Owning your own home not only gives you a huge sense of pride and accomplishment, it can also feel like a never-ending money pit of expenses. Even if you’ve bought a newer home, it doesn’t mean that you are free and clear of renovations and repairs, it typically just means you may not have to worry about all of them popping up at once. Just as you would expect, all those big-ticket items in your home have a lifespan, and at that point, repairs will be necessary and sometimes even require a full-out replacement.
So, what are the most expensive home repair jobs you will need to undertake? When do they typically pop up in a house’s lifespan? And how can you be better prepared for them mentally and financially? As they always say, knowledge is key, so let’s take a look at all there is to know about the major repair jobs that go hand-in-hand with homeownership.
Your roof is easily one of the most important features of your home. It is what provides shelter from the elements, and during its lifespan, you can expect it to take a real beating. It needs to hold up to wind, rain, snow, ice, the damage of the UV rays, debris, and more. And even the strongest roof is still getting older each and every day, weakening as time goes by.
Most people make the assumption that their roof will last for between 25-30 years, and while this may happen, that isn’t always the case. It has a lot to do with the materials that were used, the maintenance and care you have given it, the design, damage from rodents and pests, and more. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for some roofs to need repairs and even full replacement at the 10-12 year mark.
The best advice is to put the proper care and maintenance into it, making sure all issues are repaired as soon as they pop up so as not to let them get worse.
Windows can be another huge expense for homeowners, and often they come as a bit of a surprise. People don’t always consider window replacement when thinking about maintenance and repairs, but just like everything else in your home, they have a lifespan. Typical windows tend to last around 15-20 years, and at that point, they start to deteriorate – if not faster.
So what are the signs that your windows may need replacing? Drafts are usually the first red flag that homeowners notice. What this means is that air is escaping and entering your house, which makes it harder to control the temperature. This also means your energy bills will start to go up as you try to keep your home cool or warm. Other red flags include window frames that are warped or rotted, broken windows, condensation that builds between the panes of glass, and windows that don’t open and close properly.
The HVAC System
When it comes to home comfort, your furnace and air conditioning unit plays a huge role. Both need to be in a good working condition in order to reach that desired temperature in the home. Each of these items usually takes quite a beating, which means you can’t expect a super long lifespan. In general, you’re looking at 15-20 years for the furnace and 10-15 years for your air conditioning unit.
Now keep in mind, by the time these items are ready to be repaired they are probably the exact opposite of energy-efficient, so there will be some money savings on your home heating and cooling bills once new units are installed.
As for the typical costs, you can expect to pay anywhere between $4,000-8,000 for a furnace that is professionally installed, and a couple thousand on an air conditioning unit.
Exterior Decking and Fencing
This particular home expense isn’t one that affects all homeowners, but if you happen to have wooden decking and fencing, then this can potentially be another huge repair and replacement expense. As long as you have put in the proper maintenance steps and repairs, and used high-end materials such as pressure-treated lumber, then it’s not unheard of to get 20 years out of your fence and decking. However, the signs of wear and tear will pop up way before that 20-year mark, and you may find that replacement is necessary.
The Big Five – Major Appliances
While not quite as big as the other jobs mentioned, the replacement of your big five major appliances is also something to be aware of. The big five are your washing machine, dryer, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Of those, the refrigerator tends to be the priciest, with the washing machine following close behind. All of these appliances have around a 10-15 year lifespan, with a dishwasher typically being less.
How to Pay for All These Repair Jobs?
Simply knowing that these repair jobs will pop up doesn’t mean you can pay for them. Each of these are very pricey, never mind if you need to tackle multiple projects at once. This is why it’s a good idea to have a financial plan in place for when these expenses do happen.
One option that many homeowners end up considering is applying for a personal loan to help pay for the expenses. There are even personal loans that don’t require a credit check and those that are offered to individuals who have “bad credit”.
Being Prepared is Key
At the end of the day, repairs and replacements of these major items are inevitable, so rather than fight it, why not get all the information you can so you can be better prepared for when it does happen?
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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