How Much to Budget for Home Maintenance

Manage costs by planning (and saving) ahead.

It’s important for homeowners to anticipate and plan for home maintenance expenses. Unlike being a renter, when you’re a homeowner, you’re responsible for keeping up with regular maintenance and repairs, and making sure systems are working efficiently.

Being prepared for those expenses—some of which may come up unexpectedly—can help ensure that small problems don’t turn into bigger ones. How much should you expect to pay for home maintenance each year? According to Angi’s annual “State of Home Spending” report, in 2023, the average home maintenance costs were $2,458; emergency costs were another $1,667.

Of course, the age, size, and condition of the home will also play a big role in your home maintenance costs, which is why it’s a smart exercise to look at your individual situation to come up with a budget goal that makes sense for you.


  • Homeowners should budget for routine maintenance, repairs, and replacements to ensure the long-term upkeep of their homes.
  • Factors like the size, location, age, and specific maintenance requirements of a home should be considered when setting a budget.
  • Different budgeting approaches, such as percentage-based guidelines or fixed dollar amounts, can be used to determine the appropriate budget for home maintenance.
  • Creating a personalized budget involves estimating costs, setting realistic goals, and considering your individual circumstances.

Understanding Home Maintenance Costs

Home maintenance costs encompass all of the money that you’ll put into your house to keep it functional. This can include routine maintenance like furnace tuneups, gutter cleaning, and landscaping services; repairs on appliances as they age or become damaged; and replacements of major home elements like your roof, windows, HVAC systems, and more.

If you have a fairly new home with upgraded materials and appliances, it’s less likely that you’ll face a major expense right away. Older homes, however, may cost more to maintain. Another factor that can impact home maintenance costs is the climate where you live.

“Houses in areas with harsh winters may require more frequent repairs and replacements due to wear and tear caused by the weather,” says Mark Buskuhl, founder and CEO of Ninebird Properties in Dallas, Texas. Along those lines, homes in hot climates may need more maintenance on air conditioning systems.

Average Home Maintenance Costs

According to research by HomeGuide, an online business that connects homeowners with home service professionals, here are some average costs for common home maintenance needs.

Routine Home Expenses
Type of ExpenseAverage Cost
Landscaping$1,200–$2,400 per year
Appliance Repairs$100–$400 average cost to repair an appliance
Lawn Care$40–$80 hourly rate for yardwork; $30–$85 cost to mow a lawn; $100–$400 monthly cost for full-service lawn care
Interior Painting$1–$3 cost per square foot of surface area; $350–$850 average cost per room; $3,500–$10,000 average cost to paint whole interior of house
Exterior Painting$1–$4 cost per square foot; $1,900–$6,900 average cost for total house painting
HVAC Repairs$75–$150 cost per hour; $70–$200 tuneup/service call
Roof Shingle Repair$350–$1,500 average cost to fix
Emergency Plumbing$120–$300 average cost per hour (nights and weekends); $225–$450+ average cost per hour (holidays)
Furnace Cleaning$70–$100 cost for basic cleaning; $150–$300 cost for advanced cleaning
Source: HomeGuide
Major Home Expenses
Type of Expense Average Cost 
HVAC Replacement$5,000–$11,000 to replace an HVAC system; $7,000–$16,000 to install an HVAC system with ductwork
Roof Replacement$3–$6 per square foot to install; $5,700–$16,000 total to replace
Window Replacement$450–$1,500 per single-hung window installed; $4,500–$22,500 total cost (for 10–15 windows)
Source: HomeGuide

Different Budgeting Approaches

There are different schools of thought when it comes to budgeting for home maintenance: 

The Percentage Rule

The most common home maintenance budgeting approach is the 1% rule. It calls for setting aside at least 1% (and as much as 4%) of your home value each year for repairs and replacements.

“So if you recently purchased your home for $400,000, be sure to save between $4,000 and $16,000 each year,” says Scott Lieberman, founder of Touchdown Money, which teaches entrepreneurs how to make money online.

“You might feel safe closer to that 1% number if your property is under 10 years old,” he says. “If your property is older, there’s a greater chance of expensive things needing to be replaced, such as the roof or HVAC system.”

The Square Footage Rule

Another approach, though less popular, is the square footage rule—you set aside one dollar for every square foot of your home.

The reason this rule of thumb isn’t as effective is it doesn’t take into account the value or age of the home, just its size. Aiming for the same savings whether you have a brand-new, 2,000-square-foot home or a 70-year-old home of the same size doesn’t make as much sense as other budgeting approaches.

Set Dollar Amount

This approach puts more emphasis on how much you’re able to save than on your home maintenance needs. If you’re on a tighter budget, choosing a realistic figure may help you stay consistent with setting money aside.

Are you able to save $200, $400, or $600 a month? Figure out what you can afford and automate that amount into a separate savings account. Even if it doesn’t total up to 1% (or more) for the year, anything you can save can help prevent you from having to borrow to pay for a repair.

Factors to Consider When Setting a Budget

When deciding how much to set aside, think about the size and location of your home as well as the age of your property. If you have an older home in an expensive city that’s prone to extreme weather, you’ll need to save more than someone in a newly built home with a brand-new structure, systems, and appliances, or who lives in a less expensive location with a moderate climate.

