New Homeowners: Keep Your Eye On These 3 Expensive Things
Whether you just moved into your home, or if you’re in the process of building a brand new one from the ground up, you’ll want to look out for these three (3) expensive items. As a new homeowner, you’re smart to budget ahead.
1. Sump Pump
Found in home basement, a sump pump is used to remove accumulated water in a basin. If you live in a neighborhood that is swampy or flood prone, you’ll likely be investing in a basement sump pump and/or back-up unit for your home.
Solving common basement dampness problems, sump pumps are used if your water table is above the foundation of your home.
Installation costs increase if more time is needed to maneuver around complicated piping systems or misaligned sizing. Depending upon the type of sump pump (submersible or pedestal) and horsepower you need to purchase for you home , you’ll need to budget expenses between $659 to $1749.
Submersible Sump Pump:
With variant horsepower options, submersible sump pumps are a preferred choice in most residential applications and are typically installed when the house is built. They’re submerged under water; in a sump pit, below your basement floor. To prevent damage, motor and pump are both enclosed in a waterproof container with a screen or grate on the underside of the pump, preventing debris flow.
Submersible sump pumps are typically more expensive, but they take up less space, last longer than pedestal sump pumps, have a backup battery option available, and are generally more powerful. Selecting the correct horsepower for your unique house needs will save money in the long run.
Pedestal Sump Pump:
Equipped with two pieces, the pedestal sump pump has a motor, installed above basement floor and a hose that feeds into the sump pit. Pedestal sump pumps are used when there’s a narrow sump pit. Because they’re not exposed to excessive water damage of being submerged within sump pit, they tend to last longer.
While inexpensive, they don’t always have enough power to pump out water fast enough if there’s a large rainfall. Pedestal sump pumps take up more basement space and can be hazardous because they’re partially above floor.
2. Water Heater
Another large expensive item as a homeowner is the water heater. Now a necessity—not a luxury—your water heater is a vital component within your new home. Budgeting for replacement is just as important.
When you have a new house built, you’ll be choosing this equipment during the early stages of finalizing your home. But, it’s wise know how to look for signs that your water heater needs repairing once you’ve been in the home for awhile.
Here again, cost varies based on type; tank (40-50 gallon: approximately $900), or tankless ($3,000). Whether you have a gas ($250-$1,500) or electric ($300-$2,900) of water heater, or if you prefer a small or expansive basin all determine exact prices.
Tank Water Heater:
A tank water heater stores a given amount of water and keeps your water heated to your desired temperature as you open your hot water tap.
Taking less initial installation time, tank water heaters typically last 10-12 years and are about half the cost of tankless water heaters. A tank system can handle large demands of hot water with 70% available water, however, this makes for 30% of energy loss.
Tankless Water Heater:
A tankless system doesn’t store water. By means of a series of super-heated coils, it heats water only when needed. A coil of pipe is connected to both your cold water supply and your hot-water delivery piping. Your boiler has a tankless water heater that heats this coil, creating hot water in your taps.
You’ll save 25% of heating costs each year and you’ll have only a 5% energy loss with a tankless water heater. Small in size, tankless water heaters can be installed inside or outside your home. They’ll never run out of water and their lifespan is estimated at twenty (20) years.
Gas, electric, or even solar powered water heaters are available. You’ll want to determine how long you plan to stay in your house when making water heater financial decisions.
A gas water heater is most suitable for a large family. Its fast recovery time will ensure that you’ll have enough hot water in a short amount of time. Even on-demand tankless water heaters can’t keep up with high these high volume family demands. The higher demand of water will slow your water to a trickle.
Electric or tankless water heaters are used in studio apartments, small or individual family units. Tankless system allow you to take full advantage of high energy efficiency without taxing your unit.
Solar Water Heater:
You can supplement your hot water system with a solar water heater. Solar increases your hot water availability, however, these systems are also quite expensive (base price: $1,000). Overall yearly savings will hinge on your family’s total usage.
3. Sprinkler (Irrigation) System
An irrigation system saves water and helps maintain curb appeal. An installed system for ¼-acre lot starts at $3,000. Or, you can do it yourself for under $1,500, if you know what you’re doing—and if you have the time.
The heart of an underground system is pop-up sprinkler heads that need just as much maintaining as the rest of your home. These heads raise up a few inches to spray water on your landscape. Your sprinkler mechanics need to work properly; this includes angling away from overspraying your home’s exterior structure.
