Jennifer M. Lee, PhD
Homeownership 101: Your "Fix It Fund"
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Every homeowner should have a "Fix It Fund" to cover the replacement costs of the various parts of a house that will wear and break over time. Set up an account asap, liquid of course, and auto transfer a set amount to cover repair costs, parts & labor.
As a former teacher, I think in Backwards Design, which is a method of curriculum design where we begin by listing desired outcomes. Start by making a list of the age of items in your home, then work backwards based on the age and life expectancy. Every year, look at the list and consider what may need repair or replacement this year. Set your FIX IT FUND deposits based on your expectations.
The Life Expectancy List
Here is a basic list of items you should anticipate repairing or replacing:
Asphalt Shingle Roof: 15-20 years
Architectural Shingle Roof: 20-30 years
Clay Tile Roof: 20-40 years
Tar & Gravel Roof: 15-25 years
Slate Roof: 20-40 years
Metal Roof: 60 years
Refrigerator: 10-15 years
Dishwashers: 8-10 years
Garbage Disposal: 8-12 years
Oven, Range: 12-17 years
Trash Compactors: 7 years
Heating: High Efficiency: 12-15 years
Heating: Conventional: 18-25 years
Cooling: Central Air: 10-15 years
Heat Pump: 10-15 years
Septic / Sewer Pump: 7-10 years
Well Pump: 7-10 years
Water Heater: 8-12 years
MORE FIX IT FUND OPTIONS:
Annual maintenance, like HVAC servicing, pest inspection and control, etc.
Other maintenance including dryer vent cleaning, duct cleaning
Things you want to hire out: gutter cleaning, power washing, window washing
Pre-funding your insurances: homeowners & umbrella insurance
Time to start your Fix It Fund!