Taking Care Of Your Home: 6 Repairs To Budget For

So you've bought a new home, moved in, and are ready to be a home owner. If you are like many home owners, you will file away the report from your home inspection, never to be seen or read again. Experts suggest, however, that you prioritize needed repairs as identified in your home inspection report and set a budget and timeline to address any items. In addition, new home owners should budget and save 1-3% of their purchase price for future, yet-to-be identified repairs. Here are some common repairs that new home owners can expect in the first few years of home ownership.

Toilets: Let's face it, the toilet is probably the most used fixture in your home. Over time the inner workings of the toilet will break down. When you hear the constant running of water it is time to replace the fill valve. Do it yourself and spend about $25. Hire a plumber and expect to pay as much as $200. Whichever path you take, do it soon, not only is the noise of a constantly running toilet annoying, but you are literally losing real money down the drain.

Faucets: While we are on the topic of water, let's tackle a leaky faucet. The constant dripping of a faucet can cost you big bucks in water bills if not repaired. Sometimes it is as simple as replacing old washers or an o-ring. Sometimes you may need to replace the faucet. If the repair is as simple as washers and o-rings your material costs will be a few dollars. If the faucet needs to be replaced the cost could go into the hundreds depending on the type and quality of the faucet. Hire a plumber and the cost could climb by another $100 or more per hour of work.

Ceiling Fans: Constant use of your fan adds wear and tear to the motor and at some point it will need to be replaced. If you have expensive tastes expect to spend over $1000 for a new fan. Some basic models can be purchased for under $100. If you do not have the skills to do it yourself add another $75-200 to have an electrician or handyman install it.

Plaster & Drywall: At some point you will have damage to a wall or ceiling. If you have the skill, patching and painting are inexpensive. You'll be able to do it yourself for less than $100. Professional painters will either charge you by the hour or per square foot. Expect to pay up to $60 an hour for a pro, and budget, for an average size repair, about 4 hours-- the painter will need to patch, sand, prime, and paint and of course allow for dry time in between.

Caulk, Caulk, and more Caulk: Caulking is the waterproof seal you'll find around sinks, showers, tubs, and countertops. Over time caulk can dry out, crack, and peel away from the surface you are trying to keep dry. Removing old caulk is fairly easy and straight-forward. Resealing with new caulk can take some skill and patience. Consider practicing first to get the hang of it or hire a handyman to tackle the job. A handyman may charge upwards of $100.

Windows: Over time window glazing and sash cords will deteriorate from exposure to the weather and from use. If you have some basic tools and skill you can re-glaze your windows and repair broken sash cords yourself. This is one repair for which, however, you'll probably want to hire a pro. A handyman who has experience with window repairs can often complete this job in a fraction of the time it takes a novice home owner. And the quality of the work will often be superior. Budget to spend at least $75 an hour for a pro, and plan for at least a few hours per window.

These are just a few home repairs to plan and budget for over time. If you are disciplined, and budget properly, you'll be prepared to tackle these and other repairs as they arise.

Chris Bergin is a licensed real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Lucien Realty in Lakewood and can be reached at Chris@ChrisBergin.com.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 4:41 PM, 03.17.2015