Being a homeowner sure isn’t cheap. From the down payment to the monthly mortgage to upgrades and maintenance, sometimes it feels like your house is more like a money pit.
That’s why major fixes are every homeowner’s nightmare. Worst of all, these types of repairs are difficult to budget for, as they’re almost impossible to predict.
After all, you never know when that hot water heater is going to go out, or the roof is going to spring a leak, or the A/C unit is going to kick the bucket, or… you get the picture.
To add to the confusion, home repair prices vary widely from state to state, or even from city to city. Here are six of the most expensive (and unfortunately common) home repairs. Check out our range of Melbourne home renovations for your dream house.
Homeownership occasionally comes with a few headaches. Whether you bought an older home that seems to be a money pit, or you’ve recently inherited a home, and you’re not sure where to start with repairs, it’s good to know that you always have options. We’ve put together this list for you of the most expensive home repairs homeowners need to watch out for, and how to avoid them in the first place.
HVAC Repairs: $100 – $1,100
There are 2 main components to repairing an HVAC unit: the electrical components and the piping components.
In some cases, homeowners should be able to fix their HVAC unit by replacing filters, fuses or clogged up drain lines. If you have little-to-no experience with repairing home appliances, just go ahead and call an expert. It’s not worth further damaging your air conditioner or heater, which could result in a full HVAC replacement. And that could cost you $10,000.
The next time your HVAC unit malfunctions, call an expert to take a look. Repairing your existing unit is much more cost-efficient than buying and installing a new one.
Water Heater Repairs: $100 – $1,400
There’s nothing worse than waking up and jumping into a freezing cold shower. You know it’s a water heater issue, and it’s time to get it fixed.
To fix your water heater, you need to find out if its gas or electric. They both have about the same lifespans and repair costs, but they use different parts and power sources.
If your water heater is only a few years old and you begin to have issues, repairs are the best route to go. However, water heaters have a lifespan of 10-15 years. So, if yours in that range, you should consider replacing it with a new one.
Electrical Replacements: $125 – $3,000
Working with electricity is dangerous, which is why you should hire an electrician to fix any of these issues.
Electrical repairs and replacements include issues with lighting fixtures, home generators, electrical panels, wiring and switches, outlets, smart home automation systems, and fans. Electricians are able to diagnose and fix any of these issues, which is almost always the best option.
Driveway Repairs: $300 – $4,500
Is your house losing curb appeal because of your driveway? Maybe it’s time to get it fixed.
Repairing a driveway is a bit of a daunting task. Most homeowners don’t know where to start since there are several factors to take into consideration.
First, repair costs will depend upon the material of which your driveway consists of. Gravel/dirt is the least expensive material, while concrete can be the most expensive.
Second, determine which issue is plaguing your driveway. Is it sinking/buckling? Are there cracks? Potholes? Crumbling? Each issue has its repair solutions, which should be factored into the repair costs.
Lastly, ask yourself if the driveway needs to be repaired or replaced. If it’s old and you’re looking to sell your home, replacing the driveway may be the best option.
Asbestos Removal: $500 – $4,500
If you have a home that was built before the 1970s, there’s a chance that asbestos may still linger in the house (if it hasn’t been updated or renovated). It was banned from being used as a building material because it causes cancer.
There aren’t necessarily “common signs” of asbestos, so it’s important to have an inspector check the home (especially before buying). If your home does have asbestos, contact professionals to remove it.
Roof Repairs: $150 – $5,000
There are several different reasons why your roof may need repair. If it’s a small leak, chances are you can repair it yourself with a trip to a home goods store.
However, if your roof is badly damaged and needs a full replacement, prices can run from $5,000 on the low end up to $25,000 or more.
Septic Tank Repairs: $200 – $5,000
Chances are you never think about your septic tank. It should just work. However, homes that are at least 40 years old are at a high risk of needing repair. Even newer homes could be affected.
Broken pipes and draining failures can lead to big problems. If you notice a smell, see sewage permeating from the septic tank, or find sewage backing up in your sinks and tubs, you know it’s time to get it repaired or completely replaced.
Deck Repairs: $250 – $5,000
As long as your deck is structurally sound and the wood is healthy, there’s no need to replace it. Repairs will be easier and much more cost-efficient.
Depending upon how much carpentry experience you have, you may be able to repair the deck yourself. It may appear that you only need to repair some railings or popped nails and screws.
It’s important to fully check your deck for other issues like mould, mildew, and pests. You’ll need to figure out where the issues stem from and come up with a solution. Hitch Property Constructions has the best range of renovations services to help you create your dream house.
Mould Removal: $400 – $6,000
Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in warm, moist areas. Since it doesn’t need sunlight to survive, it lives in dark places of your home and feeds on organic materials (drywall, floors, tiles, insulation).
