It’s a corollary of Murphy’s Law: when you’re least able to afford a major expense, something big will break down. Kiplinger’s tallies up the expenses that should be covered in your housing budget along with the life expectancy your home’s major repairs. Don’t be caught unprepared if it’s time to bite the bullet and make a major home repair this spring!
If you have to replace items in your home, here are the details:
- Furnace/boiler—if you need frequent repairs or high energy bills, rooms that are too hot or cold or humidity problems, it’s time to invest the $1500-$3000 for a new system.
- Windows—whether they’re single-paned, drafty, foggy, or hard to open, homeowners should devote $350-$450 per window and expect them to last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.
- Roof—cracked, curled or missing shingles and wet spots in the attic suggest it’s time to invest the $5-$7 per square foot for new asphalt shingles, expected to last 20 years.
- Hot water heater—if your unit is 10+ years old, it’s time to splurge for a new model, costing from $600 for an energy efficient model to upwards of $3000 for a heat-pump water heater.
- Electrical service—copper wiring lasts a lifetime, but the service panel lasts 20 years. If your circuit breakers trip often, you don’t have enough outlets or your lights dim when appliances turn on, invest $300-$520 to install/repair circuits or upgrade your service panel for $890-$1200.
- Central air conditioning— if your unit is 10+ years old and you have high energy bills, frequent repairs, or rooms that are too hot or cold, consider investing the $1600-$3200 for a new unit.
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