How Much Should You Save for Home Repairs?

Home maintenance projects can be expensive and affordable, depending on your choice. Estimating how much you will spend annually on maintenance as a new homeowner can be difficult. Predicting the exact maintenance your home will require is impossible; however, you can get help through average homeowner costs. You definitely have no plan to spend above $20,000 on a newly purchased home.

If you ask homeowner insurance companies, they will tell you there is no way you can do without home maintenance cost. Home maintenance is unavoidable no matter how careful you are. There are many things that could happen to a home, such as leaking of roofs, cracking of the plaster, and so on.

A report from NerdWallet states that 3 in 10 homeowners are not prepared for home maintenance. The most difficult thing to plan for is the cost of various items you will need for the repair among the expenses you will face as a homeowner. Some of the costs are low; some are just little preventive measure, while others are huge projects that involve heavy spending.

You just have to do whatsoever you can now as there will be no formal notice from your AC before it goes off suddenly. Before you start with your home repair, you need to determine the overall repair costs for your home to prevent you from running out of money while on the project. You will find the most costly home repairs faced by homeowners, together with their overall costs and how to prevent them.

How Much Should You Save for Home Repairs?

What is the Cost of Common Home Repair?

A study reported that homeowners spend an average of $4,958 on home repairs and improvements in recent years. From few of the homeowners questioned, they replied that they spent more, between an average of $2,501 – $5,000, and 15% of them spent $5,000 – $10,000 on house repairs.

Which of the projects is more costly? Before you start assuming the cost of your home repair, let this article gives you a guide to get you prepared perfectly as a property owner.

As you are working on how much your home repair project will cost you, below are ten major and costly home improvements and repairs that you, as a homeowner, will have to pay for regardless of your readiness:

Roof Repairs –How much does it cost to repair your roof?

You are definitely not going to remove your roof even if it needs to be repaired, and you don’t have the time or money with you. Leaving a damaged roof for a while may lead to other problems such as damage in your walls and attic. As estimated by Home Inspector Locator, below are some roof repair estimates:

  • Installing only shingles: Installation of new shingles over an old one will cost about $2 per sqft. This can only be possible if you have a single layer of shingles. You have to remove the old ones before installing the new ones if you have more than one layer.
  • Removing and replacing old shingles with new ones: This will cost between $3 and $4 per sqft.
  • Flashing: Add an extra $300 to $500 to your overall roof repair estimate if you plan to use a new flashing around your skylight or chimney.

Pro Tip

i) Hire experts for roof inspection periodically. At least ten years after installing the roof and three to five years after installation.

ii) Check th roof yourself once in a while in between the inspection period to identify and note the weak spots or little repairs you can handle.

iii) A partial repair can cost an average of $650 while replacement can cost $6,000

Plumbing Repairs –How does it cost to repair plumbing works?

Although there are simple plumbing works that you can handle all by yourself, such as installing new sinks and toilets; however, there are other plumbing works that involve the intervention of a professional plumber.

You definitely don’t want your sewer pipe channeling waste back into your house. Below are some plumbing repairs as estimated by experts:

  • Pipe replacement: It will cost about $2,200 to replace a 2-story house water work.
  • Replacement of water line running to the building: This can cost between $1,500 and $3,500.

Pro Tip

i) Do not use chemical products to clear clogged drains.

ii) Always insulate your pipes in winter.

iii) Schedule sewage pipes cleaning arrangement with a plumber every few years.

iv) It will cost an average of $2,443 to repair a sewer line, $559 to drain pipe, and $1,054 to install new pipes.

HVAC Repairs –How much does it cost to repair HVAC?

Every homeowner knows that it will cost them huge cash to fix their air conditioner or furnace when they start giving issues. Below are some HVAC repairs as estimated by experts:

  • Replacement of a heat pump on a furnace will cost about $1,000.
  • Replacement of the compressor of an AC will cost about $1,000

Pro Tip

i) Schedule annual maintenance with a professional plumber.

ii) Routinely replace your air filters every quarter of the year.

iii) An average of $372 is needed to repair an AC and $288 to repair a furnace

Electrical Repairs –How much does it cost to repair electrical problems?

Just like handling plumbing problems, it is not ideal, safe, or easy for an average homeowner to attempt to fix electrical problems by themselves due to the conduit wiring of the building.

However, you cannot afford to leave any electrical issue unfixed as it may cause a fire disaster in your home, aside from not being able to use electricity in your home.

It is advisable to let professionals handle all important electrical works. An average homeowner should be able to handle the changing of light bulbs or wall sockets, but when it comes to changing your electrical board or adding circuits, it is best left to professionals.

Electrical works must be done with carefulness and correctly to avoid an electrical fire in your home.

Below are some electrical repairs as estimated by experts:

Electrical upgrade:

Sometimes, some home projects may not be repaired, but home improvement before move-in or upgrading the one in existence.

You will be paying about $1,500 if you plan to upgrade to 100 amps and around $1,800 for 200 amps.

It will cost about $200 when adding a 120V circuit to your circuit breaker box and around $275 if you are adding 240V.

