Owning a home nowadays is very expensive and you’re not just looking at the cost of your mortgage and taxes – you will also have to contend with costly repairs, especially if you live in an older house.
Home repairs can take up a large amount of your budget and can be quite costly if you’re not properly prepared. In my post ‘Saving Money Everyday So There’s Enough for the Special Days’ I talked about how, amongst other things, one way to be prepared is to always try and save money. This will allow you to put money away for a rainy day when an unexpected repair rears its ugly head. A good amount is about 2-5% of the value of your home.
So, what are some of the costliest repairs that you should be prepared for?
Older properties with shallower foundations tend to adjust to seasonal changes and loads, therefore they move more often than other houses. This is particularly the case in regions with clay subsoils,and subsidence can occur if the ground under the foundation dries up and shrinks, robbing the house of some much needed support. Most of the time, subsidence is caused by tree roots taking moisture away from the ground under your house and can be resolved by trimming the tree and regulating the amount of water it absorbs. Subsidence can cause cracks in brickwork, as well as leaning and bulging walls. Homebuilding & Renovating estimates the costs of repairing serious cracks in brickwork with reinforced rods at approximately £400/m. If the subsidence is serious enough and requires underpinning, the approximate cost for the average home is about £10,000 to £15,000. To mitigate subsidence, use soaker hoses around the perimeter of your house during dry periods to prevent the soil from drying up and regularly check drainage during the rainier months of the year.
Repairing or replacing your boiler
You depend on your boiler every day but normally take it for granted when it’s working, only noticing it when it doesn’t. But besides the hefty cost of replacing a faulty boiler an old, inefficient boiler can cost you a lot of money each month when you get your heating bill. Say your boiler is 65% efficient, it means that for every £1 you spend on heating, you’re throwing away 35p. Birmingham Live explains how you could reduce your energy bills by up to £300 a year, with a new a-rated boiler which is over 90% efficient. Despite the installation costs, which can average around £3,000+, you’ll still be saving money in the long run.
So in order to be prepared and avoid the high costs of repairing or replacing your boiler, it’s a good idea to get boiler cover insurance or boilercare. HomeServe recommend being covered for your plumbing and boiler as they can be costly to repair or replace. While it may seem like an added expense at first, it could save you a lot of money in the long term if something does go wrong and your boiler needs replacing. Preventive measures like regularly checking the pressure valve and flushing your boiler and heating system once a year can help you save on maintenance and repair costs in the long run.
In an ideal world, you would only need to repair a bit of the roof that has been damaged, but if the damage is too extensive and the roof and its supports have become irreparable, re-roofing the entire house could be a better long-term investment. Some common repair jobs due to high winds or objects blown onto the roof by storms include replacing tiles, soffits and fascias. While replacing 10 tiles might cost between £135-£220, repairing the latter is more expensive at around £1,530-£2,890. To help you avoid costly repairs, hire a professional to inspect your roof periodically (10 years after installation and every 5 years after that).
On the other hand, depending on the extent of the damage, replacing your roof might be more economical than continual repairs. In their guide on roof replacement costs in the UK, Roof Advisor estimates that the costs will be between £4,500 to £8,300 and up for an average bungalow to a four-bedroom two-story home. Of course, exact amounts depend on the type of home you own, the contractor you choose, and where in the country you reside.