Since mould lives and grows in dark areas of your home that you may not see or frequent, it can be difficult to tell if you have a real problem. If you begin suffering from various health issues like allergic reactions, headaches, breathing difficulties, or start having burning sensations on your skin, you need to call a professional to test your home.
Foundation Repairs: $500 – $12,000
Issues with your home’s foundation can cause several structural problems. You may notice cracks in the walls, and doors won’t close properly, sinking floors, gaps around window frames, and lots more. The quicker you find these issues and get them repaired, the better off you are in terms of price and safety.
If you think you have a foundation issue, you need to call a professional (like a structural engineer). They are able to inspect what’s wrong and tell you what needs to be repaired.
Siding Repairs: $100 – $16,000
A siding is a protective material on the exterior of your home that can also bump up its visual appeal. Although they are built out of tough materials, sidings (and roofs) are the first line of defence in all weather conditions. Most people assume if the weather isn’t too harsh, their sidings are fine. However, normal wear and tear are likely to happen as the years pass on.
Depending upon which kind of material your siding consists of, different forms of damage may need to be repaired. Sidings made out of wood can rot, chip, warp, and split. Aluminium sidings can become dented and are often noisier than other siding materials.
You may not need to repair your sidings that have minimal damage. You should repair your sidings if you plan on selling your home because it will affect the home’s curb appeal. Otherwise, you run the risk of scaring buyers away before they even step foot inside your home.
The Most Expensive Home Repairs, and How to Avoid Them
Asbestos is a hazardous material that can cause cancer and has been linked to several serious lung diseases. Unfortunately, it also used to be used as a flame retardant. If you have an older home, you might discover that asbestos was used in attic insulation or your kitchen flooring. Suppose you do discover asbestos in an area of your home that needs to be renovated or fixed up. In that case, you’ll have to call a professional asbestos remover, because it is such a dangerous material. Though this is a necessary expense, it can come at a high cost.
How to Avoid Asbestos Removal: The best way to avoid problems and expenses related to asbestos is to make sure your home doesn’t have asbestos before you buy it. If you’ve had your home for some time, or if you’ve inherited a home with asbestos, you can also opt to leave the offending material where it is, and cover it up. So long as you leave the flooring or insulation alone, you can avoid releasing asbestos particles into the air.
Foundation repair, on average, can cost anywhere between $10,000-$40,000. That’s quite a chunk of change on a repair that doesn’t improve the look or functionality of your home. But, foundation damage is a big deal. If left alone, foundation problems can lead to your entire home becoming unstable and unsuitable for living in. Foundation damage is particularly problematic if you’re planning to sell your home. This is one of those problems that many buyers will run from, rather than consider fixing.
How to Avoid Foundation Damage: To avoid foundation damage, make sure you’re inspecting your foundation regularly. Check out your basement and look for cracks and water damage, and pay attention to key signs like door frames out of place, slanting floors, and drywall cracks upstairs, too. The minute you see a problem, get in touch with a professional. Foundation problems only get more expensive as time goes on, so its best to stay on top of the problem and address it the minute you see an issue.
Here in Michigan, most homes have central heating and cooling systems, also known as HVAC systems. While it’s awesome to flip on air conditioning or heat whenever you need it, an HVAC unit is a costly home expense and is one of those things you don’t want to fix. The unit itself can cost a few thousand dollars, not to mention the labour to fix it. If you have any issues with your HVAC ductwork, that will be an additional expense.
How to Avoid HVAC Repair: The best way to avoid having to repair your HVAC unit is to keep up on it with regular maintenance. It’s always a good idea to have an HVAC expert come out every 6 months to inspect your system; the best times are in the fall before you need to turn on your heat, and in the spring before you need to turn on the AC.
The wiring of your home is crucial to your safety, and to the safety of your house. Faulty wiring has been known to cause house fires, power outages, and more, so always make sure you’re checking for electrical problems, and talking to a certified professional if you do run across any problems. When done poorly, rewiring your home can cost thousands, and can be a major hassle, as electricians usually have to break into the walls of your home to make the right repairs.
How to Avoid Electrical Rewiring: Always keep a close eye on exterior components of your electric system. If an outlet or light fixture looks a little off, you’re probably right. Don’t hesitate to call an electrician for their opinion. A quick call and inspection will cost you far less in the long run than a full-blown electrical problem, especially when it could have been avoided.
Mould is one of those sneaky home invaders that’s easy to look past until it’s too late. Unfortunately, mould has serious implications for your health and the integrity of your home. If mould has grown in your home in an area larger than 10 feet, you’ll have to hire a professional to get rid of it because of the health hazards it presents. This is a costly expense that can take some time, and often requires you to replace all of the materials that mould has grown on.
