Once you buy a house, you realize it’s a lot more costly than just the down payment and monthly mortgage payment. Spending on home repairs was predicted to peak in 2018 at $340 billion . That’s a lot of moolah.
With the benefits of homeownership can come tons of extra bills. HomeAdvisors’s 2018 True Cost Survey revealed that American homeowners spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements and repairs in the last year. Did the sink break? You have to fix it. Is the porch sagging? Say goodbye to your Hawaii vacation. Is there a sinkhole in the backyard? That’ll cost ya.
The last one might be a farce, but home repair costs are nothing to sneeze at. Even if you’re a DIY-queen and a big believer in sweat equity, the high price of materials, to say nothing of your time, add up. Some recommend that you sock away at least 1% of your home’s value to cover random home-related emergencies. Another rule of thumb says to save $1 for each square foot of the house.
But one of the hardest parts of homeownership is that many of these repairs are hard to predict and value. While low-cost preventive updates like cleaning your gutters or switching out storm windows can help keep common home repair costs down, when your pipes burst and flood the basement, you can be on the hook for thousands of dollars—immediately. For many Americans without emergency savings, a catastrophe in that range would be nearly impossible to cover.
Here’s a rundown of common home repairs, as well as the costs associated with them (estimated costs courtesy of The Zebra except where otherwise linked), and a look at which you should prioritize.
For example, a new coat of paint isn’t as important as fixing a busted roof. These are the kinds of fixes that you need to get on top of fast when you’re a homeowner. That being said, here are 10 of the most common home repairs, and what they’ll run you.
Estimated Costs of the Most Common Home Repairs
1. Foundation Repair
This affects houses where soil swells with rains and humidity and contracts with drought. These kinds of shifts put the foundation at risk. Since the foundation is essentially the heart of your home, repairs are complicated and expensive. This is the kind of common home repairs needed after home inspection and can cost well north of $10,000. Talk about a budget breaker.
Costs: $450 to $11,000 (even up to $40,000 )
2. Electrical Issues
While DIY and Pinterest-inspired home repairs might seem to be all the rage with millennials, electrical repairs are usually best left to the professionals, aka electricians. There’s a reason they command the big bucks. Depending on what kind of electrical issues you’re facing, your bill could be anywhere between a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
Costs: $318 for basic repairs, up to $15,000 for rewiring your entire home
3. Roof Repair
When there’s a problem with your roof, you need to fix it fast. Key signs are leaks or missing shingles. If you suspect something is up, call an expert right away. Be prepared to pay upward of a few thousand bucks.
Costs: $650 (partial) to $10,000 (full replacement )
4. Repair or Replace a Water Heater
Thanks to mineral buildup as well as overuse, water heaters do not last forever. Depending on how bad the repairs needed are, you could be on the hook for a new water heater entirely. And if you’ve ever taken a cold shower in the middle of winter, you know this is one repair that’s essential to your quality of life.
Costs: $523 to repair, up to $1,000 to replace
5. Water Damage
Water damage is a fairly common home repair cost, stemming from something as small as a holey pipe to something bigger, like a leaky roof. Usually this kind of home repair will cost a few thousand dollars.
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Costs: average of $2,330
6. Repair Pipes or Install New Pipes
Repairing pipes is the kind of repair often needed after a home inspection. It is also a smart preventative maintenance measure, because if you fix a problem with your plumbing now, it’s much cheaper than waiting for a pipe to burst. Some repairs can be in the hundreds of dollars-range, while sewer line repairs are typically a few thousand.
Costs: anywhere from $559 for a drain pipe, to $2,443 for a sewer line repair
7. Septic System Repair
The only thing grosser than having to repair your septic system is that it could cost north of $1,000 to do so.
Costs: $1,488 average to repair, $5,500 for a new installation
8. Heating or Air Conditioning Repair or Installation
Whether gas, oil, or electric, a new heating or cooling unit usually costs hundreds of dollars. And in the middle of the summer during a heatwave, or in the middle of winter during a cold snap, you’re not going to want to put this one off.
Costs: $372 for A/C repair and $288 for furnace fix, to $8,000 for a professional furnace installation
9. Mold Removal
If you discover mold in your home, you need to get it removed ASAP. Breathing in spores is unhealthy for most, but can be especially dangerous for small children. Even though it will cost around $2,000, it’s worth it for your health.
Costs: an average of $2,115
10. Termite Damage
The problem with termites is that they (literally and figuratively) eat away at your money. While the cost for house treatment hovers around $500, the damages can number in the thousands depending on how long the pesky insects have been munching away.
Costs: Average of $541 for treatment, but termite damage to homes can cost an average of $8,000
Paying for Upcoming Home Repairs
Surprise expenses can be detrimental to your monthly budget. If you have an emergency fund, it might be your saving grace. However, only 39% of Americans would have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency, so it’s more likely that if one of these home repairs rears its head, you may need a source of funding to cover the bill.
If you’re facing a looming roof repair or an unexpected foundation fix, a personal loan might be able to help. If you choose a lender that offers reasonable interest rates and fixed monthly payments, it can be a lot less financially painful to hire experts to finish the job.
Don’t be like the 19% of Americans who cover their emergency expenses with credit cards; a personal loan can help you avoid paying those high interest charges on already-costly repairs. Credit card debt can balloon all too easily, but with a personal loan, you can choose a fixed interest rate and a straightforward payment schedule.
One thing to try to avoid is using your credit card to fund an emergency home repair. Typically, a credit card will have a higher interest rate, which can make your small repair become a hefty bill.
Unlike a credit card, SoFi personal loans have absolutely no fees or prepayment penalties. Depending on your individual financial history, borrowing with a small loan may also raise your credit score. So not only are you repairing your home, but you could be building better credit. Double win.
SoFi offers loans perfect for home improvement with low rates and an easy to manage payment schedule for those who qualify. SoFi also offers unemployment protection, so if you suddenly lose your job, you can put a hold on your loan.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website on credit .