Analyzing Rising Home Maintenance Inflation

Inflation is a major issue impacting home maintenance. In fact, nearly four-in-five homeowners agree that inflation and price increases have kept them from doing many planned home improvement or maintenance projects. Delaying these projects may lead to bigger problems down the road.

Materials

The cost of materials used in home maintenance projects is on the rise, and experts predict prices will continue to increase well into 2022. Investing in high-quality materials with long lifespans might add to upfront costs, but it can save property owners money over time. For example, a repainting project that calls for paint that will last 7 to 10 years might cost more than one using cheaper paint that lasts only 5 to 7.

While most homeowners say they try to stay on top of their maintenance tasks, external pressures can still make it hard. Two in five homeowners report that inflation and price increases have kept them from completing planned maintenance or remodeling projects, and half worry that a small issue could cause lasting damage if they delay necessary repairs. Justin dives into the specifics of home maintenance costs, revealing that while the majority of categories saw price hikes, the degree of increase varies by region.

Labor

The costs of labor are rising due to a shortage in skilled tradespeople, which is pushing up prices for home services like plumbing, electrical work, and roof repair. This is in addition to inflated fees for contractors who perform home maintenance tasks, such as septic pumping and chimney cleaning.

Property managers can expect these high inflation rates to persist into 2023. It is unlikely that construction material prices will return to pre-pandemic levels, and it’s even less likely that labor costs will decrease significantly.

With this information in mind, it’s important that property managers prioritize structural maintenance that protects the building from long-term damage. Delaying these projects could lead to expensive repairs or replacements down the road. Property managers can also reduce the impact of these rising costs by renegotiating insurance coverage and prioritizing critical home maintenance items over cosmetic ones.

Insurance

Inflation is impacting nearly every industry, and this includes home maintenance. According to Thumbtack’s 2023 Home Care Price Index, average annual

maintenance costs for single-family homes rose by about 9 percent year over year. Townhouses saw a much smaller increase of 4 percent, and condos were down slightly.

This trend is making many homeowners less comfortable with spending on large projects and may even result in delaying needed work. However, delaying these maintenance tasks can cause damage and lead to costly repair bills later. Property managers should expect high inflation and prepare accordingly by renegotiating insurance coverage, prioritizing structural maintenance over cosmetic work, and setting budgets for these expenses that allow for flexibility. For example, a roof in need of repair should be repaired or replaced before repainting common areas. Taking this approach will keep expenses in check and prevent problems down the road. Aside from construction material prices, soaring maintenance expenses will likely remain in place well into 2023.

Inspections

A recent study conducted by Thumbtack (a site that allows users to post smaller jobs and find a vendor) revealed that the cost of home maintenance projects have been skyrocketing nationwide. The national average saw a 9.3% increase in costs over the past year, while the Pittsburgh metro area experienced an alarming 50% increase.

Purchasing a new home is an expensive undertaking, and with rising mortgage rates, low inventory levels, and high prices, more homeowners are choosing to stay put and focus on making their current home a better fit for their needs. However, many overlook the importance of conducting regular inspections on homes they plan to keep long-term.

Aside from catching safety issues, regular home inspections can help reduce energy bills and improve the comfort of the home. In addition, they can also protect a homeowner’s investment, as some insurance companies offer reduced rates or bonuses for well-maintained properties. This is an example of why Benjamin Franklin’s adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is so important.

This is why home warranty provides such crucial benefits to a homeowner. “What is home warranty coverage?” Home warranties are service contracts that cover repairs or replacements of household systems and appliances. They are designed to help offset the cost of unexpected repair bills and provide peace of mind for homeowners. With the rise in home maintenance, it would be highly beneficial for homeowners to look into purchasing a home warranty.

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