Here's How Much Common Home Repairs Cost — and How to Budget for Them

by Team HomeServe
Ceiling with multiple utility lines - gas

The amount of money you pay for a home repair depends primarily on the system that needs to be fixed and how much work needs to be done. For instance, a small plumbing leak may cost a few hundred dollars to repair, taking into account the cost of labor and the supplies needed to complete the job. However, in the event that you to need replace your water service line — or do some other major repair — you’d be looking at a price tag of at least four figures.

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This guide offers a comprehensive rundown of the most common repairs that you'll encounter as a homeowner and what you should expect them to cost. Understanding these costs should make it easier for you to create a repair and maintenance budget.

Common Home Repairs

Throughout your home, there are a number of different systems and items that can malfunction if they aren't properly maintained. These include everything from your electrical wiring to your heating and air conditioning systems. While regular maintenance can help extend the life of the systems throughout your home, there are many reasons why a system could malfunction. And when any home system malfunctions, a certain amount of repair work is required.

The total cost will depend on the amount of labor and parts needed to complete the repair work. There are also times when a system is damaged to the point that it can't be repaired without sinking a large amount of money into it, which is when a replacement may be necessary. In these situations, you'll want to consider how much it will cost to replace and reinstall the system.

These are some of the most common home repairs:

  • Electrical repair
  • Water heater repair or replacement
  • Water damage repair
  • Plumbing repair
  • Sewer line backup
  • Water service line repair
  • Heating or air conditioning system repair
  • Appliance repair

Electrical Repair

Electrical systems in your home may need to be repaired for any number of reasons. The types of repair and maintenance projects that may need to be completed by an electrician include repairing a light fixture, installing a fan, upgrading your electrical panel and installing new wiring throughout your home. In terms of repair costs, it’s helpful to divide electrical work into two categories: small jobs and large jobs.

When you're hiring an electrician, it's highly recommended that you request an estimate. This will give you an idea of what the bill will be for your electrical project. To make sure that you're paying a fair price, you can also compare several different estimates before hiring an electrician.

Average Cost to Repair Electrical Issues

On average, small electrical jobs can cost anywhere from $140 to $420 (CAD 190 to CAD 580), according to HomeGuide. Any work that involves the placement of a light fixture or the repair of an outlet would be classified as a small job. Likely the least expensive electrical repairs involve replacing a broken light, which costs $50 to $150 (CAD 70 to CAD 210).

As for larger electrical jobs, you’re looking at an average of $2,000 to $6,000 (CAD 2,800 to CAD 8,200). For instance, an electrical panel upgrade alone would cost you around $850 to $2,500 (CAD 1,200 to CAD 3,400), including material and labor costs.

One of the more expensive electrical projects involves rewiring an entire home. The installation of new electrical wiring can cost around $6 to $8 (CAD 8 to CAD 11) per linear foot. If the wiring needs to be run through the main walls of the home, the project will involve opening the walls, getting rid of any old wires, rewiring the home and installing some drywall. Because of the numerous steps involved, the total costs for building materials and labor would come in at $2,500 to $6,000 (CAD 3,400 to CAD 8,200) for a three-bedroom house.

Water Heater Repair or Replacement

Water heaters are designed to last 10 to 20 years. However, you'll likely encounter issues along the way that require repair work if you want to continue using the water heater in question. Keep in mind that annual maintenance should extend the life of the system, which will help protect your initial investment and save you money in the long run. The amount of money you pay depends mainly on whether the water heater needs to be repaired or replaced. Regardless of the type of repair work that needs to be done, repairs will cost less than a total replacement.

Average Cost to Repair or Replace a Water Heater

The total amount you pay to fix your water heater will depend on the component that needs to be repaired. For instance, fixing a gas control valve costs about $300 (CAD 415), on average, according to data provided by HomeServe’s network of thousands of contractors across the country. The average repair cost nationwide is $493 (CAD 678).

When replacing a water heater, the price depends on the type and size of the heater that you purchase. You can expect a new tank water heater to come in at $1,741 (CAD 2,396) on average. Tankless water heaters cost between $1,700 to $5,000 (CAD 2,300 to CAD 6,900), according to Bob Vila.

Water Damage Repair

Whether a pipe has burst or your home has flooded during a recent storm, water damage can be very costly to fix. The exact amount of money that you pay for restoring the areas of your home that have been damaged depends on the type of water that gets into your home. If clean water comes in from a burst pipe or flooding, your costs will be on the lower end. Gray water is more expensive to clean up. This water drains from appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.

The most expensive form of water damage involves black water, which is water that comes directly from a contaminated source. A common source of black water is a sewer pipe. The price to repair damage caused by black water is usually twice as high as for repairing damage caused by clean water.

If you want to sell your home in the future, it's important that the water-damaged area is restored quickly. Properties that have been damaged by water can drop significantly in value, which is why quick restoration is necessary to minimize depreciation and further problems.

Average Cost to Repair Water Damage

In general, larger homes will cost more to repair as repair costs are related to square footage. If the damaged area of your home amounts to 1,500 square feet, your expenses will almost always be higher when compared to restoring an area of 500 square feet. If your home has been damaged by clean water, Fixr says you could pay between $3.75 and $4.25 (CAD 5.15 and CAD 5.85) per square foot.