How to Avoid Mould in the First Place: The best way to avoid mould in the first place is to tackle any leaks or moisture problems in your home at first sight. Mould grows when the water has a chance to sit in your drywall or on your floors. If you notice a leak, be sure to take care of it right away, and make sure you’re stopping leaks at their source.
Roof replacement can be one of the most expensive home repairs to make. A new roof costs thousands of dollars, and it’s a very necessary component of your home. A faulty roof can cause interior leaks that lead to excessive water damage and mould, and if you let a roof problem sit for too long, you’ll likely need to replace the entire thing, rather than just repairing the damage.
How to Avoid Re-Roofing Your Home: The good news is that the average asphalt shingle roof can last as long as 25 years. For many homeowners, it’s an expense that can be avoided, so long as you keep up on regular maintenance, and inspect your roof regularly. When you see missing shingles, be sure to call your local roofer to make repairs. The sooner you fix small problems, the longer your roof is likely to last, and the less you’ll have to spend over time.
Sewer Pipe and Plumbing Problems
Sewer pipes and plumbing problems are notoriously difficult and expensive to resolve. Unfortunately, most of the time these problems are out of sight, so it can be hard to tell what’s going on until a pipe bursts and it’s too late. It’s good to remember that the city is only responsible for the sewer pipes up to the end of the street. Anything on your property is your responsibility, so it’s a good idea to have it checked regularly.
How to Avoid Sewer Pipe and Plumbing Problems: Your best bet to avoid a sewer pipe problem is to have it inspected yearly. Roots from trees can clog or damage pipes, so the best way to avoid a crisis is to have a professional with a scope or camera inspect it for you on a yearly basis. When it comes to the plumbing within your home, the same logic applies. If you see a leak, call a professional. It’s also a good idea to have your plumbing checked out before winter sets in, as that’s when most plumbing problems tend to crop up.
Fallen Tree Damage
Fallen trees cause some of the most massive damage to residential homes, and are also a hazard to your family’s safety. What makes this particular damage so expensive is that it’s usually not limited to just one component of your home. When a tree falls, it’s likely to take out parts of your roof, electrical wiring, potentially plumbing and parts of your HVAC, and more.
How to Avoid Fallen Tree Damage: Take out any potentially dangerous trees. If there is a large tree overhanging your roof or a part of your house, you may consider at least cutting it back, if not having it removed. Another key issue to watch out for is dead trees. Trees that have died but are still standing don’t have the live root system to keep them in the ground in the event of high winds. They are the most likely to cause damage and should be taken down as soon as possible if they are in reaching distance of your home.
Fire or Smoke Damage
Faulty fireplaces cause a reported 36% of home fires in rural areas of the U.S. Home appliances, like toasters and microwaves, are responsible for another large percentage of home fires. Fire and smoke damage are very expensive to repair because they require the total replacement of the damaged areas. Since smoke affects the air quality of your home, it’s also responsible for a large portion of the expenses that go into repairing a home after a fire.
How to Avoid Fire or Smoke Damage: To avoid fires caused by a faulty fireplace, make sure you’re cleaning your fireplace regularly if you use it often. Creosote, or partially burned pieces of ash, collect in your chimney and can clog your flue, which can cause your fireplace to malfunction. When using your fireplace, always make sure the flue is open, and your chimney is clean.
To avoid fires caused by other culprits in your home, make sure that kitchen appliances like toasters and coffee makers are unplugged when they’re not in use. Changing the batteries in your smoke detectors is also the easiest and least expensive way to avoid a house fire. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of home renovations.
Wet basements are an all-too-common problem for older homes, especially those with a traditional unfinished, Michigan basement. While a little water is likely to come in occasionally, depending on your home and your foundation, a constantly wet basement is a bad sign and an expensive repair. Continuous moisture in the basement can lead to mould, cracks in your foundation, and more, all of which are expensive repairs to make.
How to Avoid a Wet Basement: Most often, water seeps into your basement when it’s not properly directed away from your foundation. If your gutters are clogged, the rain will fall from them right onto the base of your house. This is easily remedied by cleaning your gutters, or adding downspouts that direct water further away from your home. You can also take steps to waterproof your basement or call a professional for their expert recommendations. The good news is that a wet basement can be avoided, so the sooner you take action, the less you’re likely to spend on repairs.
One final thing: While some home repairs are unavoidable, sometimes, you can get ahead of them with proper maintenance and vigilance. Maintaining your air conditioning system and septic tank, for example, could help you avoid a scenario where you’re suddenly dealing with a full-fledged replacement. And if you own income properties, encourage your tenants to report problems right away, so they don’t escalate into larger, costlier ones.
As your home ages, more and more problems arise that need fixing. It would be well worth setting aside a couple of thousand dollars each year as a “home repair fund” to help you prepare for the unexpected.