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$10K for a New Roof? Yikes! How Home Maintenance Pays Off

Sep 21 2021

Homeownership fact: Maintaining and repairing your home with care saves time and money. You also protect and build your equity.

It’s easy to understand why. Preventing a problem costs less in time and money than fixing one. And fixing a small problem now costs less than fixing the big one it might turn into later.

For inspiration, here’s a look at what being proactive can mean for your budget and your home’s market value.

Your maintenance budget

What does being proactive about maintenance look like in dollars? Here are a few top examples.

Roof

It’s easy to take your roof for granted. After all, you spend most of your time under it, not looking at it. Keeping it in top shape is critical, though.

When you catch a small leak early, it might cost a few hundred dollars to fix. As time passes, that same leak can cause major damage if, for example, water gets inside a wall or ceiling.

With good care, your roof also lasts longer.

Proactive:

  • Repair leak: $350-$1,400

Or:

  • Repair wet drywall: another $300-$1,300
  • Clean up mold: another $2,000+
  • Replace roof: $5,000-$11,000

Tip: Buy time with a quick fix

Whatever the repair, a temporary fix might stop further damage. It could mean getting creative with duct tape. Or calling a general repair person for a patch. Try to set yourself a deadline for saving up and scheduling the repair.

Heating and AC

When these systems aren’t running at their best, they work harder to keep your home warm or cool. So they tend to break down more often and might need to be replaced sooner.

Proactive:

  • Clean washable filter: $0
  • Replace filter: as little as $5
  • Annual pro maintenance: $200-$500

Or:

  • Repair gas boiler: $100-$400
  • Repair gas furnace: $375-$1,200
  • Repair central AC: $160-$600
  • Replace boiler: $3,600-$8,000
  • Replace furnace: $2,600-$6,000
  • Replace central AC unit: $5,000-$12,000

Plumbing

Pipes and tubes run throughout your home. Beyond bathrooms and the kitchen sink, you might have a dishwasher, ice maker, or washing machine.

A small leak is pretty easy to deal with if you catch it early. In time, though, it can damage walls, floors, and ceilings. Rotting wood is often out of sight and can eventually cause structural damage.

Proactive:

  • Repair minor leak: $300 on average

Or:

  • Repair major water damage: $1,000-$4,000
  • Clean up mold: $2,000+

Tip: Watch for hidden leaks

Rust or white deposits on pipes can be a sign that a leak is starting. Low water pressure might mean an active leak. If your water pressure drops with no explanation, call a plumber right away.

 


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