Budgeting for Home Repairs

Save money by planning ahead for the most common and costly home repairs.

Are you prepared for the true cost of homeownership?

Owning a home comes with more expenses than just a monthly mortgage payment. Neglecting maintenance or repairs can lead to even bigger, costlier problems down the road.

To avoid this, start planning ahead and budget for these common, costly repairs:

  • a new roof
  • hot water heater
  • replacement windows
  • heating/air conditioning maintenance
  • kitchen remodel

Don’t be caught off guard – having an emergency fund stocked with at least three to six months of expenses will make these unexpected costs easier to handle. Keep your home functioning properly while increasing its value with these essential repairs.

source: connectbyamfam.com

New Roof

Many homeowners don’t think about replacing their roof until they notice leaks or excessive wear and tear. Unfortunately, unattended leaks can lead to significant interior or structural damage over time, resulting in costly repairs.

When Should You Be Concerned?

Thankfully, a bit of proactive planning can make a big difference. According to the National Association of Home Builders, wood shake roofs typically last about 30 years, fiber cement shingles last around 25 years, and asphalt shingle/composition roofs last approximately 20 years.

If you’ve lived in your home for over a decade and haven’t replaced the roof yet, there’s a good chance you’ll need to do so within the next ten years. It’s advisable to start saving up for that expense.

How Much Could it Cost?

According to Angie’s List, roof replacement can cost $9,000 on average

Hiring professionals for the job can cost between $5,000 and $12,000, depending on the size of your home.

Roof Size (sq feet)Apprx Cost
1000$4,350 – $11,000
1500$6,525 – $16,500
2000$8,700 – $22,000
2500$11,000 – $27,500
3000$13,050 – $33,000
Range of Roof Cost from Angies List Study

Government Resources:

Hot Water Heater

If you’ve owned a home before, you probably already know that hot water heaters burst or stop working with almost no advanced notice.

When Should You Be Concerned?

The first sign of trouble usually comes several minutes into a lukewarm shower – all of a sudden, you realize something has gone terribly wrong.

Other signs that you need a new hot water heater include:

  • Fluctuating Water Temperatures: If the water temperature constantly fluctuates from hot to cold while using hot water, it could indicate a malfunction in the water heater.
  • Unusual Noises: Popping, banging, or rumbling sounds coming from the water heater can be a sign of sediment buildup or other internal issues.
  • Discolored or Rusty Water: If you notice rusty or discolored water coming from your hot water taps, it may indicate corrosion inside the water heater tank.z
  • Water Leaks: Any visible leaks around the water heater or pooling of water nearby should be investigated promptly, as it can indicate a problem with the tank or plumbing connections.
  • Foul Odors: Foul or metallic odors in the hot water could suggest bacterial growth or a deteriorating anode rod within the water heater.
  • Longer Heating Time: If it takes significantly longer than usual for the water to heat up, it might indicate a heating element or thermostat issue in the water heater.
  • Age of the Water Heater: If your water heater is reaching the end of its expected lifespan (typically 8-12 years), it is more prone to malfunctions and may require replacement.

Fortunately, water heaters are nowhere near as expensive as a new roof.

How Much Could it Cost?

At big box stores, you can usually get away with paying somewhere between $300 and $900 for a water heater plus up to $250 for installation. Tankless models are immeasurably more efficient, but much more expensive as well. Whichever type of water heater you use, having enough emergency money in the bank will make the purchase easier to stomach.

Examples of Hot Water Heaters

ECO Smart Tankless
GE 10 Gallon Tank
RHEEM 75 Gallon

Replacement Windows

Upgrade Your Home with Efficient Windows That Save You Money

Replacing drafty old windows with newer, efficient models can help you save on heating and cooling bills. Even the most efficient windows will need replacement eventually due to wear and tear, cracks, and broken seals. Fortunately, replacing them is the solution.

The cost of new windows ranges from $350 to $500 each, including installation, depending on the type and number of windows, and whether the frames or sills require repair or replacement. Many homeowners opt to replace windows incrementally year by year as their budget permits. Upgrade your home with windows that are both functional and financially wise.

Estimated Window Replacement Costs

Awning$900 – $1300$1,200 – $1,700
Bay$5000 – $6,000$8,000 – $11,000
Casement$1,000 – $2,000$1,400 – $4,000
Double Hung$800 – $1,400$1,600 – $2,200
Shaped$1,000 – $1,600
Sliding$800 – $1,300
Patio$3,000 – $4,500$4,000 – $6,500
Data Source: HomeDepot.com

Heating/Air Conditioning

Did you know that maintaining your heat pump or HVAC unit can be costly? Even if you have an older unit, regular cleaning and tune-ups can prevent costly repairs down the road.

