Conventional wisdom and prevailing thought is to budget either $1.00 for every square foot of your home or 1% of the cost of your home per year for home maintenance and repairs for the average home in a mild climate.

This is, of course, a generalization and a rough starting point to build your home maintenance budget. Other factors that impact the projected cost of maintenance include: the age of your home; impacts of harsh weather environments, whether your home has been well maintained or generally neglected and its location to environmental stresses like floodplains.

A suggestion to determine your annual maintenance budget is to take an average of the $1.00 per square foot rule and 1% of your home’s cost rule and then add an additional 10% for each factor that adversely affects your home’s maintenance budget. Let’s assume that you have a 2,500 square foot house that cost $500,000. The $1.00 per square foot rule would suggest you set aside $2,500 annually and the 1% rule would suggest that you set aside $5,000 per year. Your average would be $3,750 per year for home maintenance as a rough starting point.

Homes in the Truckee/Tahoe are subject to tough winter conditions that require additional maintenance considerations and costs. Freezing temperatures, strong UV exposure and prolonged exposure to snow and water subject homes to greater strains. Landscaping needs to be protected from harsh winter conditions. Snow removal equipment and frost heave damage to asphalt surfaces.

The maintenance needs and costs of your home will ebb and flow. Some years you may spend very little on your home maintenance while other years you may have to swallow some big ticket items, like painting/staining or driveway replacement. Use the rules above as a starting point to help create a loose annual home maintenance budget.