Every home develops problems over time. Repairing things that break is not such a big deal when it’s something simple you can fix on your own, like a broken hinge or a leaky toilet. However, when your furnace stops working, or you notice a leak in the kitchen ceiling, it can be a VERY big deal. This is especially true if you haven’t prepared for the cost of repair or replacement.
For major problems, you’ll need professional help. Experts suggest having an emergency fund stocked with at least three to six months of expenses. When you need the funds, you can pull money from this account without disrupting your regular budget or spending plans. Other funding options include a home warranty, a home equity loan or line of credit.
These are some of the most costly repairs you should budget for, and how much they typically cost:
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. If you don’t properly maintain your furnace and air conditioning units, they could require expensive repairs or give out altogether. A gas furnace alone costs between $1,000 and $2,700 at Home Depot; but, as Home Advisor notes, you’ll pay between $4,000 and $8,000 for a professional furnace installation.To improve the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system— plus improve air quality in your home—replace the air filter at least once every 90 days. You’ll need to replace it more frequently if you have allergies or pets.
When your home’s hot water heater bursts or stops working, it’s usually a result of deteriorating structure of an aging tank. And changes in seasons are of particular concern with older tanks.At big box stores, you can usually pay somewhere between $300 and $900 for a water heater plus up to $250 for installation. Expect to pay in the higher end of the price range for a complex or rush project. Tankless models offer improved performance, but are much more expensive, as well. Whichever type of water heater you use, be proactive and replace your heater no later than at the age of ten years.HOME FOUNDATION
Foundation repairs run the gamut from simple DIY fixes to major reconstruction. Water is the enemy. It seeps through concrete, settles in basements, and puts pressure on your foundation walls—creating mayhem for the rest of the house. The cost of repairs can start at $10,000 and go as high as $40,000.
The best way to avoid woes is to keep water far away from the foundation. Check to make sure all gutters and downspouts are in good working order, and that the soil around your foundation is properly graded—it should slope at least six inches for every 10 horizontal feet.
Just like with foundations, water leaks and moisture can create havoc with your home’s roof. In addition, improperly or damaged flashing, ponding water, damage from small animals and birds, and penetrations caused by wind or hail can cause damage.
Replacing the entire roof could run between $3,000 and $12,000, plus the cost of removing old roofing materials and fixing any damage to the interior of the home.
Maintenance includes careful review of your roof at least twice a year, perhaps while you’re up there cleaning your gutters. Look for missing or buckling shingles, tears and indentations. Also pay close attention to the flashing around the chimney and exhaust vents. Small repairs will help your roof last—most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years.
EXTERIOR PAINTING OR SIDING
Siding is designed to be durable and last a long time; however, there are occasions where you will need to replace it. Damaged wood, aluminum or vinyl siding can lead to rot, insect invasions and interior problems. Spot repairs to individual panels of siding usually won’t cost more than a couple of hundred dollars, but a full replacement can run on average $10,000.
Painting a home, on the other hand, is typically cheaper but needs to be done more often. To pay for exterior painting of a home, HomeAdvisor lists a national average of $2,644.
To protect yourself, do a thorough walk-around of your house every six months, looking for cracks or holes in the siding/and or significant peeling or flaking to the paint job, plus missing or damaged sealing around windows and doors. Perform touch up work by caulking the unsealed areas. For the siding, use color-matched vinyl siding caulk.
Resources: HomeAdvisor, Inc., HowStuffWorks, The SimpleDollar.com