How Much to Budget for Home Maintenance

How Much to Budget for Home Maintenance?

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Why make a budget for the maintenance of the house? If you are an owner, your home is your most significant investment and, sometimes, even your only investment. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that its value is preserved and does not decrease over time.

The costs of maintaining a house (or apartment) are very often underestimated. A well-thought-out budget will allow you to deal with unforeseen events when they arise and even to go into the preventive mode to avoid large expenses.

I propose the following method that I use every year to forecast the expenses related to the maintenance of my home.

When it comes to budgeting for the upkeep and maintenance costs of a home, there are two general methods.

The first method, according to real estate experts, is to count between 2 and 5% of the value of your home per year.

Example of an apartment of 100,000 dollars, the annual maintenance cost is between $2,000 and $5,000.

Being a little skeptical, I never had much confidence in this estimation method. Yet! There is no any kind of logic or analysis to support these facts. Also, from a budgetary point of view, home maintenance often involves hefty expenses that occur from time to time.

For example, renovating a roof that would cost $10,000 every 20 years. Calculating an annual cost for this roof could be a worthwhile exercise. However, it is unlikely to really help your budget.

The second method is the one I offer you in the following. It is to dissect and to provide full details of all categories of your maintenance schedule. And to predict future spending accurately.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR MAINTENANCE BUDGET?

Take with you:

  • Your annual and multi-year maintenance schedules.
  • Details of your renovation and DIY projects.
  • The maintenance sheets for your household appliances.
  • Your maintenance and upkeep contracts.
  • Your quotes for renovation work.

So what to put in your budget?

First, add the recurring annual maintenance costs in your budget. Such as:

  • The purchase of maintenance items for your household appliances. Such as filter for the hood, water filter for the refrigerator, descaling tablets for washing machine and coffee machine, etc.
  • The various spare items that you should always have in stock at your homes, such as bulbs and batteries. Besides it, you must have electric cables, power strips, silicone gaskets, and filters for the mixing valve. Moreover, also keep color paint cans of your walls and doors, filler, plugs, and screws to hang pictures, etc.
  • The costs of fighting insects and rodents: mosquito nets, insecticides, pest control quotes, lemongrass candles, etc.
  • The costs of daily cleaning, household products, and cleaning lady fees. Besides, it also includes the cost of rental equipment for major cleaning, dry cleaning fees for carpets, etc.
  • Service and maintenance contracts with the various service providers: Boiler Maintenance Company, Cleaning Company, etc. Take advantage of this budgeting exercise to renegotiate these contracts or find other cheaper providers.
  • Gardening and outdoor maintenance costs include the purchase of plants, purchase of gardening equipment (shovels, flower boxes, watering cans, etc.). Also, add the costs of trimming the hedge, fuel for the mower, maintenance, and replacement of garden furniture.

Then there are the one-off expenses or those that come back between 2 years 5 years…

  • The cost of repairing and replacing your household appliances. If you are wondering how could you predict that your devices will break down or need to be replaced, look around to find out which devices need to be changed and which may fail during the year.
  • Costs of small DIY projects: acquisition and rental costs of DIY equipment (example screwdriver, circular saw, etc.) and raw materials (wood, paint, etc.)
  • Costs of renovation and insulation work planned for the year. Bring the quotes you have requested. If you don’t have a quote yet, do an internet search. It will help you to estimate how much you will have to spend on your work.

HOW TO BUDGET FOR THE UNEXPECTED?

It’s beneficial to have good precautionary savings (also called emergency funds) and a good savings capacity. As it will help you with unforeseen events related to the maintenance of your home, such as appliance breakdowns, water leak, etc. Not to mention that your home insurance can cover a large part of these unforeseen expenses.

And if you know that your roof will need to be renovated within two years. Start by estimating the total amount of the renovation. Additionally, set yourself a monthly savings goal.

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