Congratulations on your new home! Now, get ready to spend. Owning your own place comes with expenses you never encounter as a renter, from the relatively minor – like replacing those ’80s-era brass fixtures – to the major, like fixing a faulty foundation.
While you can’t necessarily predict when your dishwasher will suddenly stop working, you can prepare by having money set aside for emergencies. Many people suggest budgeting 1% of your home’s value for maintenance costs every year. So, if your home is worth $400,000, you should expect to spend at least $4,000 a year to keep it in tip-top shape. Others suggest setting aside $1 per square foot per year.
In addition to having some money set aside for repairs both routine and unexpected, it also helps to have a ballpark idea of what some common home repairs cost. Also, many big-ticket home costs occur on a fairly predictable schedule – water heaters need to be replaced every 8 to 12 years, while your air conditioning unit should last 15 to 20 years. That means you can plan ahead to manage those expenses.
- Average cost: $7,483
The average homeowner spends a little less than $7,500 on roof replacement, according to Home Advisor, with prices ranging from $1,200 on the low end to $30,000 on the high end. Everything from your location to the style of your home to the type of roofing materials used will affect the total cost.
Asphalt shingles are the cheapest and most common choice for roofs. You’ll pay more for materials like tile, metal, and slate. A steel roof could cost as much as $22,000, but it could last for decades longer than a roof made of asphalt, which has a lifespan of about 20 years.
Installing or repairing a water heater
- Average cost: $545 (for repairs) or $1,058 (for a new installation)
When your hot shower suddenly turns icy cold, it could be time to fix or replace your water heater. The typical water heater lasts about 10 years. In some cases, a faulty water heater can be repaired – it may just need a new thermostat or heater element.
Installing an entirely new water heater costs a little over $1,000 on average. Tankless water heaters are more expensive, at $1,853 on average, but they use less energy than traditional units with tanks, so you could save money in the end.
Installing a new furnace
- Average cost: $4,238
The typical furnace lasts about 15 years. When it finally goes, expect to spend a little more than $4,000 to replace it. Home Advisor breaks down the estimated cost of different brands of furnaces, so you can get a better idea of what you’ll have to pay.
- Average cost: $5,067
Replacing your home’s leaky windows will cost around $5,000 on average. Costs rise with the number of windows that need to be installed. If you need fewer than five new windows, you might be able to keep your cost under $2,000, but if you need 10 or more windows, prepare to pay $14,000 or more. You’ll also pay more for odd-sized windows, and vinyl windows are cheaper than wood ones. Your vinyl windows should last anywhere from 20 to 40 years.
Painting a home’s exterior
- Average cost: $2,793
If your home is looking a little dingy on the outside, it could be time for a fresh coat of paint. Hiring a pro will likely cost you over $2,000, though the ultimate price will depend on the size of your home. Your exterior paint should last between 5 and 10 years.
Repairing a sewer main
- Average cost: $2,527
Icky sewer problems are every homeowner’s nightmare. If sewer water is backing up into your basement or elsewhere, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP. You can expect to spend an average of $2,500 on sewer main repair, though costs can range from $1,000 to $4,000. And that doesn’t include the price of any cleanup you need to do because of the initial problem.
- Average cost: $3,995
The average foundation repair costs around $4,000. Fixing a minor crack could cost as little as $500, but a major repair could set you back $10,000. Fixing your home’s foundation can be costly, but ignoring it could lead to far bigger and more expensive problems down the road.
All cost estimates from Home Advisor.
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