Maintenance Will Save on Big-Ticket Items
Big-ticket items like furnace, roof, and air conditioning also need to be budgeted. Maintenance of these items will postpone the significant expenditure for as long as possible. Delaying maintenance can allow issues and failure of these elements resulting in an unplanned emergency expense that is often more expensive than if it were planned. The roof should have a professional roofing inspection at least once a year. The most reliable roofing contractors will offer a free roofing inspection, charging only for any necessary repairs needed. Since some of these big-ticket items can cost $10,000-50,000 to replace, it is essential to keep up with maintenance.
Keep Gutters Clean
Maintaining clean gutters and downspouts is something that most homeowners can do themselves, and keeping up with this vital maintenance can prevent costly water damage to your house. In addition to making sure that the gutters and downspouts are clean of any debris and water can flow freely, the homeowner needs to make sure that water flows away from the house when it clears the downspout.
Take Care of The Paint
The outside of a house needs to be repainted every 5 to 10 years, but taking care to scrape any peeling paint and touching up paint can maintain the outside appearance of the home and delay the cost of exterior paint for as long as possible. Maintaining exterior paint not only helps with the home’s appearance but also protects the house from weather damage, and protecting surfaces will make painting easier and less expensive when the complete job is needed. Several estimating programs exist online to calculate the cost of painting the exterior of your home but expect to pay one to several thousand dollars depending on the size, the painted surfaces, and the condition of your house. You will need to maintain the interior paint so that surfaces have a clean coat of paint. Touch-ups can keep interior surfaces protected for some time. The cost of preserving interior paint projects can be as low as $30-100 depending on the size of the project.
Smoke detector maintenance is another easy maintenance chore for the homeowner. You should replace the batteries and have the detector tested at least yearly. Battery cost is approximately $3-5 and whole unit replacement less than $50 if the device has failed.
Chimney Cleaning Is a Professional Job
Chimney cleaning is something that should be done by a chimney professional and can range from 50 to several hundred dollars depending on your local pricing, the condition of your chimney, and access to your fireplace. This maintenance will get rid of the creosote that coats the chimney walls that results from burning wood and creates a fire hazard if allowed to accumulate.
Don’t Allow Foundation Cracks To Go Unattended
Foundations should be checked for small cracks and repaired before the cracks expand to a big-ticket repair. Minor cracks can be repaired for a few hundred dollars, but major repairs can run to tens of thousands of dollars.
Include Maintenance Cost In the Budget
It is essential to make sure and include maintenance costs in budgeting along with the mortgage payment. Homeowners should budget between one and three percent of the value of the home for ongoing maintenance. The amount depends on the age and condition of the house when you purchase it and your capability to take on some of the jobs themselves.