If you have recently purchased your first home, you’ll appreciate the benefits of being a homeowner. However, with homeownership comes responsibilities and home maintenance costs that may surprise first-time home buyers. Here are a few things to be aware of and include in your yearly budgeting.
Your HVAC system keeps your home comfortable year round. Replacing your HVAC filters helps keep the system working efficiently. While the components are designed to last for many years, they will need regular servicing along the way. Eventually, any heating and cooling system will need to be replaced. Replacing your furnace or air conditioning is one of your most expensive home maintenance costs. The ductwork could last for the life of the home, as long as you have it cleaned on a regular basis.
Taking Care of Your Plumbing Can Prevent Expensive Home Maintenance Costs
Household plumbing leaks have the potential to cause serious water damage to your home, especially if the leak goes unnoticed for a while. Watch for leaks under sinks or coming from appliances. Pay attention to water usage each month and be aware of a suddenly higher utility cost. This could indicate a hidden leak. Have your plumbing inspected on a yearly basis so any issues are identified early. Order an annual water heater servicing to keep the water heater operating well.
Roofing Home Maintenance Costs
Depending on the materials, a roof should last at least 20 years. However, sun, rain, wind, pests, and severe storms can all compromise the integrity of your roofing. Visually inspect your roof regularly, especially after strong storms, and have it professionally inspected annually to maximize its lifespan. Replacing the shingles is sometimes an option. When your roof has reached the end of its life, you’ll need to budget for a full roof replacement.
Home Exterior Paint
Painting is one of the easiest home maintenance costs to control. Exposed wood is prone to water damage, so don’t wait until you see peeling and flaking paint. Plan on painting the house every few years to avoid expensive siding repairs.
Maintaining your windows is fairly simple if you have newer, energy efficient windows. Occasional cleaning will keep them looking great. If the weatherstripping gets worn over time, replacing it is inexpensive.
Keep any trees or shrubs trimmed away from windows to avoid damage in high winds or storms. Replacing damaged windows is costly. Installing new windows is one of those home maintenance costs that, while expensive initially, will help you save money on utilities and increase the value of your home.
Home Maintenance Costs Include Sidewalks and Driveways
Over time, sidewalks and driveways may become cracked and damaged. In colder climates, the drastic changes in air temperature can cause cracks or holes. Budget to make minor repairs as needed so you can put off the home maintenance costs of completely repaving the sidewalk or driveway for longer.
Septic Tank Repairs
Septic tank system repairs can be one of the most expensive home maintenance costs. The tank itself could last indefinitely, but the drain field is another concern. After about 20 years, depending on the design of the system, the drain field will need to be replaced. A new one can’t be put on top of the old one. Typically, you’ll end up replacing the entire system, with an average cost of $10,000 – $25,000 depending on the size of your home.