Many first-time homebuyers expect to have some home maintenance costs. In order to be well-prepared, be sure to allocate enough money for all of your needs. It’s easy for homeowners to overlook a few critical maintenance steps and find themselves dealing with unexpected expenses as a result.
Create a Monthly Schedule to Prepare for Home Maintenance Costs
To best take care of your new home, it’s wise to set aside some funds aside for repairs and maintenance. Even if you intend to tackle most tasks yourself, supplies, materials, and tools still cost money. As you prepare your monthly budget and schedule for home maintenance costs, remember to include these items.
1. Water Heater Maintenance
Tank water heaters require annual maintenance, which includes draining the sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the tank and checking the condition of all the connections. Typically, this task is completed by a plumber, so plan ahead for this expense. Water heaters should be replaced approximately every decade. With this in mind, keep some cash in reserve for the replacement cost as well.
2. Chimney Sweep Service
If your new home has a chimney, the flue should be cleaned at least once per year depending on how frequently you use the fireplace. During a professional cleaning service, the chimney sweep can inspect the condition of the chimney, fireplace, and flue to determine if repairs are needed. Fires commonly develop in this area of the home when it is not properly maintained and serviced, so don’t overlook this step as you plan for home maintenance costs.
3. Exterior Paint Touch-Ups
First-time homeowners often view exterior painting as a major project every decade or so, but your home’s siding, trim, and stucco should receive regular attention. All gaps and fissures should be sealed and rotted areas need to be replaced. While a new paint job has aesthetic benefits, it also seals the wood and protects it. Regular touch-ups will help you to preserve your home’s condition in the years ahead.
4. Home Maintenance Costs for Roofing Repairs
A typical asphalt shingle roof can last for two decades if it is well-maintained, but first-time homeowners may fail to notice when a roof requires attention. For example, missing or loose shingles can cause leaks and underlying damage. Because needed roof repairs are not always obvious, budget for an annual roofing inspection. If your roof is 20 years old or older, a replacement may be a better option than continuing to make repairs.
As you prepare a budget for home maintenance costs, look for sample annual maintenance plans online that show a month-by-month list of projects around your home. Estimate the cost of professional services along with supplies and tools required for any projects you intend to do on your own.