Most homeowners are caught unprepared for the big repairs that come with homeownership—and even some of the small ones. My suggestion is to do your homework ahead of time and plan for the inevitable.
When you have your furnace and hot water heater serviced each year, ask the technician about their condition and remaining lifespan, what units they would suggest when it comes time to replace them and the cost associated with the replacement.
The hot water heater and the furnace are two items that none of us can go very long without, and there are many options to choose from. By doing this research you can determine the best replacement option for your home ahead of time to save yourself a great deal of stress—and most likely save money. I have seen many situations where homeowners have been taken advantage of because they were desperate
The replacement of these two items is not always straightforward. For example, if you live in an older house and the furnace or hot water heater have not been replaced in years, you may have the added expense of lining the chimney. In this instance you may decide to spend more money on a direct vent, high efficiency furnace which negates the need for a chimney liner. This type of furnace costs more, but saves you money overall by avoiding the added expense of the chimney lining.
If you would like some contractor suggestions, feel free to call me.
Broken or clogged sewers can be a huge headache not to mention a costly one. My rule of thumb is to encourage buyers who are purchasing a home that is 20 years old or more to schedule a sewer inspection.
The sewer lateral, or line from your house to the city connection or to the septic, is typically the responsibility of the homeowner. This means there are times when even if the sewer line is under the street and damage occurs, it is up to the homeowner to make repairs. According to costhelper.com, the cost to repair a sewer line can range from $50 to $250 per lineal foot.
The scope of a normal home inspection is to test functional drainage at fixtures, which rarely allows a home inspector to identify a sewer problem downstream. Oftentimes, sewer issues are unknown to the seller as well.
A visual check can offer buyers the reassurance that they are purchasing a home with a well-functioning sewer line. The cost of most sewer scopes falls between $150 and $250. The cost can change depending on the length of the sewer line and the accessibility.
In older neighborhoods, trees roots can have a profound effect on sewer lines. The homes in these areas often have sewer lines made of clay, Orangeburg or even wood, none of which stand up to time or roots well. FYI, Orangeburg pipe is bitumenized fiber pipe made from layers of wood pulp and pitch pressed together. It was used from the 1860s through the 1970s.
You may not be selling or buying, but it might be time to have your sewer line checked. In next month’s issue I will explore the different options available to repair or replace sewer lines. Just as a note, if your home is insured with American National, then your sewer line is covered up to $10,000 for replacement or repair. There is a $1,000 deductible.
Keeping your home well maintained and in good condition is important for many reasons. It helps preserve its current value and creates future appreciation. A safe and comfortable environment is good for you and your family and contributes to the attractiveness of your neighborhood.
I have created a free Home Buyer’s Maintenance Checklist to help you and your family stay on top of routine maintenance items.
Remember, when it comes to maintaining your home, the integrity of the outside is equally as important as the inside. Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to take this for granted and devote the bulk of their attention to interior remodeling. No matter how much money you spend on an interior, it’s principally a cosmetic investment. It will improve your home’s value, however the exterior of your home is one of its most crucial aspects. From roof to foundation, the condition of the exterior determines how well-protected the interior is from the harmful effects of weather. Every step you take now to care for your home will benefit you and your family in the future.
Do not hesitate to call if you have any questions about your home and its maintenance.
20+ years of residential experience.