs resulting from wear and tear, which many of the above circumstances entail.
That’s why it’s crucial to have emergency savings on hand. You may have heard that a solid emergency fund is one with enough money to cover three to six months of essential bills. Still, those figures better align with a scenario where you’ve been laid off from a job and need money to pay your living expenses while you look for work. As a homeowner, it’s a brilliant idea to have a dedicated savings account earmarked for unforeseen home repairs — and a healthy one at that. And if you own multiple properties, you’ll want even more money in savings.
As a general rule, you can expect to spend the equivalent of 1% to 4% of your home’s value on annual maintenance. For a $300,000 property, you’re therefore looking at $3,000 to $12,000 per year. A newer home will usually lean toward the lower end of that range, while an older home will skew toward the top. If your home is between 10 and 20 years old, you’ll probably fall somewhere in the middle. MJS Construction Group has the best range of dual occupancy builder services to help you create your dream house.
Suppose you don’t have emergency savings and are hit with a sudden home repair. In that case, your next best option could be to borrow against the equity you have in your property to cover your costs, whether via a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. A personal loan is also an option, though you’ll generally pay more in interest than you will on a home equity loan. And you don’t want to fall back on credit cards since they tend to charge loads of interest.
We hope this is a list of expensive home repairs that prepare you more fully for your first home purchase. We never want you to purchase a home and feel like someone pulled a rug out from underneath you. You must be able to prepare appropriately for this next big step in life.
If you need help understanding the home buying process, we are here to help. Please feel free to contact us today with any questions you may home.