Expensive Home Repairs – You Don’t Have to Do Them!

nless you own a brand new home, and even then you may end up facing some expensive home repairs in Kansas City. We speak with a lot of sellers that have estimates to replace a roof, or as in the case of the photo above, repair massive cracks in the foundation but just don’t have the money to get the job done. Others have issues but don’t have any idea what they might cost. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the most expensive home repairs and what they might cost.

Note that right now in 2021 and for the past year with trade with China and Corona Virus Lockdowns, the costs for many repairs have increased as there just does not seem to be enough building tradespeople to go around and the cost of materials has been increasing.

Heating and Air Conditioning

One of the most common expensive home repairs we run into in Kansas City is replacing the HVAC System.

The average life of the components in your HVAC system is about 20 years. If you are a good steward of your system, replacing filters regularly, getting it serviced annually, and repairing and replacing parts as needed, your system might last a bit longer and if you do nothing to maintain your system it could need to be replaced even sooner. A case in point would be our AC Unit in Shawnee Kansas which lasted about 19 years with maintenance and the neighbor’s AC unit that they didn’t maintain and let the outside shrubs grow over and choke out that was replaced twice in the last 9 years.

  • The average cost to repair a furnace Or an AC unit in Kansas City is between $267 and $318 according to Home Advisor.
  • The average cost to replace a furnace $3,881
  • The average cost to replace an AC unit $5,233
  • If you have a boiler system the numbers go up from there.
  • And quite often if you replace your furnace, you should replace the AC at the same time

Hot Water Heater

Usually, when we replace the HVAC, the hot water heater needs help too.

There is nothing worse than jumping in the shower to find no hot water and then walking into the utility area to find water all over the floor, we had this happen in college and luckily it was the landlord’s problem to fix, not ours. It was at the end of its average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

There is not a lot of maintenance for a hot water heater. Don’t let the water freeze and if you have hard water, a good water softener can save your system that would burn out in 5 to 10 years if without one.

  • The cost to repair a hot water heater $100 to $500 per Home Advisor
  • The cost to replace a hot water heater in Kansas City on average according to HomeAdvisor where we have found these numbers is $888 although we usually pay over $1,000 to $1,500 here in Kansas City.

If you find you need to replace your hot water heater or have other plumbing issues to address, we highly recommend Genesis Plumbing.

Electrical Repairs & Replacements

While not an expensive home repair for homes built in the last 20 years, we do run into electrical issues in older homes.

Do you blow a fuse quite often? Many older homes (think built before 1978) just were not equipped to handle all the electronics. Growing up in Paola, KS, when microwaves came out, we added one to our kitchen, but we had to run an extension cord into the living room because if we had things cooking on the stove, the microwave running, the lights on, and then the fridge would kick in to start its cooling cycle we would be left in a dark and quiet kitchen. And with all the electronic gadgets we have these days that are always on, older homes are in overload.

At many homes we end up purchasing in the KC metro, we need to upgrade their electric panel to 200 amp service and then to add grounded outlets.

  • Home Advisor tells us the cost to upgrade the electric panel from 60 amp to 200 amp costs about $1,500 to $2,000.
  • Reworking and grounding outlets can cost about the same $1,500 to $2,000.
  • Replacing a Light Fixture or Ceiling Fan from about $250 to $500 depending on the cost of the fixture you hire someone to install.
  • And if you have an even older knob and tube wiring system you may spend $7,000 to $10,000 to rewire the entire home.

When you find you need to make electrical repairs, we

Driveway and Patio Repairs

We come across this at many homes across the Kansas City area where the driveway or the patio has a lot of cracks and is buckling and it can be one of the most expensive home repairs we face.

At the first sign of cracking in your driveway, make sure you fill and seal the crack to keep it from spreading. We also see that the surface is crumbling either from poor-quality concrete or from the snow and ice-melting products we put out for safety.

  • The cost to tear out concrete $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot and depends on the type of structure (from Thumbtack)
  • Installing a patio or pathway on average is $2,937 per HomeAdvisor
  • And a basic concrete driveway costs $8 to $12 per square foot according to the ConcreteNetwork.com
  • One way to save money that is sometimes offered is to resurface, but it will not last.
  • Another to save money is to tear out only one section and replace rather than the entire expanse.

Roof Replacement Costs

Along with the HVAC, having to replace the roof is the 2nd most common repair we make on homes we buy in Kansas City.

The cost to replace a roof can start around $5,000 for a basic composition shingle roof on a small ranch home and be $25,000 or more on a large house with a tile roof. Or somewhere in between if you are taking off a wood shake roof and replacing it with a composition roof.

It is important to note that this is one area that can stop the sale of a home in its tracks. Here’s why. Your traditional buyer is going to put money down and take out a mortgage to pay for the purchase of your home. To qualify for that mortgage they must provide proof of insurance. And insurance companies have gotten wise over the years and will not insure a home with a faulty roof. So no insurance, no mortgage, no home sale.

  • Home Advisor tells us that a new roof in 2021 will be between $5,377 and $10,990.
  • Because we install a lot of roofs throughout the year, we can typically get this price down.
  • But the average homeowner might pay more.

Siding Replacement Costs

While we often have to make a few repairs and paint, we don’t often have to replace siding, but when we do, it is another of the most expensive home repairs we have to make.

