Covering Home Repairs

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For many homeowners, the cost of home repairs can be a huge added stress on top of the responsibility of everyday maintenance and upkeep. From the roof to the plumbing, fixing anything in a home can easily turn into a nightmare if you don’t have a good plan, so it’s imperative that you start considering the future and saving for a rainy day. A little preparation can save you quite a bit of headache later on, especially if your home is older and could use a little love. Think about not just emergency repairs--such as a busted hot water heater--but also basic maintenance that has to be taken care of every so often, such as replacing filters and batteries. These little details can help your home run smoothly and prevent even more home repairs.

Covering the cost of these repairs can be a hardship unless you plan ahead. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of major home repairs or renovations in the Boston area is $13,575 - $47,448. Starting a savings account specifically for your home’s needs can help give you peace of mind, and will allow you to focus some of your income so you won’t have any nasty surprises down the road.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.

Replace your filters

Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. Taking preventative measures to keep your home in good shape will help reduce the risk of any problems down the road, and these are usually much more cost effective than repairs. For instance, you can replace your furnace filter regularly and keep the air quality clean in your home while making sure your furnace runs smoothly. It can also help you save money on utility bills. Keep in mind when shopping for filters that each one has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value--or MERV--that measures the amount and size of particles the filter catches. The rating system ranges from a 1 to a 16, the latter being the most efficient. Quality air filters have a MERV rating of at least 8.

Check the roof

Roof repairs can be some of the most expensive you’ll face as a homeowner, so it’s imperative that you come up with a plan even if it’s in good shape at the moment. Most homeowners have insurance that will help cover the cost of a new roof, but if your policy won’t pay for the entire job--which typically averages between $10,000 and $15,000, but can go up to $20,000--you’ll want to start saving now. If you’re going to spend that much money, you’ll want to be sure to research the best roofing contractors in your area. Keep in mind that you may be able to tackle some smaller repairs on your own, such as replacing broken or missing shingles, and put off replacing the entire thing for a few more years.

Take a look at your insurance policy

Many homeowners have an insurance policy that covers damage from a flood, but it’s crucial that you understand your policy and everything it entails. Flood damage is very different from damage incurred from a busted pipe in the eyes of your insurance company, and repairing your floors and replacing furniture will likely run into the thousands of dollars. Take a look at your homeowners insurance paperwork, and make sure you understand exactly what it covers.

Look for grants

Some home repairs may be covered by grants if you are a senior, in a low-income bracket, or living with a disability (or have a family member living with you who is). It can be extremely helpful to use all the tools at your disposal to cover the costs of repairs and maintenance, so look online for more information about the grants available in your state.

Taking care of your home can be a big job, but it’s essential to make sure it’s safe and comfortable not just for the present, but for the future. Also, you may decide down the line to sell, so you’ll want everything to be in good shape if and when that day arises. With a well-thought out plan, you can ensure that your home takes as good care of you as you do of it.

Guest Author: Julian Lane