Pro Tip

i) Make sure your electrical system is manually checked by a professional whenever you suspect a problem.

ii) It will cost an average of $318 for electrical repairs and below $15,000 for rewiring.

Controlling Infestation of Animal–How much does it cost to control animal infestation? 

These creatures are living on your property without paying lease or rent, yet they still cause damage. Seeing the beauty of an animal in your compound from a distance might be a cute thing you’ve ever done. You don’t want to see their activities in your attic.

They are responsible for the rustling sound you hear in your walls and ceiling. They are also responsible for the chirping bark sound (when nervous or threatened), you hear.

You may find things like seeds, nuts, and other foods accumulated in there when you inspect your attic or ceiling.

The greatest surprise will be when you find most of your insulation fallen or missing during the inspection. Seal off their entry points, use live traps to catch them, or contact pest control service.

Having bugs in your home can leave you with many inconveniences, and different bugs with different trouble. If you are facing invasion from termites, it is important to treat them before it gets out of hand quickly.

Pro Tip

i) Be sure to install termite monitors.

ii) Get rid of wood and mulch from your house premises.

iii) Schedule an annual termite inspection.

iv) You will need an average of $541 for treatment, but an average of $7,229 to treat damage caused by termites. Which one will you opt for?

Foundation Repair – How much does it cost to repair a foundation?

Your foundation is at risk if your house is built on land that swells when it rains and contract during drought. It can be very complicated and expensive to repair the foundation.

Some of the symptoms of foundation problems include:

  • Sloping floors,
  • Doors and windows won’t fit in their frames as well as difficulty shutting them,
  • Cracks on the walls around the house,
  • Lodging or pooling of water in edges all-around your house.

Pro Tip

i) To make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry during drought, make sure you use soaker hoses around your house.

ii) Make sure your drainage is functioning well during the rainy season.

iii) Ensure drainage by keeping the soil in your home surroundings sloppy.

iv) The repair will cost an average of $450 to $11,000.

Water Damage – How much does it cost to repair water damage?

Water can cause the metal to rust, wood to rot, and mold to grow. One of the major causes of costly home repair is water, whether by leaking, flooding, or bit by bit damage. Water damage symptoms include:

  • Musty smell,
  • Leaks,
  • Peeling paint,

Discoloration in the ceilings and walls due to mold or mildew

Pro Tip

i) Clear and clean your gutters

ii) Don’t leave your leaking roof or pipes unfixed

iii) Check your sump pump annually

iv) The average cost is $2,330

Septic System Repair – How much does it cost to repair septic system?

Having a septic tank that is not functioning properly can be a big problem. This requires immediate action. Septic tank problem symptoms include:

  • Slow drains,
  • Toilet not flushing,
  • Still, smelly water in your backyard

Pro Tip

i) Schedule inspection arrangement with a professional at least every three years

ii) Pump your septic every three to five years

iii) Average cost of repair is $1,488

Mold Removal – How much does it cost to remove mold?

Having mold in your home can cause diverse health issues, most especially with people with allergies. It can also affect the resale value of your home. Presences of mold in your home include:

  • Discoloration of your ceilings or walls,
  • Musty smell,
  • Allergy symptoms

Pro Tip

i) Fix leaks immediately

ii) Conduct periodic inspection for mold

iii) Repair cost an average of $2,155

Handling Drafty Doors and Windows – How much does it cost to handle drafty doors and windows?

Permanently sealing the airflow and removing the trim to stop the cold draft coming towards your doors and windows is a way of securing your doors and windows. Although it requires a little work, it will save you some money and effort for a year.

To locate the origin of leaks, place your hand closer to the edges of your doors and windows during cold weather. It is possible that the spaces surrounding the door and window jambs are not appropriately sealed, and thus; the feeling of cold air from behind the window or door trim.

Best Tips for saving for your Home Repairs

To make sure your effort to save for your home repair is not a waste, consider the tips below even if you choose to go for the square-footage rule or the percentage rule, or the two at a time.

1. Save for other factors as you consider them 

Saving for a little more than what you plan to repair because of unseen factors is not enough; you have to put the factors into serious consideration. Add 5% – 10% to the amount you planned to save for the factors listed below:  

  • 20 years more
  • Poor maintenance by previous occupants
  • Located in an extreme-weathered area (super cold winters, susceptibility to natural disaster, and so on)
  • Located in an area where the cost of repair materials are higher

It is important to save for the factors listed above as they contribute greatly to how high the cost of repairing your home can be.

2. Keep the money in an easily-accessible account

Although there is no crime in saving anywhere you like; however, it is important to save for your house repair in an account where you will have interest and can easily withdraw cash from if needed without being penalized for it.

You may decide to keep the money in your personal savings account; however, to keep track of how much you spend on your repair, it is advisable to open a saving account for that purpose.

3. Practice prevention

When you take good care of your home, you will not be paying much for repairing your home at all. Such home maintenance may include getting your home ready for winter before it comes, cleaning your furnace and AC (and replacing components) regularly, and regular inspection of your gutters, ceiling, and roof tiles immediately after the storm. This also helps you to notice any damage at the early stage before it becomes complex.

