6 Ways To Prevent An Unpleasant Home Repair Bill
Emergency home repair always seems to come at the most inconvenient time, and always feels like a huge dent in your household budget. Homeowners spend an average of $2,970 on home improvements in a year, and over half of that goes toward emergency home repairs. It seems that unpleasantly large repair bills are just one of those things you have to deal with as a homeowner – or are they?
Here are a few simple ways to keep those costs down (or avoid them entirely).
Carry Out Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is absolutely crucial if you want your house to be in good health. Houses may feel like solid, unchanging structures, but they can easily be affected by weather, time, and use. Look to a home maintenance checklist to make sure everything is as it should be during each season of the year.
Know The Signs Of Damage
Inform yourself about the key signs of damage on the structural elements of your house, such as the roof and foundation. This can help you identify a problem weeks or even months before anything serious happens, and could save you thousands of dollars.
Have A Fund
Things go wrong in houses, and emergency repairs will be required at some point no matter how well you take care of your home. Be prepared for this eventuality by starting a home maintenance and repair fund.
Gen X Finance suggests taking 10 percent of your monthly mortgage payment and putting it in a dedicated savings account. That way, the next time you need to drop some cash on maintenance or repairs, you’ll be prepared.
Invest In Insurance
Alternatively, you could also go the home repair insurance route. There are pros and cons to this. On one hand, insurance can cover much larger sums of money and can be a life-saver if several things go wrong at once.
The most obvious downside is that you’ll be paying premiums even if nothing is wrong with the house. Another risk is the “Catch 22” described in this article by The Simple Dollar: your insurer will usually not cover for repairs until damage has occurred, trapping you into waiting for your home to be damaged. In short, while home repair insurance can be a good option for emergency repairs, you should still have some money set aside for emergency maintenance.
Choose Contractors Wisely
If you can’t avoid a repair and need a professional, make sure you hire the right contractors. You want an honest price, but be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. Shoddy work carried out with bad materials will cost you more in the long run. Ask friends and family for recommendations and get plenty of quotes.
While most contractors usually clean up after themselves, it might not be to your standards. So keep in mind when major interior work happens it might be a good idea to hire a professional cleaner. One-time interior house cleaning in Greenville usually costs between $92 – $194.
DIY Where Possible
Finally, while most serious repairs are best left to a professional, there are some jobs that you should be able to do with some basic DIY skills. These include fixing a leaky pipe, replacing a light switch, and patching a hole in the drywall. These small jobs may not save you thousands, but they can easily add up to a significant amount of money.
Emergency home repairs feel like an inconvenience, but they are a normal part of owning a house. Even if you’ve bought a brand-new build, you still need to make sure you are maintaining the house as best you can and giving it all the TLC it needs. Remember: the more proactive you are with maintenance, the better it will be for the house, your finances, and your family’s sanity.