Maintaining a Home

Ideas, costs, tips and plans - the information you need for a successful Home Maintenance project

March 2015

Homeowners have many important questions about their Home Maintenance Project. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What problem areas do I need to watch out for? Can I recover my Home Maintenance investment when I sell? Can I do some of the work myself? What can I do to make sure that the work is done right?

Costs, materials and best practices for the example Home Maintenance project will help you answer these questions. Use this information to develop a budget, bid requirements, hiring contracts and a project plan.

Home Maintenance - Project Overview

The approximate costs and value of a typical Home Maintenance project are summarized below. Use higher estimates for larger metropolitan areas and the lower estimates where home prices are below the national average. Adjust costs for substitutions or refinements in the last section. For size differences of up to 25%, scale total costs in direct proportion to the size of your project. Use the adjusted costs as a basis for setting a material budget and for comparing contractor bids (if you choose to have a professional perform the work).

Project descriptionCommon maintenance tasks for the home interior. Painting, floor refinishing, appliance maintenance and lighting updates.
Project size1850 square foot home, cost per year.
Material and labor cost$2,475 - $2,888
Material cost$1,222 - $1,426
Do-it-yourself assessmentThe typical Home Maintenance project can be completed by a moderately skilled do-it-yourselfer; as with any project, high quality Home Maintenance requires attention to detail and careful planning.
First year Return on Investment - ROIReturns vary widely and are affected by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Home Maintenance project in an appropriate neighborhood can return as much as 77% - 91% of its initial cost.
First year Return on Investment - ROIReturns will be impacted by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Home Maintenance project can return as much as 67% - 78% of its initial cost
Green ratingHome Maintenance projects can incorporate renewable or sustainable resources and environmentally friendly materials.

Home Maintenance - Project Plan and Details

The following list includes major work tasks commonly performed during Home Maintenance. Use this list to understand the timing and sequence of different steps in the Home Maintenance project. Click any Task name for a complete written specifications, FAQs and quality checklist for the task - this essential information will help you control Home Maintenance project cost and quality.

Do you expect to spend more than $250 on your Home Maintenance project? If so, it is important create and manage a detailed plan for all project activities.

TaskService ProviderTimeDifficultyBasic Cost Range
Seal DoorFinish Carpenter1 d$42 - $74
Seal WindowsFinish Carpenter1 d$32 - $57
Repair CeilingDrywall Contractor1 to 2 d$136 - $230
Repair CabinetsFinish Carpenter d$117 - $202
Install Storm DoorFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 3 - Complex, Difficult$259 - $465
Install Storm WindowsWindow and Door Installer1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$130 - $236
Stain Wood TrimPainting Contractor2 to 4 dLevel 2 - Challenging$2.39 - $4.06 per linear foot
Paint FloorPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$1.44 - $2.49 per square foot
Paint Trim MoldingPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$1.23 - $2.10 per linear foot
Paint KitchenPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$3.83 - $6.53 per square foot
Paint WallpaperPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$2.19 - $3.76 per square foot
Repair Hardwood FloorWood Flooring Refinisher1 d$167 - $284 per repair
Repair Tile GroutTile Contractor1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$8.47 - $14.18 per square foot
Repair TileTile Contractor d$122 - $205
Replace Washing MachineAppliance Service and Repair Technician1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$399 - $726
Repair AppliancesAppliance Service and Repair Technician1 d$199 - $357
Repair DishwasherAppliance Service and Repair Technician1 d$199 - $357
Repair RefrigeratorAppliance Service and Repair Technician1 d$199 - $357
Replace ThermostatElectrician 1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$178 - $312


Home Maintenance - Proven Ideas and Project Tips

Review these tips, design suggestions, options and lessons learned before finalizing your Home Maintenance project plan.

  • To keep Home Maintenance costs low and quality high, specify simple wall and ceiling transitions and use common surface finishes
  • For best home resale value, follow a consistent design and decorating theme throughout the home
  • Perform major Home Maintenance work with permits to help protect value at resale time

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