The Six Most Expensive Home Repair Projects

The most expensive investments most consumers will make in their lifetimes are the purchases of their first homes. Even if an Arizona homeowner sets aside a budget for future repairs, he or she can still be surprised by just how costly unexpected repairs to a home can be. When it comes to home repair projects, homeowners will find it costs far less to fix minor damage as it happens than to put it off until it grows into a major repair. Regularly inspecting the home for any potential problems and damage on a routine basis allows the owner to take action early and save money in the long run. There are times when only a professional can or should make repairs. When homeowners attempt repairs that are beyond their scopes, it can wind up costing more than hiring licensed contractors. That does not mean homeowners should always hire professional contractors. Simple preventative maintenance can often be completed with a modicum of repair knowledge and at very little cost to the household.

Roof Repairs in Arizona

A roof can be expensive to replace and repairing any damaged sections as they occur is only a fraction of that cost. As soon as a roof leak is detected, a homeowner needs to take immediate action to repair it. If left to repair at a later time, a leak can turn into mold and mildew, cause rot or cause electrical shortages inside the home. The longer repairs are delayed, the more expensive they will become.

Inspect the roof at least twice a year, looking for missing shingles, peeling, algae or any other sign of damage. Be sure to look at the flashing around chimneys. Homeowners can repair minor damage on the roof for reasonably low costs. However, make certain to take precautions before climbing onto the roof of a house.

Foundation Repairs

If there are leaks in the roof or siding, water can also get into the foundation of the home and cause serious damage. Water damage may cause cracks in the foundation walls. If water collects around the foundation, it can permeate the interior of the house, where it may cause mold or wreak further havoc on the foundation.

Make certain the outside ground slopes gently away from the house so that water does not pool around the foundation. Add more soil, if needed, to create the slope and search for potential water leaks. Downspouts and gutters clogged with leaves and debris are common culprits, so keep them clear and add guard strips to prevent gutter clogs.

Sewer Line Problems

Clogged or broken sewer pipes cause backups, gurgling drains, slow draining toilets and wet or bubbling water in the yard. The smell that accompanies these symptoms is also hardly pleasant. Oftentimes, the cause of the problem is tree roots that have grown into the sewer pipes and broken them. Before dishing out the dollars to replace the lines, hire a plumber who can check the lines with a special camera to verify where the clog or break is located.

Replacing sewer lines is a very expensive repair, costing several thousand dollars or more. The cost may be substantial if the pipes run underneath the driveway or below trees because extensive excavation may be required. Yearly sewer line inspections are worth the money to prevent costly repairs.

Fire Damage

In America, over one-third of homes use a wood stove or fireplace as a heating source. Unfortunately, many chimney fires take place each year in those homes due to creosote buildup or embers that were carried into the room. Regularly inspecting the chimney for any clogs or creosote buildup can be completed by looking up towards the top of the chimney with the damper open. This area should be clear of obstructions and the chimney should be cleaned once per year. While homeowners can certainly clean fireplaces themselves, it can be an extremely messy job and it might be worth paying chimney sweeps to complete it.

Every year, there are thousands of fires reported involving clothes dryers resulting in injuries and significant property damage. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), over one third of those fires were caused by failure to clean the appliances. The lint tray in a dryer needs to be cleaned before and after every load of laundry. The vent pipe should be cleaned of lint at least once every three months. The vent pipe needs a cover over the wall dampers on the exterior to protect it from weather and debris, such as leaves. Regular cleaning and inspections cost a homeowner only minutes of their time as opposed to a fire which will cost far more.

Infestations

Where there is one bug, there are probably many more lurking in and around the house. Termites and carpenter ants can wreak havoc on a home long before the homeowner sees indications of trouble. Signs of an infestation include mud tubes running up the outside walls, piles of bug wings in the basement and tiny piles of wood colored droppings. Do not hold off on pest control as these insects can cause expensive structural damage. A professional exterminator needs to eradicate the insects before the homeowner can do any structural repair work. Consider hiring a contractor for this repair.

DIYing the Repairs

When homeowners decide to tackle home repair projects that they are not familiar with, they can wind up costing themselves more money to fix the repair work than they would have spent by hiring professionals. Do-it-yourself projects may seem like good ideas compared to paying contractors to come in, but without real know-how, the projects can make the situations worse.