To paraphrase a beautiful song, a house is not really a home until you have paid for all of the repairs. Do you know any ways to save money on household repairs?
You or your loved ones could get hurt or die by not addressing unrepaired or unforeseen issues in your home.
A general homeowner rule is to set aside at least 1% of the equivalent value of the home annually to cover all potential and emergency household repairs. So, if your home has a value of $375,000, then you should save at least $3,750 annually, or $312.50 monthly.
But this is just a generalized home repair budget strategy. Your end result home repair bills may cost you a lot more money.
So, here are ten ways to save money on household repairs.
1. Prioritize Immediate Repair Needs
The best way to save money on household repairs is to prioritize what repairs need immediate attention and what repairs can wait.
Shifty and moving stairs, leaky air conditioners, mold, and faulty electrical wiring are issues that pose immediate and near-future dangers.
Did you know that over one million Americans fall down stairwells annually due to loose and unsteady handrails?
You may want to hire a licensed and professional home contractor to inspect your home and look for repair issues. Then make a list and decide which home repair issues need attention now.
You will say a lot of money on future medical bills by paying for some repairs right now.
2. Develop a Repair Budget
As previously mentioned, the general rule of thumb is to set aside at least 1% of the equivalent value of your home’s value.
One of the vital ways to save money on household repairs is to realistically assess how much money you have to work with now. A budget will also inform you of how much money you need to get if needed.
3. Inspect Your Home Regularly
If you want to learn ways to save money on household repairs, then it is best to be a proactive homeowner.
We previously mentioned that you should inspect your home yourself, or get it professionally inspected, to identify potential repair problems before they worsen.
The problem is that many homeowners see personal home inspection duties as a one-off or something to do once in a while.
Inspect your home from top to bottom once or twice a year. You may want even want to try inspecting your home every season.
As you live in your home you will get used to home it functions and the sounds it makes. You may intuit or see signs of problems long before they worsen.
And that is the best time to recognize them because home repair problems become more expensive to solve after they worsen.
4. Get Weatherstripping
A great way to save money on household repairs is to identify every spot in your home where air leaks may be occurring.
You may save up to 5% to 10% on your energy bill by investing in efficient weatherstripping strategies. And that could be the difference between having an extra $50 to $150 in your pocket for other things,
At the very least, you will have more money in your pocket for other more pressing repairs.
Air leaks waste air-conditioned cool air in the summer and insulated warm air in the winter. Additionally, air leaks make your air conditioner work harder and eat more energy.
You can look for air leaks yourself or hire a home contractor who can find them for you. You may have air leaks in places like:
- Between the wall and the floor
- Around doors and windows
- In unseen gaps in the basement and attic
- Around electrical outlets
- Around light fixture connections in the ceiling
- Cracks and gaps around plumbing pipes
To weatherstrip your home, you must strategically caulk air leaks and gaps or place strips of vinyl or plastic in the gap under the door and above the floor. Here is a weatherstripping guide to help you.
5. Replace HVAC Filters Regularly
Too many homeowners operate their furnaces or air conditioner systems without realizing that they need to replace their HVAC system filters at regular intervals.
Your air conditioner and furnace have air filtration systems installed in them so that you can always breathe clean air in your home. The filters in your HVAC system regularly trap dust, airborne particulates, pet hair, and other allergens.
HVAC air filters have to be replaced otherwise they become clogged with airborne particulate debris. If you don’t replace them then dust and other airborne particulates will build up in your home. The air inside your home will become polluted and eventually cause respiratory problems.
Clogged air filters make your HVAC furnace and air conditioning systems strain and work harder. This will result in energy spikes and eventual equipment breakdowns that will require costly repairs or replacement.
Change your HVAC air filters every 90 days. If you have multiple pets, then you may need to replace your HVAC air filters every 60 days to compensate for dander buildup. Depending on the size of your family and other circumstances, you may need to replace your HVAC air filter monthly.
Here is an HVAC air filter replacement guide.
6. Repair Leaky Faucets
A leaky faucet may be a symptom of a larger and unseen problem. There may be some intense pressure buildup in the plumbing pipes. Maybe parts of your plumbing system need to be replaced.
Or it may be just a leaky faucet.
But one of the best ways to save money on household repairs is to get that leaky faucet fixed as soon as possible.
And do it today. A leaky faucet that drips one drop of water per minutes wastes over 34 gallons of water annually.
Here is a drip calculator that can help you calculate how much water is being wasted in your home due to leaky faucets.
7. Sump Pump Inspection
A sump pump is a water pumping system that is installed in the lowest crevice point of your house.
Sump pumps protect your house from excessive moisture buildup and flooding by pumping it out from the lowest levels. A sump pump may be your last defense and alert before a basement flood destroys your basement, the first floor, and causes mold proliferation.
Get your sump pump inspected at least once a year.
8. Have Your Electrical Outlets Inspected
Have a licensed electrician inspect every electrical outlet in the house.
And get out of the habit of inserting too many plugs in extension cord power strips.
Bad electrical wirings are electrocution and fire hazards.
9. Test Smoke Detectors
You should create an inspection regimen that includes checking smoke detectors regularly.
Smoke detectors and batteries are very cheap, but home fires are deadly or very expensive at the least to repair after the fact.
10. Clean Your Water Heater
Your water heater may need an annual flush cleaning to clear out any sediment and debris that may have accumulated over the months.
It’s cheaper to hire a professional to do it than to fail to try to do it on your own.
Ways to Save Money on Household Repairs
The repairs that your house needs may not be readily apparent.
Consult with a home contractor to learn optimum ways to save money on household repairs.
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Allen Francis was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years with no money, no financial literacy, and no responsibility when he had money. To him, the phrase “personal finance,” contains the power that anyone has to grow their own wealth. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including focusing on your needs instead of your wants, asking for help when you need it, saving and investing in your own small business.