The Truth About the Annual Cost of Home Maintenance
Taking care of your home is vital to its longevity, but how much does regular home maintenance actually cost? Learn how much the average homeowner spends annually and how you can maintain your home smarter and more affordably.
How much does home maintenance really cost?
The latest NAHB research on the cost of operating a home shows that roughly 10.8% of total operating costs are spent on regular maintenance and routine repairs – 0.54% of total home value.
Single-family homes built pre-2010 cost an average of 5% ($9,240) of home value to maintain. Newer homes (2010+) cost an average of 3% to operate and maintain, but they’re also more expensive to purchase. The average new home in the U.S is 2,600 square feet and costs $423,800 (compared to $184,800 for older homes).
This means the average homeowner spends roughly $1,400 – $2,300 on regular maintenance per year, not including unexpected home repairs or replacements.
But the cost can vary widely due to home size, amenities, and a number of other factors. Here are a few ways to estimate the annual cost of home maintenance for your house:
- The 1% Rule: Take one percent of the total purchase price of your home and set aside for regular maintenance and repairs. For a $300,000 home, this would equate to $3,000 annually or $250 per month.
- The Square Foot Rule: Save one dollar for every square foot of your home. This would equate to $2,000 for a 2,000 square foot home, or $166 per month.
- The 10% Rule: Put aside 10% of all your main monthly expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance) for your monthly home maintenance budget. For example, if your mortgage is $1500/month, taxes $300/month, and insurance $150/month (a total of $1950), your budget for home maintenance should be roughly $195 per month or $2,340 a year.
While simple calculations can help you estimate your monthly cost for basic home maintenance tasks, additional factors can impact how much you’ll spend on maintenance services.
What factors impact monthly home maintenance costs?
A number of external factors can affect the cost of your home upkeep. Here are a couple of important elements to consider when planning your maintenance budget:
Your home’s geographical location: Where your home is positioned – near water channels, flood plains, hills, mountains, etc. – will affect how your home holds up over time. For example, the NAHB study shows homes located in New England cost twice as much to maintain and operate ($13,130) as those in the East South Central Division of the U.S. ($6,270).
When your home was built: The age of your home will play a large role in the level of upkeep and repairs required yearly as well. Homes built before the 1960s have the highest average annual maintenance costs at 8% of home value, while homes built in the 2010s cost a fraction of that at 2% home value (keeping in mind newer home prices are significantly higher). Here’s a breakdown of average annual home maintenance costs by decade:
Average Annual Cost of Maintenance by Decade as a Percent of Home Value
The climate your home endures: Maintenance costs also vary by region as well as season. Homes located in regions with harsher winters are impacted by more drastic changes in temperature and the potentially damaging effects of ice and snow. Homes in more humid regions can experience mold and mildew growth, and homes with exposure to tropical storm rains and winds may need more roof repairs or replacements.
The service providers in your area: In addition to location, home age, and climate, standalone service costs can vary by provider. A simple dryer vent cleaning can cost an average of $134 per visit but ranges from $101-171 on average according to Home Advisor. With unpredictable standalone service costs, it can be difficult to truly calculate what your monthly or yearly budget for home maintenance will look like.
What’s included in home maintenance?
When you think of home maintenance what typically comes to mind? Maybe changing out air filters, servicing your air conditioner, changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, and mowing the lawn. But the reality is there are over a hundred items that should be completed annually to take care of your home, regardless of size, age, or location; and the cost of those tasks add up quickly. At a high-level glance, this includes servicing your:
- Heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC)
- Laundry machines
- Water softener
- Appliances (refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, etc.)
- Water heater(s)
- Smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon detectors
- Electrical components (receptacles, breakers, panel, and outlets)
- Air health and humidity (humidifier, heat exchange, fans, ducts, vents, etc.)
- Sump pump(s)
- Plumbing and ventilation
- Doors, cabinets, and windows
- Garage door sensors, rails, hinges, and safety features
- External vents and systems
- Seasonal updates (storm windows, gutter cleaning, drain lines, etc.)
When you break down each main service category there are at least 125 tasks, tests, and inspections – ranging from basic DIY to-dos to advanced “better left for a pro” projects – that should be performed quarterly, semi-annually, or annually to keep your home looking and working like new for years to come.
HomeKeep is your solution to expensive, standalone maintenance
HomeKeep is a tech-enabled subscription maintenance service that provides homeowners with convenient ongoing home maintenance and easy access to their home information.
We help homeowners maintain their homes conveniently and affordably by:
- Offering flat-rate subscription packages
No more standalone service visits with hefty price tags. We offer seasonal maintenance packages that include 125+ home upkeep tasks and four complete home inspections. In just four quarterly appointments per year your entire home will be properly cared for – all for a single flat-rate monthly fee with no hidden or unexpected costs.
- Cataloging major home products (appliances, mechanicals, etc.)
By cataloging your home’s products and organizing them in the app, you’ll never need to do any prep work before one of our service professionals visits your home. We already know what products you have and what tools and components we’ll need to take care of them.
- Creating accessible home product information and maintenance records
All your home products details including make, models, serial numbers, and documents are categorized in the app for convenient access to information when you need it. No more junk drawers full of user manuals. Maintenance records are saved under every seasonal appointment, so you can remember what tasks were completed, when they were done, and if any issues arose.
- Registering your home products under manufacturer warranty
After cataloging your home products we take the time to register them under warranty with each manufacturer – giving you peace of mind and more time to do the things you actually want to do.
With HomeKeep you’ll be the happiest, smartest, and most financially savvy homeowner on your block.