Maintenance each year is necessary. Seasonal testing and flush outs help keep your system running well year after year. We often only look at the cost of an irrigation system itself. You may want to budget in another $300 per year to keep your pipes from freezing in the winter. In addition, setting a little extra money aside for testing each sprinkler location from broken heads each spring is a good move also.
You don’t want to overspend on unnecessary equipment in your home. Why pay for a Cadillac, if you only need a Chevy? It’s important to look at your immediate cash flow and determine what’s priority for your unique household. You also need to think about how long you plan to stay in your home. —Jack Mithal, Retired Engineer
Keeping Your Eye On Things That Can Help Budget Ahead
In addition to the big three (3), there are other expenses can soon add up if you don’t pre-plan and budget in advance.
As a new homeowner, you’ll need to watch out for these expensive things also:
- As you settle into your home, so does the foundation. In order to avoid water seepage into electrical components into wall and baseboards, basement foundation and house perimeter cement maintenance is a must. Account for shifts and sinks by budgeting for cement rising work or sloping clay application around the outside of your home. Setting aside an additional $900 each year will keep leaks out of your basement structure for years to come.
- Sometimes it’s just a sink clog or toilet handle jingle. For those unexpected other times, it’s a good idea to develop a solid plumbing maintenance plan. Have a conversation with your trusted plumbing professional for yearly options. That way, you’re not overspending each time someone has to come out.
- Landscape maintenance is important to making your house feel like a home. Keeping your lawn and landscape looking its best requires setting aside extra money per month. Just for basic upkeep alone, expect to dish out close to $3,600 in either supplies or contract help. Whether you like to work outside in your yard, or if you prefer to hire a professional, a tidy manicured lawn will turn heads.
- HVAC (Heater/Air Conditioning) units are also expensive. If you have a brand new home from the ground up, you’ll be selecting your HVAC unit carefully at that time. But, things can go wrong after a few years. Choose a unit brand and HVAC supplier that find it easy to obtain parts and look to make your connectivity is simple. If not, you’ll be purchasing a whole new unit—anywhere from $3,200 to $6,500—sooner than later.
- Roof replacement plans are not the first thing that you think of when you move in, especially if you’re building your house. At the time of selecting texture, material, color, and speckle, it’s difficult to imagine that weather elements will eventually take a toll on its structural integrity. When you live in colder climates, with blizzards, hail, and windstorms, budget for at least some shingle replacement. A complete tear off with a new roof will cost anywhere from $4,800-$7,000 and will last about ten (10) years.
- Alarm systems are sometimes considered “extra”, but when it comes to your family’s safety and security, a mere $150 per month is peace of mind. Along with your family’s Miniature Poodle’s watchdog expenses, count on the cost of a security system as a line item on your financial spreadsheet. If you want a high end security and/or monitor camera system installed in your home, you could be looking at a good $1800 per year, with upfront costs ranging from $250 to $1500 plus.
- Backup generators were once thought to be something that you can brag to your neighbors about if the neighborhood’s electricity goes out. With our nation’s odd—and severe—weather catastrophes most recently, that’s not so much the case anymore. When you invest in a cost-effective, generic generator, your cost starts at $1,899. If money is not an issue, and you don’t want to mess around if your power goes out, you can always spend upwards of $12,398.00 for a Generac Protector Series 38kW.
- Storm windows (either aluminium, vinyl, or custom fit) are used to block inclement weather conditions and cost up to $300 each. Now that energy-efficient windows have become the norm, specialized storm windows haven’t been a standard part of home construction since the 1980’s. You’ll find storm windows on older homes that don’t have upgraded windows because some local building codes prohibit new windows on historical structures. And, if you want attractive blinds for those windows—storm or not—you’re looking at up to $219-$1127. Metal, material, horizontal, vertical blinds, or shades: on the high end, carve out $2,000 for your entire house.
- Misc. expenses can sneak up on you, setting you back in long term savings. Equipment connectivity, (washing machine, water closet), various broken home parts—not to mention labor costs—can mean not eating out or entertaining for awhile. Put aside $1,000 in your “just in case fund” and don’t touch it unless absolutely necessary.
Plan Now: New Home Expenses To Look At
Expensive or inexpensive, new home expenses can certainly add up. With mindful financial pre-planning, you’ll stay one step ahead. As you’re aware, plumbing expenses aren’t the entire picture. You’ve got a lot of things to watch out for. You’ll want to enjoy being a new homeowner. Seeking professionals that have extensive expertise in various home improvement areas will prove to be the wisest investment of all.
Need a dependable plumber in the Metro Detroit area to assess your new home plumbing needs? Consider WaterWork Plumbing! Call us today: 248-542-8022 to schedule an appointment.