Budgeting for home maintenance is an important aspect of being a homeowner. You should define your home’s maintenance needs by keeping track of any issues and seeking professional assessments. Then you will need to set a budget and determine how much you should save for repairs and general maintenance annually. Finally, you can save some money on home maintenance by taking a DIY approach and finding discounted materials.
DEFINING YOUR HOME MAINTENANCE NEEDS
Outline what needs to be renovated:
Look around your home and determine what appears to be in need of repair. Notice things like chipped or peeling paint, loose or warped boards, leaky pipes, or frayed wiring. You should also check out your appliances and make sure they are in working order.
Once you have noticed maintenance issues, make a list them from most to least important. Keep in mind the age, location, and condition of your home. Older homes or homes located in regions with inclement weather generally need more maintenance. Prioritizing your projects will help you get an idea of what things need immediate attention and what you can put off until later.
- Things like leaky pipes, frayed wiring, or damage to your roof should be dealt with immediately since they can lead to significant home damage if left untreated.
Use an online home improvement estimator:
Once you have an idea of what needs to be done, use an online home renovation estimator to get a rough estimate of what each maintenance project will cost. Websites like HomeAdvisor will give you a general estimate of what your project may cost. Getting a rough estimate will give you a frame of reference for when you meet with a professional.
- Looking for an online estimate is a good place to begin your search but you should still consult a professional before buying any materials or beginning repairs.
Hire an interior decorator:
Hiring an interior decorator for a few hours at the beginning of a maintenance project will help you find the right materials for your project. They will help you match colors, styles, and themes, helping you narrow down your materials. Because an interior designer will help you make the right choice the first time, they may also help you save some money in the end.
- An interior designer is particularly useful for finding the right paints, wallpapers, tiles, and fixtures.
Get estimates from contractors:
Contact multiple local contractors and get estimates on what your project will cost. A contractor will come, evaluate your home maintenance issue, and then give you an estimate of what they think it may cost. It is important to keep in mind that the contractor’s quote is simply an estimate and that the finished work may be more expensive.
- You will want to get estimates from multiple contractors before you begin any project.
SETTING A BUDGET
Consider the 1 percent rule:
One popular rule of thumb to consider when it comes to budgeting for home maintenance is the 1 percent rule. According to this rule, you should budget between 1 and 2 percent of the purchase price of your home for annual maintenance and repairs. If your home is older or you live somewhere with inclement weather, you should budget around 2 percent or higher.
- For example, if you bought a home that cost $300,000, you should save between $3,000 and $6,000 annually for maintenance.
- The money that you save using this method should be used to cover the expenses associated with home repair, such as the cost of supplies or contractors.
Use the square foot rule:
You can also prepare for maintenance expenses by budgeting $1 per square foot of your home each year. This rule may make more sense if you own a large home with a low property value. Although your home is not worth as much, you will still have a large area that needs repairs.
- For example, if your home is 2,000 square feet, you should budget $2,000 a year for maintenance.
Estimate when you may need maintenance:
Different parts of your home will eventually wear out and need to be repaired or replaced. You should estimate when you might have to hire a contractor or purchase something new. This will help you put together a budget that meets your needs. The average lifespan for different appliances and parts of your home is estimated at:
- Roof – 20-25 years
- Heating system – 25 years
- Refrigerator – 20 years
- Freezer – 20 years
- Clothes dryer – 18 years
- Range/oven – 18 years
- Room air conditioner – 15 years
- Clothes washer – 13 years
- Water heater – 13 years
- Central air conditioner – 12 years
- Dishwasher – 12 years
Open a savings account:
Once you have decided on a saving strategy, you should begin saving as soon as possible. Large home repair or maintenance projects can be extremely expensive, and it is important that you have enough saved to meet those needs and not rely on credit. Open a savings account at your local bank and begin depositing a budgeted amount of money each month for home maintenance.
- For example, the average roof replacement costs between $4,000 and $8,000.
SAVING MONEY ON HOME MAINTENANCE
Do the work yourself:
If you are looking to save a little money on your home maintenance, you might consider doing the work yourself. Labor is often a large part of a contractor’s bill for performing home repairs and maintenance. If you are willing to tackle a project on your own, taking the DIY approach to home care can save you a lot of money.
- Some DIY projects that you could tackle on your own are painting, applying wallpaper, installing tiles, or laying hardwood or laminate flooring.
- You should probably hire professionals for major plumbing and electrical projects, replacing windows, installing cabinets, replacing siding or roofing, and any major structural changes.
Buy discounted items:
One way to keep maintenance costs down is by purchasing discounted equipment and materials. Look for used tools and equipment instead of buying new ones. Take advantage of sales at local hardware or home goods stores to buy any materials that you need for your project.
- This is only an option if you are performing the labor yourself. If you hire a contractor, they will use their own materials and supplies. However, you can often negotiate with them on what materials they use.
Look for cheap substitutes:
Instead of buying high-end materials, consider purchasing cheaper alternatives. For things like flooring and countertops, buying less expensive materials, like vinyl or composites, can save you a lot of money. Many cheaper substitutes are just as durable as their high-end counterparts and often require less maintenance.
- For example, purchase vinyl flooring for your bathroom instead of expensive natural stone tiles.
With these handy tips, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to give you home that facelift you desire. Stay in touch with us for more resourceful, quality and professional guidelines. You might also want to check out our post on how to get free building materials.
(Sourced from wikihow.com)