Plumbing, electrical wiring, a fridge, a washing machine, a TV, the list of home systems and appliances present in the average American home can go on for quite a while. And every homeowner knows that maintaining those can be quite expensive, especially considering the repair bills you have to pay when they inevitably break down. To cut those costs many people attempt DIY repair and maintenance, but some of these systems are so hard to handle that you’d better avoid touching them altogether. Therefore, the next time you think about buying a new appliance, you should consider how much it will cost you to keep it in good condition.
Most Common and Problematic Home Systems
Of all the home systems and appliances present in the average American household, the most problematic are electrical wiring and plumbing. Installation and replacement of electrical wiring and other works that have to do with your home’s electrical system, are the things you definitely shouldn’t try to handle on your own. Not only is this dangerous to your health and property but it’s also to life as you know it.
Should you make any mistake the risk of fire will get sky-high. If a fire happens, your home insurance won’t help you in any way because, technically, you are the one at fault. That’s not even to mention the risk to your life. Remember that over 3,500 people die in a fire every year and the majority of home fires are caused by faulty wiring. Considering these facts, the average cost of wiring installation services, which ranges from $536 to $2,101 seems rather reasonable.
The average cost of hiring a plumber, be it for installation, maintenance, or repair service is about $300 per hour. Trying to handle this home system on your own is less risky than dealing with electrical wiring. However, you will soon realize that there is actually very little you can do without specialized equipment.
Therefore, plumbing is the hard-to-handle system that allows you to do some minor maintenance and repair. But if you want to get a thorough service or fix a big problem, you’ll need to hire an expert.
Note that despite the fact that both these home systems can be problematic, a civilized human being today cannot live comfortably without them. Therefore, the expenses on their maintenance and repair are unavoidable.
What About Home Appliances? Are They Safe?
Home appliances are a different thing altogether. It’s true that some of them are necessities of modern life, but if you are resolute enough, you might be able to live quite happily without some of them. Therefore, if your budget is extremely limited, you might reconsider your plans for buying new appliances.
As to their maintenance and repairs, those must be handled by licensed professionals only. Minor maintenance is acceptable in some cases. However, if you need to open up the device to fix something inside of it, you definitely need an expert. Otherwise, the risk of a person without professional training damaging the piece is too high.
The most common home appliances in the US today are:
- Washing machines
- AC units
- Microwave ovens
There are millions of these devices in America, for example, 11.41 million fridges were imported into the country in 2017 and about 23% of all American families have two or more of them at home. The number of washing machines is roughly the same and nearly every family in the US has a heater, a microwave, and a TV in their home. This means that every family in the US requires regular maintenance and occasional repairs for their home systems and appliances.
The average cost of appliance repair is $250-$400, but this is a rather crude approximation. Due to the fact that issues with devices vary greatly, it’s impossible to predict how much exactly you will have to pay should your fridge, washing machine, or a TV break down. In some cases, repairs are so expensive, it’s more cost-efficient to buy a replacement. Regular maintenance is the only reliable method of reducing repair costs because it’s the best prevention for appliance breakdowns.
Best Methods of Protecting Your Home Systems and Appliances
It’s a common misconception that the best way to protect your home systems and appliances is to get home insurance. However, an insurance plan doesn’t cover them. It only covers some types of damage that might be caused by their breakdowns. Therefore, the best methods of protecting your appliances are holistic appliance coverage programs and the original manufacturer’s warranty (can be extended). Both options have their own pros and cons, which you need to take into account when deciding on the type of protection to invest in.
Every device you buy today should have a manufacturer’s warranty by default. The situation with home systems is a bit more complicated. However, when you hire reliable contractors to install them, the contractors should be offering a guarantee for their services.
However, both these protections have a time limit. And while you can extend the manufacturer’s warranty, you can only do this for a single device. This means that you’ll have to deal with a multitude of individual extensions and pay for each separately.
A holistic home warranty plan allows you to avoid these problems because it can cover all the major home systems and appliances, even if those aren’t new. This type of protection also allows you to have a single point of contact for all repair contractors and services you might need. Home warranty plans available today are extremely versatile. Therefore, you can find an offer that will cover all the appliances you have, or negotiate one with the warranty provider.
However, remember that no protection is free. It’s true that the cost of a holistic home warranty plan will be lower than trying to get an individual extended warranty for every device. But the sum total can get quite high if you have many home systems and appliances to protect. Keep this in mind and consider the average repair and maintenance costs of every home system and appliance before investing in it. If your budget isn’t stable, it might be best for you to avoid expensive appliances as they will require expensive service down the line, which you might not be able to provide.