If greywater is the culprit, expect to pay between $4.10 and $6.50 (CAD 5.65 and CAD 8.95) per square foot. As for blackwater, restoration costs between $7.00 and $7.50 (CAD 9.65 and CAD 10.30) per square foot.

Plumbing Repair

Plumbers commonly need to be called to repair leaks or install new systems. In most situations, plumbers will charge a flat rate for the work that needs to be done. Some of the more common plumbing repairs include:

  • Clogged pipes
  • Leaky pipes
  • Burst pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Malfunctioning fixtures
  • Lack of warm water

Average Cost to Repair Common Plumbing Problems

Plumbers work on a wide range of different repair projects, which means that the costs you pay can vary significantly. If your shower isn't working properly, you can expect to pay around $100 to $700 (CAD 140 to CAD 960) for it to be fixed. Pipe and drain repairs cost anywhere from $150 to $600 (CAD 210 to CAD 825). The most expensive plumbing work usually involves installing a new screen, setting most homeowners back between $450 and $2,000 (CAD 620 and CAD 2,700).

Sewer Line Backup and Repair

While there’s a range of issues that could cause damage to the sewer service line of your home, the most common ones involve clogs. Even though clogs are relatively easy to clear, it's possible that they could cause the entire system to become backed up, which heightens the risk of a rupture in the sewer line. If the clog is the only problem that has occurred, your expenses should be low. Further damage can lead to a much higher bill.

Average Cost to Repair a Sewer Line

If your home's sewer line becomes clogged, professionals can use several different techniques to clear it. Repairs range from simple patches to total system replacements. For that reason, the average cost of a sewer line repair is $3,708 (CAD 5,099), according to data from HomeServe. Other factors that influence price include whether excavation work is needed and how deep your pipes are buried.

Routine maintenance can clear clogs before they build up. Expect to pay $408 (CAD 561), on average, for a regular cleaning.

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Water Service Line Repair

Just like your home's main sewer line, the main water line may also need to be repaired or replaced depending on the type of damage that occurs. However, repairing a water service line isn't nearly as costly as repairing a sewer line. The severity of the break will dictate what your repair costs will be. Some additional factors that can affect what you pay include:

  • Ease of access
  • Depth of the line
  • Piping material

Average Cost to Repair a Water Service Line

If only a small section of the pipe has been damaged and requires repair, average costs amount to $1,039 (CAD 1,429), based on HomeServe data. If the entire water main line needs to be replaced, the price is $3,851 (CAD 5,298), on average. Labor costs are the most important factor in what you spend on the project.

HVAC System Repairs

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems contain many different components that can be damaged if the system isn't properly maintained. In fact, maintaining your HVAC system should be at the top of your list when performing home maintenance. The amount you’ll pay for HVAC system repairs depends on the component that needs to be fixed as well as when you contact the HVAC repair company. Calling for repairs after standard business hours or on a holiday will be more expensive than calling during business hours.

Average Cost to Repair or Replace Your HVAC System

When you schedule service during normal business hours, HomeGuide notes that the average price is between $75 and $150 (CAD 100 and CAD 210) per hour. If the work occurs after hours, this increases to $140 (CAD $190) or more per hour. While minor HVAC repairs can cost as little as $75 (CAD 100), extensive repairs can cost you up to $4,200 (CAD 5,800) to complete. The more expensive jobs involve replacing the heat exchanger, coil or compressor.

If you need to replace the entire system, what you pay will depend on the type of heating or cooling unit you buy. For instance, small gas furnaces cost around $2,000 (CAD 2,700) for the unit itself and installation. On the other hand, furnaces with excellent efficiency may cost you around $5,000 (CAD 6,900) or more, not including installation. If you need to replace an older system, a new AC unit or furnace can cost you around $5,000 to $10,000 (CAD 6,900 to CAD 13,700), according to Bob Vila.

Appliance Repair Costs

The appliances and systems that are installed throughout your home can malfunction for many different reasons. Repair costs depend on the appliance that has been damaged. For instance, the price to repair a refrigerator differs from what it costs to repair a dishwasher or trash compactor.

Here are some of the most common home systems and appliances and the estimated cost to repair:

What’s the Difference Between a Major and a Minor Home Repair?

If you're trying to differentiate between minor and major home repairs, think of it like this: Minor repairs involve any repair work that can be done with basic tools and limited knowledge. Replacing a broken light or cleaning the gutters around your home would classify as minor work. Major home repairs, on the other hand, usually require a professional. The bill for major repairs will typically include labor costs and the cost of building materials. Electrical wiring repairs, water damage restoration and roof replacements would usually count as major repairs. These types of repairs often occur during larger home improvement projects.

What’s the Most Expensive Home Repair?

The most expensive home repairs include fixing termite damage, restoring water damage, replacing a water heater, replacing a roof and repairing a foundation. If the foundation of your home has been damaged, repair costs could be as high as $15,000 (CAD 20,600).

How Much Should You Budget for Home Maintenance Costs?

If you want to budget for unexpected home maintenance and repairs, it's highly recommended that you set aside around 1% of your home's value every year. If your home is valued at $400,000, for example, you should set aside $4,000 or more.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.