More often than not we find a house that has siding that is rough around the edges often with rot at the bottom or if it is board and bat, the bat strips needed to be replaced. In most of these cases, our contractor can replace the worn materials with new ones. Then with a nice coat of paint, no one is the wiser that some of the materials are brand new.

Other times we might find that the siding is completely worn out and needs to be replaced. Then you need to determine if you need to take the old off to put on new. Or if you could put new over the old. And if you should go back with the same materials or possibly replace them with steel or vinyl siding.

Costs can vary. If you make repairs and paint the exterior of your home with wood or shake siding every 8 to 10 years, you can make it last a very long time. On the other hand, if you ignore chipping peeling paint, ignore woodpeckers and rotting wood, you may need to eventually replace it. What will it cost to replace, well it’s going to depend on the material and the size of the house.

We found a great chart on Modernize.com that shows the following numbers:

  • Aluminum Siding $1.50 to $7.00 per sq foot – average costs $3,000 to $14,000
  • Brick Siding $5.00 to $15.00 per sq foot – average cost $10,000 to $30,000
  • Hardie Board $0.80 to $5.00 per sq foot – average cost $1,500 to $11,000 *
  • Vinyl Siding $1.00 to $8.00 per sq foot – average costs $2,000 to $16,000*
  • Wood Siding $8.00 to $12.00 per sq foot – average cost $16,000 to $25,000*

(* the starred items are those we see most in our business when we need to replace)

Window Replacement Costs

We have been dealing with this in the home we live in now in the Northland. It was built in the 1950s and is a mid-century modern home with some standard double-hung windows, a few casement windows that crank out, and then a lot of custom windows. Not a single thermal pane in sight Now we could go high-end with something like Thermal King, but let me tell you there are many other options that are just as good and a fraction of the price.

If you look at Home Depot, they have a chart with pricing for Vinyl Windows, which we will typically use when we replace windows in a home we are remodeling.

  • Single Hung: $900 to $1,400 each
  • Double Hung: $800 to $1,300 each
  • Casement $800 to $1,400 each

And being in the business we have found an excellent local resource for windows that cost quite a bit less than Home Depot. So if you are in the market for replacing a few windows, reach out to the guys over at Earthwise Windows & Doors Kansas City and tell them Kim Tucker referred you.

Repair or Replace a Deck

When we sell a home with a deck, we quite often have a repair on that deck to bring it up to code. Inspectors are looking at perfectly good decks and will call out the support posts for not being installed correctly or having the wood supports touch the ground. They will also call out the upright pickets around the deck if they are not close enough together. And if the opening on the steps down to the ground are too large, you may have to replace the steps.

  • Deck Repairs can range from $250 to $5,000 with an average of $1,370 per Home Advisor
  • And to build a deck, the cost could be between $2,000 and up depending on the size and scope of the deck.

Foundation Repairs

Luckily we don’t have to repair a lot of foundations, but this is one scary and expensive home repair that many homeowners are very afraid to complete as they are afraid that they might make an incorrect decision that costs a lot of money and does not fix the problem.

We come across a lot of basic cosmetic repairs that are small hairline cracks with no movement. Usually, we can seal these with epoxy injection and then paint the walls or the floors. If we have movement, then we sometimes have to pull the walls back into place and put in support beams. If the foundation has sunk, it might call for piers. And if the main support beam of the house has punched a hole in the side of the foundation, again we have to pull the wall back into place, level the house, and add support.

Before we do any repairs, we pay a local engineer to evaluate and tell us what needs to be done. This costs around $250 to $350. Then we take that engineer’s report to several different foundation companies to get the best price. Those companies without big websites and flashy TV ads generally cost less.

Chimney Repair

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a chimney and a fireplace. It might be that bricks are falling off and need to be repaired. Or it could be that the flue liner for not only the fireplace but also for your furnace is cracked and unsafe and need to be replaced. To get a good education on flue liners, visit HearthMasters.

HomeAdvisor tells us that the cost ranges from $625 to about $7,000. And we pay on average about $3,000 per liner, with most houses having 2 or 3 ceramic liners to replace.

Asbestos Removal

Luckily if your home was built after 1970, you probably don’t have to worry about asbestos in your home. Where we see it most commonly is on ductwork for heating air systems, especially in those really old gravity furnaces or in commercial heating systems, like the ductwork over my bed when I was living in a dorm room at KState in the 1980s. Next, we see it in the popcorn ceilings from years gone by, especially ones with sparkles. And then in floor tiles in the basement of about a 9 inch x 9-inch variety, which my mother and I removed from her 1950s bungalow many years ago that was installed on the kitchen walls. And you also find it in siding on many homes build or sided in the 1950s.

So what can you do? Consult an expert to find out the best way to remove or possibly leave it alone if it’s not hurting anyone. The average cost will vary depending on the job, the material, and how it must be disposed of. You can factor in between $500 and $4,500.

Expensive Home Repairs – You Don’t Have to Do Them!

If you have a home that you want to continue to live in for years to come, you may be stuck finding the money to make these expensive home repairs and be sure to use preventative measures and maintenance to avoid them. But if you have a home in Kansas City that you want to sell, and the problem is there, you don’t necessarily need to make these repairs. Here at kcmoHomeBuyer, we are always looking for the next home to repair and update. So if you want to sell and have some major repairs you just can’t afford or maybe just don’t want to deal with, give us a call. We can take a look and tell you what we could pay you, right now today, without the repairs being made. Take a couple of minutes to tell us about your house, give us a call or fill out a short form to send your info to us and we will call you.

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