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While remodeling your kitchen or updating your bathroom can be fun and exciting projects, there are several home improvement projects that are essential – but definitely not as glamorous. Replacing these big ticket items at home can come at a cost, which is why most homeowners put them off.

But, whether you like it or not, you are most likely going to have to tackle these jobs sometime. Being prepared can help ease the sting of the financial cost. And give you time to find the right companies and contractors to do the work for you. So get referrals from friends, learn from their stories, and keep a list of notes handy if you need to replace these items in your house.

Be sure to read my article on How to Hire Home Project Professionals before choosing someone!

Plumbing

One of the most common repairs homeowners have to make has to do with their home’s plumbing. That means you’re going to be forced to fix your toilet or climb under your kitchen sink at some point in time.

While most of your large plumbing fixtures won’t need to be replaced for many years, there are some smaller plumbing pieces that will need to be replaced over time:

  • Kitchen sink. Steel sinks begin to show their age after around five years, which means that old sink will need to be changed out for a new one eventually.
  • Faucets. If your home has older bathroom or kitchen faucets, it’s a good idea to replace them with new ones to prevent leaks and reduce water usage in your home.

Appliances

Another common home replacement many homeowners must make is the appliances. Most home appliances have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, depending on the quality of the appliance.

That means you’ll be forced to purchase new appliances over time.

  • Refrigerator. Upgrading your refrigerator to a newer model often means you’ll also be increasing your kitchen’s energy efficiency. While you might not want to spend money on a new appliance, it really does make a difference if you’re switching out really old refrigerators, dishwashers, etc. When our old rental home finally had the appliances switched to a model from the new century, our power bill went down!
  • Range. Swapping out an electric range for a new one is a simple job, but if you’re purchasing a gas range, you may need a professional to assist with the hook-up.
  • Dishwasher. A new dishwasher can make your home more energy efficient and help you reduce your water usage at the same time.

Hot Water Heater

While you may not see your hot water heater on a regular basis, you’ll definitely notice if it’s not working! Check out my tutorial of what to do if your hot water heater stops working.

This must-have home appliance is essential for taking hot showers and washing a load of laundry. That means that your home’s hot water heater gets a good workout every day.

Since it’s a hardworking part of your home, it’s going to need to be replaced eventually. Most hot water heaters last at least 10 years. And when it’s time for a replacement, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from, including traditional tank hot water heaters using either gas or electric heating elements or more energy efficient tankless water heaters.

Exterior Siding

Whether you have painted wood siding or vinyl siding, chances are, you’re going to have to make some repairs to your home’s exterior eventually. If you notice peeling paint on your wood siding or cracks in your vinyl siding, those issues need to be addressed.

If the problem isn’t remedied, you could face damage to your home’s exterior walls and even the foundation. 

The extent of the damage will help you judge how quickly the problem should be fixed. If you see a small crack or small section of peeling paint, the repair can be put off until you have the time or money to make a big fix. Just be prepared to keep an eye on the area to see if the damaged area gets larger.

But if your siding is damaged in several areas or the paint is peeling in large section of your home’s exterior, it’s time for an immediate fix. Chances are, you’ll need to replace or repaint your siding as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home’s exterior.

HVAC System

After between 15 to 20 years of use, most home HVAC systems begin to wear out. That means you’ll need to replace or update your home’s system within a couple of decades.

When we lived in Florida, it was in a bungalow that was about 70 years old. The HVAC system was about 15-20 years old, if not older. The homeowners of our rental refused to replace the old air conditioning system, instead just calling out repair men to fix it every time it acted up. But then they’d need to keep coming out, costing money with every repair. When it finally broke and could NOT be fixed, we got a new unit. And the electric bill went down considerably. Trying to make old systems work can actually cost you more money in the end.

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to prolong your HVAC system’s life. Proper maintenance is a simple way to ensure your system runs efficiently and last as long as possible.

  • Clean the filters. Take the time to clean your HVAC system’s filters regularly to ensure they’re running efficiently. Either replace the filter if your system uses paper filters or thoroughly clean the system’s reusable filter on a regular basis.
  • Schedule regular maintenance. Contact your local HVAC service professional to perform regular maintenance on your system to help prolong its life. Professionals can diagnose possible issues with the system before they become bigger problems and properly clean the system to prevent future damage.

Roof

Depending on the age of your home, your house may need a new roof sooner rather than later. Most asphalt shingle roofs last between 20 and 30 years, while roofs built with higher quality materials may last even longer.

To determine whether your home is due for a roof replacement, first determine when the current roof was put on the house. Then, give the roof a thorough inspection. If you notice large areas of damage or loose singles throughout the span of the roof, it may be time to have the roof replaced.

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