6 Tricks to Keep Home Maintenance Costs as Low as Possible

Don’t let the unexpected costs of owning a home wipe out your bank account. These home maintenance tips keep everything running smoothly, so you can keep your hard earned cash in your wallet!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

This post was originally part of my 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series, which has been completely revamped and updated for publication. It contains over 70% NEW content not found anywhere on the blog! Learn more about the book your budget has been waiting for.

They say when you buy a house you need to budget twice as much as you *think* you need for repairs. It's so true!! I had a sewer pipe break, my furnace stopped working, and then my waterline froze ALL IN THE SAME WEEK. This post about home maintenance tips is exactly what I needed to get my housing budget back on track and avoid another disaster! #homemaintenance #saveonhomemaintenance #homemaintenancetips #homemaintenancesavings

Lately, it seems like all Joseph and I have done over the past few weeks is fork out money for repairs.

First it was our water system, then our air conditioner, and when the dishwasher started smoking we both looked at each other and almost cried. Thankfully, we were able to save that last appliance, but still…..why does everything always happen all at once?

We did have a $1,000 emergency fund stashed away that helped with the initial expense, although we blew through that pretty quick. Now it’s down to pinching our pennies and eliminating all the extras to catch up from that huge blow to our bank account.

Of course, you’ll always have seasons of life where everything in your home is humming smoothly along, but when the unexpected happens, you want to be prepared and never pay more than absolutely necessary.

Here are a few ways to keep maintenance costs low, and repairs as manageable as possible!

Lower the Cost of Repairs with these Home Maintenance Tips:

1. Start an Emergency Fund – Emergency funds always sound super nice to have, but when budgets are tight, it’s hard to find even just a few dollars to stash away for later. Even if you can only manage $1-2 dollars a week, start a fund. Just a few dollars here and there can really add up, and you will feel so much relief knowing that you have a little bit extra stashed away for when that rainy day really pours!

>> Here’s how we stocked our Emergency Fund with $1,000 in 90 days. <<

2. Do-It-Yourself – As frugals, Joseph and I are some pretty hard-core do-it-yourselfers, and you can save a pretty penny if you know exactly what you are doing or can follow YouTube tutorials online. Anytime we haven’t been sure how to fix something, we’ve always Googled a tutorial and found exactly what we were looking for. This has saved us so much in contract labor costs!

3. Learn Your Limits – However…..we also know our limits and have learned what we can and cannot do ourselves – like install a door, or more recently, try to fix our own plumbing. Because if whatever you do doesn’t work, you will probably spend even more money in the long run for your own supplies, plus a frantic midnight call, on a weekend, to a contractor who charges overtime for emergencies. Just ask me how I know! Sometimes the best home maintenance tips include calling a professional.

4. Use Contractors You Trust – When the flood hit our NY home, we had the not-so-fun opportunity to deal with shady contractors while trying to fix the place back up. I cannot stress enough how much word-of-mouth referrals are in this business! When you buy a home, you need to set aside time to gather as many {good} contacts as you can to file away for later. Otherwise, you may reach for the contractor that has the most available schedule, and that’s not always a good thing!

5. Perform Preventative Maintenance – Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep outrageous repairs from taking over your home. Certainly, you won’t be able to prevent every possible outbreak from happening, but by doing simple tasks such as, changing your air conditioner and furnace filters often, preventing water leaks with caulk, and regularly cleaning out gutters, you will significantly reduce the chance of even bigger problems.

6. Keep a Maintenance Schedule – This is probably the most important of all home maintenance tips. If you love to-do lists and schedules, put some of the most common maintenance items into a checklist so you can keep up on all the preventive maintenance we talked about in the point above. Staying organized is key!

Psst…there’s a bonus Home Maintenance Schedule that comes with this book. 

Need to Reduce Even More Monthly Expenses?

Whether you crave extra room in your budget, or want to save towards a future goal, 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses is your must-have resource to tackle both.

This book is jam-packed with practical advice to slash costs, lower monthly bills, and put more money in your bank account every month!

Get a peek at the Table of Contents and download a sample chapter HERE. Or, if you’re ready to take the plunge, you can purchase this guide directly on Amazon.

What was the last home repair that caught you off guard?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. A friend has gotten lots of non-emergency home repairs done via HelpEx – http://www.helpx.net/. They have had rooms in their house painted, a basement finished, work done on their yard, and more. In exchange they have met/hosted (mostly) fantastic people from all over the world.

  2. Our newly finished basement flooded two years ago when the town drain for our small town overflowed into our backyard and basement. Thankfully, we called a flood restoration company quickly who was able to come out and start drying our basement. Sadly, our insurance didn’t cover this since the water damage was from an outside source. Still, it was worth the $2000 from our emergency fund to save everything in our basement. Yep. Carpet, padding, dry wall…if you walked down there today, you wouldn’t even know we had a flood, so in the end, it was money well spent.

    1. Ugh, flooded basements takes me back to our own natural disaster! I’m so glad though that you had an emergency fund in place to help — SO smart!

  3. We have our “Oh s**t” fund and because we have a house we try to keep a minimum of $3,000 but I am pushing to make it $5,000. I want to prepare for the biggest possible expense; our furnace breaking. It’s comforting to have it but my boss makes fun of me every time I get stressed out/mad that I had to use it.

  4. Our biggest emergancy experience was when a local earth quake hit, the after shock shook our trailer home so badly it cracked our cinder block foundations and shifted our home 6in in one direcrion. Our childrens room floor became collapsed we had crack all through our walls and part of the roof above our bedroom was damaged. We had to immediately pack whatever we could and stay with some family. We found out that our insurance did not cover earthquakes and we were stuck with fixing everything including leveling our home. Thank goodness we had just received our tax return or we would have been in a major bind and the fact that at that time my father was professionally leveling home so that saved us thousands. We are very diy so once it was leveled and blocks replaced we were able to get in and fix everything in about two weeks due to the house needing to settle and dry time from putty. It was very eye opening how quickly our home can go from liveable to not in seconds. Ever since we do whatever we can to have an emergancy fund.

    1. Wow, I can’t even imagine what that must have felt like. I think it’s incredibly terrifying to have to leave your own home and not know if it will even be there when you get back. I’m glad your family was safe and that you had some money to help cover those expenses!

  5. Having an emergency fund is the best thing a family can do. Whenever something goes wrong with our house, or life in general, I feel so comforted knowing we have that money available so we don’t have to charge anything to a credit card.

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