You may want to schedule a bi-annual appointment in the spring and fall to ensure everything is running smoothly. However, these visits can be pricey, with an average air conditioning unit repair costing $350 and a furnace repair costing $270.

If you’re considering replacing your unit, it’s important to note that this can also come with a hefty price tag. In 2014, the average cost of a new AC unit install was $5,210 and a new furnace was $3,865. But keep in mind that even with regular maintenance, your unit will likely only last a few decades at most. Don’t let the cost scare you away from taking care of your HVAC system – it will ultimately save you money in the long run.

U.S. residential energy expenditures by low income households, by end use:

HHS.gov: Home Energy Data Study

Kitchen Remodel

Upgrade Your Kitchen: Budgeting for a Remodel?

source: Phoenix Remodeling

Styles change quickly, and it’s no different when it comes to kitchens. Could a remodel be in your future if you plan to stay in your home long-term?

While some homeowners opt for cheaper updates, like painting or cabinet refacing, others opt for a complete remodel, including replacing everything from the flooring to the appliances.

Recent estimates by Popular Mechanics put the cost of the average kitchen remodel at between $18,500 and $54,000. Even if you’re only planning for a partial remodel or upgrade, it still won’t be cheap. That’s why it’s best to plan ahead and budget carefully.

10 Factors That Impact Cost of a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel can involve several costs depending on the scope of the project and the specific choices made. Here are some of the common costs associated with a kitchen remodel:

  1. Cabinetry: The cost of new kitchen cabinets can vary significantly depending on the material, design, size, and customization options. It is one of the major expenses in a kitchen remodel.
  2. Countertops: The cost of countertops can vary based on the material chosen, such as granite, quartz, marble, or laminate. Different materials have different price points, and factors like size and edge details also affect the overall cost.
  3. Appliances: Upgrading or replacing kitchen appliances like refrigerators, ovens, cooktops, dishwashers, and microwaves can be a substantial cost. The price varies depending on the brand, features, and energy efficiency ratings.
  4. Flooring: The cost of new flooring depends on the material selected, such as hardwood, laminate, tile, or vinyl. The size of the kitchen and the complexity of the installation can also affect the overall cost.
  5. Plumbing and electrical work: If you plan to relocate sinks, faucets, or appliances, or need to update the electrical wiring and outlets, there will be additional costs for hiring professionals and purchasing necessary materials.
  6. Lighting fixtures: Installing new lighting fixtures, such as recessed lighting, pendant lights, or under-cabinet lighting, can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of the kitchen. The cost varies depending on the type and number of fixtures.
  7. Backsplash: Adding a backsplash can contribute to the visual appeal of the kitchen. The cost depends on the material chosen, such as tile, stone, or glass, as well as the complexity of the design and installation.
  8. Paint and finishes: Painting the walls, ceiling, and trim, as well as refinishing or repainting cabinets, can be part of the remodel. The cost depends on the size of the kitchen and the quality of materials used.
  9. Permits and professional fees: Depending on local regulations, you may need to obtain permits for certain aspects of the remodel, which can incur additional costs. Hiring professionals, such as architects, interior designers, or contractors, also adds to the overall expenses.
  10. Miscellaneous expenses: Other costs can include demolition, waste disposal, hardware and accessories, ventilation systems, new plumbing fixtures, and any additional upgrades or customizations.

Exterior Siding

Give Your Home a Facelift: Replacement Siding vs. Painting

Your home’s exterior siding is built to last, but over time, it may need to be replaced. Unfortunately, this isn’t a cheap project. On average, just changing the siding on a 2,200-square-foot home can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $8,500, without factoring in the cost of disposing of the old siding.

With four common siding options on the market – wood, aluminum, vinyl, and clapboard – you need to weigh the costs and benefits. While vinyl is the cheapest option, the costs can still be high.


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Alternatively, painting your home’s exterior is an affordable option that needs to be repeated more frequently. A painter for a similar-sized home can cost around $5,000, but if you have the time and experience, you can do the job for much less yourself.


Ultimately, both options involve expenses, so start earning and saving now for an updated exterior that will give your home a fresh new look.

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