The Truth About The Annual Cost Of Home Maintenance

Home maintenance isn’t one size fits all, though one thing is certain: taking care of your home is vital to its longevity. But how much does regular home upkeep actually cost and why? You may be surprised to learn the truth.

How much does home maintenance really cost?

The latest NAHB research on the cost of operating a home shows:

1. 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. The average new home in the U.S is 2,600 square feet and costs $423,800 (compared to $184,800 for older homes).

2. Roughly 10.8% of total operation costs is spent on regular maintenance and routine repairs – 0.54% of total home value.

This means the average homeowner spends roughly $1,400 – $2,300 on maintenance per year. And this is just the cost for upkeep if done correctly and routinely, not unexpected repairs or replacements.

There are a few additional ways to estimate the annual cost of home ownership:

1. 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 require $3,000 annually, or $250 per month.

2. The square foot rule: Save $1 for every square foot of your home. This would equate to $2,000 for a 2,000 square foot home, or $166 per month. 

3. The 10% rule: Put aside 10% of all your main monthly expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance). If your mortgage is $1500/month, taxes $300/month, and insurance $150/month, your monthly savings for home maintenance would be $195 per month.

Other factors can also impact your annual home maintenance costs.

What Factors Impact Monthly Home Maintenance Costs?

Home maintenance is never 100% predictable, but a number of external factors affect how your yearly cost of home upkeep may differ. Here are a couple important elements to consider when planning for your yearly 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) than 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. Homes built before the 1960s have the highest average annual maintenance costs at 0.8% of home value, while homes built in the 2010s cost a fraction of that at 0.2% home value. Here’s a breakdown of average annual operating costs by decade:

Average Annual Cost of Maintenance by Decade as a Percent of Home Value

Decade BuiltBefore1960s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010s
Cost as Percentage of Home Value0.8%0.6%0.7%0.5%0.4%0.4%0.2%
(Siniavskaia, 2021)

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.

What’s included in home maintenance costs?

When you think of home maintenance what typically comes to mind? Maybe changing out air filters, cleaning your dryer vent, changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, and mowing the lawn. But the reality is every inch of your home requires upkeep over the course of the year to keep it in tip top shape. At a high-level 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
  • Fireplace(s)
  • Garage door sensors, rails, hinges, safety features
  • External vents and systems
  • Seasonal updates (storm windows, drain lines, air conditioner cover/uncover, etc.)

Breaking these broader categories down further results in at least 125 maintenance tasks that should be performed annually, some on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

All these numbers are exhausting, just use HomeKeep

Maintaining a house is hard work. Not only is it costly (and unpredictably so), it’s not always a priority or easy to do. But that shouldn’t deter you from having that special place to call home and protecting your investment. That’s why we created HomeKeep.

HomeKeep is a tech-enabled subscription service that provides homeowners with convenient ongoing home maintenance and easy access to home information.

We help homeowners maintain their homes conveniently and affordably by:

  • Cataloging and registering all major home products (appliances, mechanicals, etc.)
  • Creating accessible home product information and maintenance records
  • Setting up quarterly maintenance appointments and inspections
  • Configuring ongoing maintenance plans that fit the unique needs of each home

HomeKeep takes the guesswork out of home maintenance, saving you time and money, and giving you ultimate peace of mind.

Let’s put your home maintenance on auto-pilot. Learn more.