We’re happy to have our regular guest, Tina Gleisner, from Home Tips for Women, joining us on the show today!
Tina is an expert in home maintenance, and how to get things done around the house, whether it’s DIY or calling in professional help.
In today’s episode of the Everyday Green Home Podcast, we will be talking about budgeting and planning for the bigger expenses for the maintenance, improvements, and replacements that are needed in the home.
Home maintenance with sustainability for green homes
Our homes are living and breathing things. And, even if we use only materials that will help us to live sustainably, our homes will still need some tender loving care to last for as long as possible.
Replacing the expensive things in the home
From time to time, we have to replace something in our home, like the roof, an air conditioner, or an entire HVAC system, that involves a major expense. The smaller things, like the air filters, are easily manageable but replacing a whole air conditioning system will cost more money than most people have sitting in the bank.
Budgeting for the major expenses
We need to plan and budget for those major expenses because they often tend to come up unexpectedly.
Budgeting for a new roof
Most roofs last for about ten years, unless you live near the water, with severe weather and salt air, which will cause the roof to deteriorate faster. So it would be a good idea to get a roofing company to come in and check your roof out after ten years, and then have them do it again another five years later. This will give you valuable feedback that you can use in your planning and budgeting process.
It pays to get a professional in once a year
It pays to have a professional come into your home once a year to tune up your HVAC system, your air conditioner, and your water heater because regular maintenance is sure to prolong the life of those things and save you money in the long run. Also, systems that are well maintained tend to retain their energy efficiency a lot better.
What to do if one of the major systems in your home breaks
If any of the major systems, or a big appliance in your home breaks, for example, the garbage disposal system or the air conditioner, your first line of defense is to find the manufacturer’s warranty, so that you can check to see if that appliance or system is still covered.
Tina strongly advises people to get an extended warranty for their refrigerators because many of the ice-makers tend to be error-prone and problematic.
It’s a good idea to buy the very best and most energy-efficient water heater that you can afford so that it will last for a long time.
Tina points out that it’s not that easy to buy a high-end HVAC system because they can be very pricey. So the best way to handle that is to obtain an energy-efficient HVAC system, and then maintain it to extend the life of the system for as long as possible.
How to budget for the long-term maintenance of your home
The rule of thumb, when budgeting for the long-term maintenance and replacement of the bigger things in your home, is that you should be saving an average of two to three percent of whatever the purchase price of your home would be currently.
Generally, if the house is brand new, you won’t need to spend money on any of those big-budget repairs and replacements right away, so in that case, you would only need to save one percent of the purchase price of the home, annually, for the first two to five years. After that, you could increase it to two percent, and by another percent after the next five years. In that way, by the time you get to fifteen years, you will be saving three, or even four percent of the current value of your home, annually. This is necessary because a lot of things will need to be replaced after twenty or twenty-five years.
Start your budget today
Remember that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. And the next best time is today! So if you haven’t yet started a budget, be sure to start one today!
Links and resources:
FREE 20-minute consult with Marla about the product swaps you can do in your home! Green Home Coach website and click on the “consult with me” link.