by Heidi Pfaffroth, Lewiston State Bank 

“Plan now for your home’s longevity.”

Start planning now for home repair and replacements so you aren’t surprised when the time comes around. The graphic below shows some estimates (although actual costs may vary) for the expected time until you need to make repairs or replacements in your home. When you prepare for possible costs, you will be more financially prepared for your home’s future needs.

Let’s start with the exterior. The elements will erode your roof, rain gutters, deck and paint — short of erecting a bubble around your house, you won’t be able to prevent it. You may also have assets exposed to the elements, such as your air conditioner. You can keep your garage door and garage door opener in better condition by oiling its parts, but that doesn’t mean a replacement isn’t somewhere down the line. If your house is new, most of your external repairs and replacements are probably several years down the line, but it’s important to know the year your house was built or when it was last taken care of if you move into an older house.

One way to make sure you’re ready for repairs is to divide the amount you think you will need (use our guide for an estimate — using the higher number in the range is one way to avoid unexpected costs) by the number of years until you will need to repair or replace. Then make sure you set aside that amount each year until the time comes for repair or replacement. You can try setting up automatic transfers if you aren’t sure whether you will be able to set the money aside.