A home is made up of many mechanical, electrical, plumbing components, and other fixtures, any of which can break down and require a repair. Over the years, these systems can age and become obsolete, incompatible with newer equipment, and unable to meet today’s standards for use. Home renovations and repairs can be major undertakings and come with a variety of costs that may include fees for labor, parts, materials, supplies, tools, municipal permits, and inspections.
What Distinguishes a Major Repair from a Minor Repair
Major home repairs may require more money in materials as well as labor. Many cities require permits for homeowners to undertake a major renovation or repair. These permits and subsequent inspections are meant to ensure that the work meets minimum safety standards. Major home renovations and repairs also require professional expertise, such as skills in engineering, electrical work, plumbing, roofing, architecture, and other industries. Many of these projects may be dangerous for homeowners to perform themselves due to lack of knowledge, inexperience, improper tools, and insufficient safety equipment. Minor repairs constitute work that can be done to the home with a minimum of knowledge and basic tools that any homeowner is likely to have on hand. However, even a minor home repair or renovation can turn into a mess if the project is not done with care, safety, and attention to detail.
Examples of Major Home Repairs
At some point in its lifetime, every home will need one or more major repairs. The most common major repairs that homeowners will encounter include roof replacement or repair, electrical wiring problems, plumbing issues other than replacing a fixture, foundation problems, water damage, sewer line problems, and treatment for mold growth.
A typical roof lasts for 25 years and often costs $7,000 or more in materials and labor to replace. A major roof repair may cost $2,500 or more depending on the scope of the problem, such as the need to replace underlayment and flashing. Electrical wiring problems are a serious safety issue that requires the work of a licensed electrician. Professional electricians may charge $100 or more per hour for repairs and the rewiring of a home. Plumbing problems such as a burst pipe can lead to other problems like water damage and mold growth. Repairing a plumbing problem or sewer line problem costs an average of $125 per hour in labor costs plus the expenses of materials. Professional mold remediation costs depend upon the extent of the problem, the square footage of the home and whether materials such as drywall will need to be replaced after the mold is eliminated. Foundation repairs may require extensive jacking and piering or the installation of steel beams to hold up bowing or cracked walls. Homeowners can expect to pay an average of $1,000 per beam or pier that is installed. All these types of major home repairs involve work that requires specific expertise and knowledge.
Electricians and plumbers are licensed as are many general contractors, carpenters, and other professionals who work on home repairs and renovations. The fees charged by these professionals are meant to pay for this knowledge, experience, and attention to safety in every project.
Examples of Minor Home Repairs
When done properly, minor repairs and renovations usually cost less than $500 per project and can often be done by a handyman, general contractor, or even a homeowner who is experienced in using basic tools. Some examples of minor home repairs include caulking a window, putting weatherstripping around a door frame, unclogging a shower head, or repainting a room.