4. Gather money in other ways

Try and save money through other means to complement your efforts to save up for your home repair. You can save from your homeownership expenses or utility bills such as power consumption, etc., and as well as reducing grocery budget, and other occasional expenses.

5. Handle some repairs yourself

The majority of home repair expenses are as a result of labor costs. Having a professional for your little home repair job can cost you a lot of money.

You can try to handle some of the little repairs by yourself by watching YouTube videos, following DIY blog posts, and a little help at your local improvement store.

All you need to know about Home Repair Budget

These rules will only give an insight into what to expect as a rough estimate as there are factors like the home size and weather conditions that may affect the total cost for home repair or maintenance. Knowing this, let us discuss the popular steps to how much is expected of you to save for home repairs so that you don’t end up paying more.

The Percent Rule 

A general saying goes thus, “save 1% of the total amount you purchase your home annually for maintenance”. For instance, you should set aside $4,000 for annual maintenance if your home costs $400,000.

However, this common rule has its setbacks. Being able to purchase the house at that amount at that time doesn’t affect your home maintenance budget.

Your maintenance costs may not be as high as 1% of the amount you purchase your house. Your house maintenance budget may not be affected if you are given a certain discount when you purchase your house in the market.

The price you bought your home and the cost or its repair is two separate entities. They are both affected by the labor and materials cost in your location.

Square Footage Rule

This is another method of determining how much you should save for your home repairs. The rule states that you save $1 per square foot (sqft) of your home.

If your home is 2,000 square feet, then you have to save $2,000 into your home repair savings account. The location of your home and the age must also be put into consideration when calculating using this method.

This rule might be easier to follow as the size of your home is a better way to determine its cost of repair than its purchase price; however, this rule does not consider the major factors that influence the repairperson.

Factors that influence the Costs of Home Repair 

The age of your home can be a great factor in determining the cost of its repair. The maintenance required by a newly built home (5 – 10 years) will be very little compared to what a home of 10 to 20 years will require. A home of 20 to 30 years might need replacement of roof or other major components.

The level of maintenance needed by a home located in areas affected by ice storms or heavy rainfall is more than what a home located in a normal temperature environment will require.

Similarly, homes in an animal or pest infestation and heavy wind area experience more wear and tear and thus requires more maintenance or repair.

Some homes are more than a century old but still in good shape, thanks to the regular maintenance of the previous generations.

There are other homes as well that are poorly maintained or repaired over the years. The maintenance culture given to a home will greatly affect its value.

The level of maintenance and care required by homes located under a hill or other places with factors that may aid damages to home will be determined by the level of environmental stresses created by the location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most homeowners assume that if they are moving, they should not spend any money on home repairs and renovations. It is not necessarily the best policy.

Home renovations are an effective way to raise the asking price for your home. Assess for sale properties in your neighborhood and jot down the eventual selling price. Then compare their amenities, such as the bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas.

Are homes with newer kitchens and bathrooms selling for significantly more than otherwise similar homes? If that is the case, such renovations may help you get more money after you sell your home.

Most home renovation contracts will tell you that spring and summer are “busy season.” If you want to avoid delays and other issues during your remodel, it is a good idea to schedule it for the fall or winter months.

Many contractors also offer more affordable rates during the “offseason,” as they are happy to get more business. You are likely to pay the full rate or an even higher price when the contractor is busy.

The answer depends on your circumstances. If you are in a position where you can relocate to another property or live with family for a few months, you may want to schedule all your renovations for one time to get them out of the way.

However, individuals, couples and families who plan to live on the property while renovations take place should stagger the remodel. Focus on a single space at a time, such as one or two bathrooms, your kitchen, or the backyard.

If you live in a region where it rains a lot every year, and your home is on a downward slope, waterproofing is a very good way to save money in the long run.

A contractor can waterproof your basement to ensure that water from heavy rains and thunderstorms does not get into that part of your home.

Not only is it expensive and time-consuming to clear out a flooded basement, but regular flooding to a part of your home can eventually lead to mold or other foundation problems.

Homeowners should have an expert complete specific inspections at least one time every two years to ensure specific parts of their home are in good condition. These inspections include: roof, foundation, plumbing, and pests.

A roof inspection ensures your roof does not have any leaks that could result in water going to your foundation. A plumbing inspection can detect any blockages or leaks before they cause major damage, while pest inspections check for termites, ants, roaches or other unwanted guests.

Foundation inspections are probably the most important, as they can help you understand if they are any problems with the foundation of your home. Keep in mind that severe foundation issues can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Early detection is the best way to save time and money on repairs.

The installation of modern, energy-efficient windows is very helpful, as it drastically reduces the energy your HVAC system expends to cool or heat your home.

A professional can also assess your doors to determine if there are significant air leaks. Eliminating those leaks further helps keep hot or cool air inside your home during the winter and summer months.


As the usual saying, prevention is better than cure. Many of the most expensive home repairs can be prevented when you diligently carry our preventive maintenance as expected.

Regardless of your commitment to making sure you keep everything running smoothly in your home, you might still end up with big home repair expenses to handle. No matter what, ensure you save for home repairs.

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