Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home Maintenance Costs AND Planning For Them

Our house had been relatively maintenance free until 2007. In early 2007, we started needing repairs which I could do myself. However, as the year has continued we have needed professionals to do some of the maintenance work. Here are the costs of the major work.

New appliances. We have been making more than needed frequent adjustments to our refrigerator over the last few months. Since it was the refrigerator that came with the house, we decided to purchase an upgraded one versus repairing it. The cost the appliance was 0.3% of our house.

Exterior painting. The paint on our house was beginning to chip. We hired painters to do all the work, plus some carpentry work. Cost was 1.4% of our house. (For reference, I am not a particularly good painter of windows nor on the second story.)

Roofing. This past winter we had a freeze-thaw that caused an ice dam and created several roof leaks. I was able to make temporary repairs with silicone caulk. However, we wanted a more permanent solution since I don't particularly like climbing up on the roof every year:-) Cost of repair was 0.4% of our house.

Masonry. Our home sidewalk and patio is lined with brick that matches the house. Unfortunately, the mortar in the brick is breaking up. Estimated cost of repair is 1.2% of our home price.

Miscellaneous other small maintenance items include the garage door adjustments, yard sprinkler replacements (DIY on the easy ones) and mulching (DIY since I own a truck:-)

Overall, the cost of major maintenance and repairs for the 2007 will come to 3.2% of the price of our house. Fortunately, we have been putting aside 1.5% of our house price each year in the 4 years we have lived here. As a result we have saved 6.0% of our house price for maintenance and will spend half of it this year.

By doing these maintenance activities this year, I expect that we won't need to major repairs for several years. The major ones that will come in the next 5 -10 years are furnace and A/C replacement (estimate at 2% our house price) and roof replacement (about 5-7% of house price). We will continue to save 1.5% our house price in anticipation of these future major costs.

For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Nitpix

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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