A House’s Expiry Date: Maintenance Budget for Homeowners
Homeownership, rather than renting, comes with an array of advantages: you have the opportunity to decorate your rooms to your taste, you can enjoy your own private space, and you can re-design your property’s look whenever and however you wish. But there is also no hiding that owning a house has its fair share of expenses.
You do not have the luxury of phoning your landlord to handle any mishap or maintenance work. In fact, your home’s many components will not last forever, so you need to plan for repairs and replacements. That said, it may be difficult to estimate how much you should put aside to fund potential home repairs throughout the year.
Here, we discuss some general advice on what homeowners should be prepared for in the not-so-distant future. We explore the lifespan of some common home features while discussing how much you may want to.
Budgeting for home repairs
In 2019-2020, Scottish households spent an average of £512 per month on living expenses. This covers food shopping, transport, energy, gas bills, and so on. Taking current inflation into account, many families are revaluating their household expenses, with over two-thirds of Scottish consumers reporting they had been affected by higher food prices in 2022. It’s never been more important to know what you may need to set aside for essential repairs.
When it comes to home maintenance, you are likely to spend at least £400 per year on house repairs. Whether your washing machine has given up or your door handle has broken, many different expenses contribute to your annual maintenance bill.
What’s more, it is important to highlight that the longer you have lived in a house, the costlier it will be to keep. As the years go by, parts of your home will start to show wear and tear, whereas older features or appliances will simply retire from their service. Hence, budgeting and saving some money for necessary repairs and replacements is vital to keep your house fully functioning.
How long do parts of the home last?
As mentioned, various parts of your home will need to be fixed at some stage. For instance, a kettle will typically boil more than 7,000 times until it finally has to be replaced. A toaster will get through about 3,000 slices of bread in its lifetime, whereas a washing machine can spin 1,417 loads of washing before it needs upgrading. But what about other essential items in our homes?
- Windows – Windows are one of the most important features in a house. They bring natural light inside, which will benefit your overall well-being and create a feeling of more space. Windows also provide security and noise reduction, and double-glazed ones can help to keep your living spaces warm during the colder months too. Generally speaking, windows will perform well for about 20 years, but if properly maintained, they can last even longer. Therefore, it is crucial to repair them if you notice that they are not working as they should. For instance, worn-out window seals or loose handles can result in the loss of warm air inside your house. New handles and a window seal replacement will reduce draughts and can also increase your home’s energy efficiency. Secondary glazing installation on older windows can be a discreet way to increase thermal efficiency.
- Doors – Front doors often create the first impression of a building, so keeping them in check can preserve the aesthetic appeal of your home. The lifespan of a door can vary based on the materials. However, with a reasonable amount of maintenance over time, it could last you around 30 years. Locks can be repaired or upgraded, broken letterboxes replaced, and they can even be personalised with leaded or stained glass.
- Painting– Certain areas of your house may need a fresh coat of paint more regularly than others, and timbers will require varnish or wax. Whether they are more exposed to direct sunlight and moisture or more ‘used’ by household members, areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and internal timbers will need repainting/varnishing every three to five years.
- Household appliances – There is no exact science to determine how long your appliances last, and their lifespan is influenced by how often you use them. That said, if well looked after, on average, you can expect your oven to safely cook your meals for about 16 years, fridges tend to keep your food cool for 10 to 15 years, whereas the life expectancy of a regular washing machine is 11 years.
From windows and doors to walls and electrical appliances, there are lots of home components that will require maintenance from time to time. If well looked after, you can prolong their lifespan and postpone the moment they will have to be replaced.