Home Maintenance Cost Analysis: Start Here to Estimate Your Annual Expenses

Homeownership comes with many regular costs, including property taxes, utilities, insurance, and, of course, home maintenance. The National Home Builders Association (NAHB) reports that home maintenance accounts for 10% of a homeowner’s annual property operating cost.

Surprised by that figure? You’re not alone — 45% of homeowners underestimate the cost of home maintenance, according to a recent Cinch survey.

We’ll help you get up to speed on average home maintenance costs so you can budget effectively. HomeLight did days of research and compared three top studies on average home maintenance costs to bring you this comprehensive guide.

Dollars used to pay for home maintenance costs.
Source: (Natasha Chebanu / Unsplash)

Average annual home maintenance costs range from $950 to $9,820

Depending on the study, estimates for annual home maintenance costs differ. Here’s how major three home maintenance cost studies compare:

National Association of Home Builders: $950 a year on average

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analyzed home repair data from the 2019 American Housing Survey (AHS), a study conducted as part of the U.S. Census. NAHB analyzed the cost of small, regular maintenance tasks (as opposed to significant repairs like roof replacement) to get an accurate picture of average annual home maintenance costs.

Key takeaways

  • Costs vary significantly depending on the size, value, and location of your home.
  • Maintenance costs are nearly double for older houses than newly constructed homes.
  • Major projects significantly impact the overall cost of maintenance.

Porch: $9,820 a year on average

Porch is a home services platform that connects homeowners with contractors and other providers. In their 2021 study, Porch generated a list of all home maintenance transactions completed through their platform and excluded any jobs that included the keywords “repair,” “build,” or “install. They analyzed the remaining list of 170 maintenance items, including larger tasks like pool filter replacements and roof repairs, as well as smaller jobs like lawn care and faucet replacements.

Porch then interviewed 200 homeowners, asking them how frequently they complete these tasks. Porch calculated average home maintenance costs by multiplying the average cost per maintenance task with the average project frequency.

Key takeaways

  • Significant, infrequent repairs significantly raise overall maintenance costs.
  • Pool cleaning is the most expensive regular maintenance cost for homeowners.
  • Average maintenance costs can vary by 85%, depending on the state.

Angi Homeservices: $3,192 a year on average

In 2020, Angi, parent company of home service websites Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, surveyed 5,000 U.S. homeowners and renters on home maintenance costs.

Key takeaways

  • Average annual maintenance costs increased by 188% from 2019 to 2020.
  • The number of average home maintenance projects completed per year increased by 23% over the same period.
  • Home emergency spending averaged an additional $1,640 per year.
A pool outside a home that has been maintained.
Source: (Soff Garavano Puw / Unsplash)

Common home maintenance projects cost

While the average annual home maintenance cost varies widely study to study, you can estimate your annual expenses by accounting for the specific needs of your property.

The below table includes the average cost of the most common home maintenance projects:

Job type Average hire-out cost Average DIY cost
Lawn care $540 per year for bi-weekly trim, fertilizing, and cleanup $159-$3,000 for a power mower

$25-$100 for each fertilizer treatment

Lawn Aeration $70-$190 Aerators cost $25-$90
Tree trimming $80-$1,000 per tree (experts recommend trimming mature trees every 3-5 years) All the necessary equipment comes out to around $600 but will cost more if the job takes multiple days.
Hedge trimming $60-$75 per hour Manual hedge trimmers can cost as little as $10, while automatic models range from $100-$700.
Pool maintenance $1,800-$3,200 per year $300 for electricity

$60-$120 for water

$238-$775 for chlorine

Exterior paint job $1.50-$4 per square foot (fresh exterior paint is recommended every 5-10 years) $0.75-$2 per square foot
Roof repair $1.50-$3.00 per square foot for labor

$1.14-$11.36 per square foot for materials

$8-$20 for sealant

$6-$10 per foot for flashing

$1.20-$4 per square foot for shingle replacement

Under sink filter replacement $200-$1,300 $50-$400 for a filter
HVAC maintenance $100-$150 $5-$100 for filters

$300-$600 for an AC motor

$35-$55 per foot for ducts

Professional window washing $151-$366 $10-$30 for a squeegee

$17 for a gallon of Windex

Carpet cleaning $0.20-$0.40 per square foot (usually $120 to $230) $30 per day for carpet cleaner rental

$17 per bottle of cleaning solution

$6 per bottle of pretreatment solution

Light bulb replacement n/a $1-$8 per light bulb
Termite control $175-$400 for annual termite contract $50-$370 for termite treatment systems
Foundation inspection $200-$400 n/a
Septic system pumping $250-$500 (recommended every 3-5 years) n/a

Sources: Fixr, Angi, HomeAdvisor, HomeServe, HomeGuide, Lawnstarter, Backyard Gadget, Certapro, Family Handyman, Brower Mechanical, Home Depot, Consumer Reports, The Simple Dollar Bob Villa, E.P.A.

An electrical wiring kit used to complete home maintenance.
Source: (James Sandbrook / Unsplash)

Major home repairs cost much more

Beyond regular home maintenance, homeowners must tackle major repairs from time to time. A recent Porch survey found that 88% of homeowners complete at least one major repair a year.

These major home repairs bump up the average yearly cost of home maintenance. Here’s what the most common major repairs cost:

Major repair type Average cost Frequency of repair
HVAC replacement $5,000-$10,000 Every 10 years
Roof replacement $5,570-$11,415 Every 12-75 years depending on the material used
Foundation repair $2,021-$7101 Foundation issues depend on environmental factors, foundation material, and structure age
Septic system repair $629-$2,885 Septic systems typically last 15-40 years
Water heater replacement $814-$1,587 Every 15 years
Electrical rewiring $1,500-$10,000 Every 20-40 years
Mold remediation $1,500-$3,500 Mold is more common in humid areas and is less of a problem in well-ventilated homes
Termite damage repair $3,000 Termite damage repair is typically only necessary in homes that have not had regular termite treatment.
Water damage repair $3,000 1 in 50 homeowners will deal with water damage in a given year.

Sources: Forbes, EnergyStar, Angi, RoofAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Crosstown Engineering, Mr. Rooter, Thumbtack, Expert Trades, Fixr, C.D.C, E.P.A., 

Now that you know the costs, plan a budget for home maintenance

As a rule-of-thumb, homeowners should budget 1% to 3% of their home’s value a year for home maintenance. Alternatively, you can use the “square footage rule,” which advises homeowners to budget $1 per square foot of their property per year for home maintenance.

On a final note, if you live in an area with natural disasters, your average annual home maintenance may increase due to related repairs. It’s critical to have natural disaster insurance to cover these costs. Homeowner’s insurance policies typically don’t cover damage caused by uncontrollable events like earthquakes, floods, or tornados.

Header Image Source: (Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash)