Budgeting for Home Maintenance Projects


Well now that Christmas is behind us, what better time to think about saving for projects around the house!

Every year that goes by as a homeowner, there’s always some updating to do, whether it’s landscaping, replacing the roof, driveway paving, basement renos, etc. The list can be endless. Just like your car, regular maintenance is a necessity, and the same holds true for your home. Even for condo owners where much of the exterior maintenance is covered by condo fees, there may still be some “beautifying” that you’ll want to undertake in addition to what it covers.

So that leads to the next big thing. Budgeting for these updates. How much money should you be putting away for these types of regular maintenance or repair items that come along? These tips will help you figure it out:

Use the 1 %
To set aside enough money for home maintenance projects every year, a popular guideline is to follow the one per cent rule. Basically, set aside one percent of the purchase price of your home each year for ongoing maintenance. For example, if your home cost $500,000, budget $5,000 per year. It’s a pretty safe estimate to make, especially when not all things need to fixed at once. One year it may be the roof, but the next year, it could be a fresh coat of paint on the front door and other smaller miscellaneous items. It all balances out and at least you’ll be prepared.

Assess your home
The age, size and condition of your home will also need to be taken into consideration when determining a maintenance budget. For example, do you have an older detached home with a generous-sized backyard? Your budget for maintenance could be higher than a newer townhome with a smaller backyard. Or, if you’re in a condo, find out what the condo corporation has planned for future maintenance and beautifying projects that could result in increased condo fees.

Keep track of repairs

Keeping track of repairs allows you to see how much money you have invested in your home once it comes time to sell.  It is also good for your own sanity, keeping track of repairs as they happen is key to keeping within your budget. Keep receipts and contact information from contractors and mark everything down in a calendar, daytimer, or create your own tracking sheet using your favourite computer program. Microsoft Excel is a popular one to create great spreadsheets and budget worksheets; Microsoft Word is also a good option and very simple to use.

Jennifer Birch – Realtor

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