The True Cost of 10 Common Home Renovations and Repairs
Renovating and maintaining a home is eating up a bigger portion of homeowners’ budgets, according to a report from Home Advisor. Homeowners completed more repairs and upgrades in 2016 than in 2015, the survey of more than 1,600 homeowners found, and they also spent more money on those projects. Nearly half of people surveyed said they’d spent more than $1,000 on home maintenance and repairs in the past year, up from 34% in 2015. Seventy-nine percent of people said they’d spent at least $1,000 on home renovations, compared to just 32% who spend that much in 2015.
Baby boomers are the big spenders in the home improvement market, laying out an average of $7,842 every year to upgrade their houses. Gen Xers spent about $3,700 annually, and millennials a little over $6,000 per year. The youngest homeowners were also the most likely to be worried about how much they were spending. Compared to older homeowners, millennials were more skeptical of project quotes they received and less confident they were being charged a fair price.
It’s hardly surprising that younger homeowners are confused about how much home renovations should cost, since many are likely hiring professionals for the these jobs for the first time. Millennials also spend less time than baby boomers researching home projects, which could be another reason why they suspect they’re getting a raw deal. Older homeowners are also more likely to pay cash for their home improvement projects, compared to younger homeowners who rely more on financing.
Wondering if the quote you got for a project is reasonable? Check out this list of how much people typically pay for 10 of the most common home renovations and maintenance projects, according to Home Advisor.
1. Hire a locksmith
Average cost: $151
Locking yourself out of your home is not just annoying — it’s also expensive. Homeowners spend about $151 every time they hire a locksmith to break into their home, rekey your door, or change the locks. To get the best deal, Home Advisor suggests calling around for price quotes, though you might not have the luxury of doing so in an emergency.
2. Lawn maintenance
Average cost: $164
No one wants to be the one house on the block with the scraggly yard. If you don’t have time to mow the grass or prune bushes yourself, a lawn care service will do it for you. Plus, if you’re paying someone to cut your grass, you’ll save on the cost of purchasing and maintaining your own mower. Considering that a riding mower can cost $1,000 or more, that’s a pretty significant savings.
3. Maid service
Average cost: $181
Don’t have the time or motivation to keep your home dirt-free on your own? For a little under $200, on average, you can hire a maid service to mop your floors, wipe down your bathroom tile, and vacuum. If your home is in need of deep clean, you can pay a little extra and have someone dust your ceiling fan, clean your blinds, polish your furniture, disinfect your refrigerator, and other tasks.
4. Insect control
Average cost: $183
Spending a couple hundred dollars on pest and insect control is a worthwhile investment. An unchecked infestation could cause serious damage (in addition to being gross), and chances are, your homeowners insurance won’t pay for any necessary repairs due to damage caused by termites or other critters.
5. Energy audit
Average cost: $372
A home energy audit will cost you a few hundred dollars, but could save you money over time. Not only will a professional identify energy-saving upgrades that will cut your heating and cooling bills, but you may also improve your home’s resale value. Upgrading attic insulation is the only home upgrade where you get back more than you put in, yielding a return on investment of 117%, according to Remodeling.net. Some utility companies offer discounts on energy audits, which could save you even more money.
6. New alarm system
Average cost: $670
Homeowners who installed an alarm system spent a little less than $700. You’ll pay more if you want extra features like cameras and security lighting, according to Angie’s List. If you chose to have a monitored alarm system, expect to pay another $15 to $60 per month for that service. A working alarm system could earn you a discount on your homeowners insurance premiums, though, which will save you a few bucks.
7. Swimming pool remodel
Average cost: $8,136
Poole upgrades like resurfacing, pump replacement, or installing a salt water system or water feature cost homeowners an average of $8,136. Those bills come on top of ongoing pool maintenance. Monthly cleanings may run you $50 to $120, while having someone open and close your pool for you each season costs around $500.
8. Bathroom remodel
Average cost: $9,285
Spa-like bathrooms make getting ready in the morning a little less painful. Homeowners typically spent about $10,000 remodeling a bathroom. If you’re planning to take on this project, make sure to include a little wiggle room in your budget. Water damage often lurks behind bathroom walls, Consumer Reports warned, and fixing it can be costly.
9. Garage remodel
Average cost: $10,664
Remodeling a garage was the second-most-expensive project homeowners tackled. Cleaning up a dingy space, adding storage, improving lighting, and fixing floors are all worthwhile upgrades. Transforming a garage into living space is also a common renovation, but those who hope to sell in the future should think twice before losing the parking space, since an ill-conceived garage conversion can hurt a home’s value.
10. Kitchen remodel
Average cost: $19,993
Kitchen remodels aren’t cheap, but upgrading the appliances, cabinets, and countertops can make this essential space more functional and more attractive. Homeowners who want to spruce up their kitchen without spending a mint can consider cheaper fixes, such as repainting dated cabinets and updating the hardware, rather than splurging on custom cabinetry. Putting in new lighting or countertops can also give a kitchen a new look for a fraction of the price, according to Money.