The cheapest home repair services can still be high in quality and affordable if you plan ahead and budget them in.
Cheapest Home Repair Services: How to Budget
One Percent Rule
You never know when you are going to need a water line repair or emergency gas line repair. These things sneak up on you and they are never convenient. In order to avoid going above and beyond your budget, it is smart to live by the one percent rule. Try to keep one percent of the purchase price of your home set aside each year for maintenance and repairs. You won't necessarily use that entire fund every year. Some years you will go over the set amount, like when you need to replace your roof. Other years, you'll spend far less on little things like garbage disposal repair. It is hard to have a set budget for repairs, but if you have no funds in place and you need them, you are out of luck. When you buy a new home, you don't expect things to go wrong right away. Even so, you should keep the one percent budget in place because someday, you will use it and it will be nice to have it there when you need it. Keep one percent of your home's value socked away and the value of the house will help dictate the repair costs. If your home has a high value, repairs will likely cost more than a home with a lesser value. You will have to pay for materials as well as cost of labor pertaining to the area in which you live, which also impacts the value of your home. It's all linked together, and the one percent rule can help you even with the cheapest home repair services.
Square Foot Rule
Another way to budget for various repairs and maintenance items throughout the year is to utilize the square foot rule. This rule dictates that you budget $1 for every square foot in your home every year. If you have a 1,500 square foot home, you would budget $1,500 for maintenance each year. Some years you may use it on things like sump pump repair and other years you may not have to dip into it at all. The more square feet you have in your home, the more you will likely have to spend on managing repairs and maintenance tasks. One thing to consider with this rule is that it does not take into account the material and labor costs in your area. Certain parts of the nation simply cost more for labor and parts. If you have a house in Iowa, the same size house in California will cost more in terms of repairs and maintenance costs. You may want to use the square foot rule as a basis for your budget and then add extra if you live in an area that has a higher cost of living compared to the national average. The time of year can help you increase or decrease your budget as well. You are more likely going to have issues in the winter, for example, if you live in a state that has harsh weather. You may want to increase your budget for repairs during that time of the year to go along with the basic square foot rule so that the cheapest home repair services are available seasonally.
Major Factors to Consider: From a Gas Line Repair to a Water Line Repair
The one percent and square foot rules can help you get a basic idea of how much you need to save for repairs and maintenance each year, but there are many other factors to take into consideration if you want a more exact number. First, the age of your property will play a huge role in how much funding you need for water line repair and other such items. Newer homes need very little maintenance and if something does break down, it's faster and easier to find cheap parts. Homes that are more like 10 to 20 years old will need more maintenance on a regular basis. Homes that are more than two decades old have a sturdy build, but they are more likely to need complete replacements of big ticket items instead of just repairs. Second, the condition of a home is paramount to consider as well. Some homes are a hundred years old, but if they have been well kept, they may never need faucet repair. Older homes that are neglected, on the other hand, will need plenty. Third, think about the location of your home. If you are situated at the bottom of a hill, you are more likely to need sump pump repair because you will use your sump pump more often due to floor waters. There are a number of stresses that can add repairs to your home's list. Fourth, the weather plays a big part in things like gas line repair and other major items. Homes in freezing areas that are subject to snow and ice are more likely to strain and need repairs and maintenance. And last, if your home is a single-family home, you will need a larger budget than you would if you own a condo or town home.
How Much Budget Should You Set Aside?
Budgeting is essential when looking to the future with the cheapest home repair services. Whether you need garbage disposal repair, faucet repair, or some other maintenance item, chances are your home is going to have a need at some time or another. The last thing you want is to be stuck, unable to make an important repair because you simply don't have the money to do so. Some repairs are highly important while others are more cosmetic. Either way, if you plan and budget correctly, you can get them done as needed. The square foot and one percent rule are a good place to start, but there are still a lot of variables to consider. The best you can do is offer yourself an educated guess. Some homeowners take the one percent rule and the square foot rule and average the results to set their budget. Many like to then add an extra ten percent for every factor that adversely effects their home like weather, age, location, and other factors. There is no hard and fast way to predict exactly how much you will need for home repairs on an annual basis, but these rules and guidelines will help you set a budget so you won't be left with nothing to spare when something comes up.