How to Reduce Home Repair Bills

How to Reduce Home Repair Bills

Savvy ways to cut home maintenance expenses

On average, homeowners should prepare to spend 1% to 2% of the value of their homes each year on repairs and maintenance. With home values soaring, that’s a big chunk of change. Here are some ways to reduce those costs. 

Don’t Procrastinate. Problems that go untended often get a) worse and b) more expensive. A small leak that might cost hundreds to fix becomes a big one that might cost thousands. Your original inspection report is a roadmap to the problems you might expect in the next few years.

Embrace YouTube. Have a toilet that won’t flush? Leaky faucet? Before you call a pro, head to YouTube and search for a DIY fix. You’ll be surprised at how easy some of these tasks are.

Service Your Systems. HVAC needs regular service – at least once a year. Likewise, the chimney needs to be cleaned regularly. And you may want to have the sprinklers inspected. Consider these house calls for inexpensive annual physicals that prevent full-blown maintenance illnesses later.  

Repair vs. Replace. This means knowing the lifespan of your appliances (9-10 years for dishwashers and washers, 13 years for dryers, refrigerators, and ranges.) If the repair is going to cost more than 50% of the price of a new one, replace it.

Save in Advance. Home repairs aren’t ifs, they’re whens. Eventually, every homeowner is hit with these charges. Consider putting away a small sum of money automatically into an ongoing maintenance fund so that when the charges hit, you’re ready.

Jean Chatzky

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