Important: Keep in mind that there are common home maintenance requirements and repairs that are universal to all homes and will need to be done periodically.

Here are some general life expectancy guidelines for major home features, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors:

  • Roof: asphalt shingles, 20 years; fiber cement shingles, 25 years; wood shakes, 25 years
  • Windows: aluminum, 15 to 20 years; wooden, 30 years
  • Paint/caulking: interior and exterior paints can last for 15+ years
  • Furnace: 15 to 25 years
  • Air conditioning: seven to 15 years (HVAC); five to seven years (window unit)
  • Tankless water heater: 10 years
  • Electric or gas water heater: six to 12 years
  • Wood deck: 10 to 30 years
  • Appliances: gas ranges, 15 years; dryers and refrigerators, 13 years; dishwashers, nine years; microwave ovens, nine years

Creating a Personalized Budget

To create a personalized budget for home maintenance, think through your regular maintenance, the condition of your home, and the potential need for repair or replacement of major items.

  1. Tally up the cost of routine maintenance. This can include landscaping/lawn care, gutter cleaning, HVAC tuneups, and more.
  2. Assess your major appliances, structural elements, and systems and decide if any might need to be repaired or replaced this year. If you can save up and take care of these things proactively, it can prevent potential damage that may be costlier to repair/fix.
  3. Consider the overall condition of your home. If it’s older, you live in an expensive area, or you know that major home features are approaching the end of their life spans, then bump up your savings goal.
  4. Create a separate savings account for your home costs. “I recommend homeowners keep this home repair money in a high-yield savings account,” says Lieberman. “If you don’t need to use the money, you’ll be earning interest. And you can withdraw the money whenever you need it.”

Tips for Managing Home Maintenance Expenses

With so many competing financial priorities, it can be challenging to save enough for your home maintenance, but there are some strategies that can help.

  • Prioritize repairs that are necessary for the safety and functionality of your home. Not everything is an emergency, so focus on the repairs you need vs. the ones you want. “Repairing or replacing a roof can cost thousands of dollars, but neglecting to maintain your roof can lead to leaks, water damage, and structural issues, which can significantly increase the repair costs,” Buskuhl says.
  • Don’t neglect routine maintenance and checkups. “Get your HVAC system inspected once a year. This way you can catch affordable problems before they morph into expensive emergencies,” Lieberman says. The same goes for checking out your roof, siding, and foundation, and doing seasonal checkups on your gutters, caulking, pipes, and more.
  • Leverage warranties. Many appliances, systems, and materials used in homes come with manufacturer warranties, which can cover the cost of repairs or replacements within a certain time frame. “Homeowners should keep track of their warranties and utilize them when needed to save money on maintenance expenses,” Buskuhl says.
  • Consider home warranties and insurance products. A home warranty provides coverage for repair or replacement costs of major systems and appliances in the house; you just pay a monthly or annual premium. “This valuable protection can alleviate the financial strain of unforeseen maintenance issues, ensuring peace of mind and financial security,” Buskuhl says. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully so you understand what is covered and what isn’t. If you do add a home warranty, you can include the premium amount in your home maintenance budget.

Alternative Ways to Pay for Home Maintenance

Without ample savings for home maintenance costs, you may have to rely on borrowing to cover major repairs or replacements. Your options include:

Home Equity Loans or Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)

Both of these options let you borrow against the equity in your home, but they come with a risk. Essentially, your home is your collateral, so be sure that you can afford to pay back any amount you borrow.15 There’s also an application process to get through, and you’ll have to meet the lender’s various requirements. That said, you can likely qualify for lower interest rates than you might with other lending options.

Personal Loans

In general, personal loans are unsecured and allow you to borrow a lump sum and pay it back in fixed payments for a set amount of time. While this can be a decent option, interest rates and fees could make the cost of borrowing expensive, especially if you don’t have top-notch credit.

Credit Cards

This is likely the most costly option in terms of interest rate, but you won’t have to go through an application process as you would for a home equity product or personal loan. For smaller repairs, it can actually make the most sense and be the most convenient option—if you’re able to pay back the debt in a short time frame. If you’re in the market for a new credit card, try opening one with a 0% annual percentage rate (APR) introductory period to give yourself some extra time to pay the bill without interest.

What Is the Average Monthly Maintenance Cost for U.S. Homes?

As per Angi’s annual “State of Home Spending” report, the average home maintenance costs for homes in the United States were $2,458 in 2023.1

What Type of Maintenance Costs Are Included in HOA Fees?

Homeowners association (HOA) fees typically only include maintenance costs for the exterior of the home or common areas that are shared by your community. This can include costs for landscaping, snow removal, pest control, and more.

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that covers some or all of the cost of repair and maintenance for items and systems in your home. Most commonly, a home warranty will cover HVAC systems, appliances, electrical, and plumbing.

The Bottom Line 

Home maintenance costs often trip up new homeowners who haven’t planned for them. By taking proactive steps to manage your home’s upkeep, and saving up consistently to set aside money for larger repairs should they arise, you can keep home maintenance costs manageable.

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