One area that soon to be homeowners usually disregard when shopping for a home is the yearly cost that it will take to maintain it.
According to reports, homeowners should be budgeting 1% to 2% of the purchase price of their home every year to cover home maintenance costs/repairs. If you own a $300,000 home, that equates to about $3000- $6000 a year. Remember that it may be a little more if it is an older home or appliances that may need to be replaced soon.
There is a fine line between routine home maintenance costs and those that put you into a personal financial nightmare. What determines it, is your level of vigilance when something arises.
Here are some of the most common home maintenance issues and how you can keep small problems at bay instead of into a bigger problem.
If the foundation of your home is cracked, water damage is unavoidable, but it can be preventable. You’ll just need to stay on top of it during certain weather conditions that are known to cause damage.
For those who live in colder climates, you have to watch out for the snowfall. To prevent ice dams, you should clear a few feet of snow from the roof using a snow rake. Failure to do so will result in water creeping in under the shingles and eventually making its way into the house.
Rain also causes major issues. It is absolutely imperative that your rain gutters are cleaned and functioning before rain season starts. Not cleaning your gutters can create more expensive problems like rotted boards, rotted windowsills and water leakage on the roof, foundation and or basement.
According to The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) the most you can hope for out of your HVAC system is 25 years. Furnaces and air conditioning units usually run about 15 years, but if not taken care of properly, they’ll give out sooner than that.
It’s important to maintain and clean gas/oil boilers and furnaces at least once a year. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, the service will cost about $200. It sounds expensive but it’s extremely important. During the service, ask the technician for a copy of your systems efficiency rating. This should give an idea how much life is left in your furnace so plan your savings for the next one.
Maintaining even the smallest tasks can help save a bundle. Many people fail to do these tasks, therefore causing bigger problems and spending more money. Changing the filters on the HVAC unit is an important but small task. A dirty filter makes the unit work harder which means more money. So changing the filter makes it run better and longer.
If you have a fireplace it is also essential to maintain it. Preventative flue cleaning cost about $100-$200. Ignoring this cleaning could result in the need to reline the flue completely, which could cost you up to $3,500.
Conditions like heavy snow, rain and high winds and severely damage the quality of your roof. An asphalt shingle roof will last you up to 20 years. Slate, copper and concrete roofs can last up to 50 years.
Be extra careful when walking on the roof to install holiday decorations or to clean the gutters, you could unknowingly crack roof materials creating leaks. Replacing damaged shingles can cost up to $4 per square foot depending on the material.
Beware of using attics for storage. This can cause the roof to sag or collapse the ceiling if the attic wasn’t specifically built for storage purposes.
Even though wooden windows will last you 10 years longer that the cheaper aluminum ones, they require constant monitoring and can be pretty expensive if they need to be replaced. Depending on the age and size of the window frame, expect to pay around $500 to $1000.
Windows that are not shaded become really damaged from the sun. This can result in water damage and rot. If combined with moisture, the wood expands and contracts. This can compromise the stability of the whole frame unit. Regularly check for peeling paint, cracks, and chips. Have them repaired immediately to avoid further damage and incurring costs.
If you have any further questions about your home please feel free to post them here on our blog and we will answer them immediately.