Home Repair: Keep the Change

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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Your house is your home, but it’s also an investment. You pay for it ever so slowly for 5, 10, even 30 years until you sell it. So, it makes sense to think about how much money you’re investing into home repairs. (Not to mention bigger remodeling projects!)

Home Repair Tally

Some of this is simple math, but the scary part is keeping track of all your home repair expenses. Most of us don’t really want to know that the painter got $1,500 last year and the contractor got $12,750 and the handyman got $655.

When projecting home repair costs, remember to include the cost of materials as well as the contractor fees. It all adds up. (Try these home repair calculators from DIYOnline for more estimating help.) Keep a file of all your receipts and count:

  • Remodeling contractor services
  • Appliances, cabinetry, tile
  • Upgrades to heating, electrical and plumbing systems
  • Landscaping (except for filling the flower boxes, of course)
  • Roofing, siding, windows, general remodeling supplies

Home Repair: Lamps Don’t Count

As you keep a home repair tally, don’t worry about the rugs, furniture, and lamps because you probably will take those with you one day. Those are considered portable. Also don’t count repairs that fall under the routine maintenance area, such as furnace checkups. (Don’t go crazy with those furnace checkups just because you don’t have to count them. Once a year is fine!)

Home Repair–An Investment or Not?

While I am a firm believer in the home repair tally concept, not everyone agrees with the house as an investment concept. At least not this New York Times blogger who cautions against taking it so literally and buying too much house. Oh, well. That’s a topic for another day. Back to that home repair tally.

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