Top 16 Most Expensive Home Repairs

Top 16 Most Expensive Home Repairs

Most people think of home repairs as simply fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken window pane. But what if your entire roof needed to be replaced? Or the foundation was starting to crumble? Suddenly, those “minor” common home repairs and costs turn into months of back labor and financial havoc; and now your real estate agent is advising you to get them fixed or there will be consequences while selling your home. What a pickle!

In this article we go over 16 big ticket home repairs; these are some of the most expensive home repairs you could ever encounter. Keep them in mind when considering if, when and how you are going to sell your California home. 

And remember, these repairs are only necessary if you are trying to sell your home in a traditional sale. Because, when you sell to us here at Osborne Homes, we ask that you do not make any repairs at all! We buy homes in as-is condition all over California and we pay all cash for them. So, if you want to avoid having to make expensive repairs like the ones below, give us a call and we will get you started.  

And now, without further ado, here are the most expensive home repairs ever, starting with the most expensive:

1. Siding Replacement

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $10,958

That’s the average cost for replacing the siding on an entire house. If you just need to replace sections, then plan on spending between $3-$12 per square foot, depending on the material used.

When is siding replacement necessary?

Siding protects your home from the elements and can add curb appeal. When it’s time to replace it, you will know. It may be cracked, warped, rotting, severely faded, have blisters or bubbles, fungus, mold or mildew, be termite infested or any combination of those. It could be one of the most major home repairs you will ever face.

2. Replacing Windows

Average Cost: HomeGuide says $10,000

If your home has 20 windows or so, and you need to replace them all, then plan to spend around $10,000. Now, if you just need to replace a few of them, they average around $500 a piece to replace, so keep that in mind when counting your windows.

When is it necessary to replace windows?

The lifespan of a home’s windows is 15-20 years. Once they reach this age, the seals start to weaken or fail which leaves you open to not only drafts, but also to water seepage. Single pane windows were standard 15+ years ago. These lack insulation and are less energy efficient than modern double paned varieties today.

3. Rebuilding a Chimney

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $10,000

Total rebuilding of a chimney isn’t always necessary. If it just needs a quick fix, then the average fireplace repair, according to HomeAdvisor, is $541. That is still quite a chunk for someone who can’t afford to make any repairs at all and just needs to sell their house fast.

When is it necessary to rebuild or replace a chimney?

Overtime, a chimney will inevitably suffer structural flaws, such as leaning and spalling. Spalling is when water penetrates the bricks of your chimney. This causes them to “spall” or break apart. Leaning or spalling are obvious signs that you need a full chimney rebuild and that it should be done as soon as possible!

4. New Pipe Installs

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $7,500

It’s lower if a pipe just needs to be repaired, not replaced. The average cost of a repair is $250 per pipe fix, according to HomeGuide. Some of the most expensive plumbing repairs can be avoided by choosing to sell your home in as-is condition, to us here, at Osborne Homes.

When are new pipe installs necessary?

When a house is more than 60 years old, it’s important to make pipe inspection part of your regular home maintenance. That goes for any exposed pipes in the basement, crawlspaces and utility rooms. You will know pipes need to be replaced if they are corroded. Corroded pipes may have discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples or flaking.

5. Heating/AC Replacement:

Average Cost:  HomeAdvisor says $7,000

If your HVAC system just needs a simple repair, you’re in luck because Homeguide says HVAC repairs cost on average between $150 and $450 with most homeowners spending $319 on AC service, and $268 on furnace service.

When is it necessary to replace an HVAC system?

Uneven home temperatures and AC or heat running constantly are signs that your HVAC system may be needing replacement. The Department of Energy recommends that homeowners have their entire HVAC systems replaced around every 10 – 15 years so if you are getting close to that it may be something you need to do if you want to attract buyers and sell your home in a traditional sale. Don’t forget, though: Osborne Homes will take your house as-is, in any condition.

6. Basement Waterproofing

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $4,794

New construction homes are built with waterproofed basements. But if you have an older home, you may need to have it done before selling your home in a traditional sale. Homeowners should expect to spend between $2,258 and $7,340, to fully waterproof a basement, crawl space, or foundation, according to HomeAdvisor.

When is basement waterproofing necessary?

If you see any of the following your basement may need to be waterproofed: cracks in floors or walls, leaks coming through the walls, water puddles, stains on the floors or walls, the smell of dampness you can’t get rid of, condensation on basement doors, walls or windows or the presence of mold or mildew.

7. Foundation Repair

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $4,542

And be thankful if it just needs a repair because to replace the whole foundation is usually one of the big ticket home repairs. You see, because, to lift a home and replace the whole foundation can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 – and – if the foundation is needing replaced, you definitely won’t be able to sell the house until it’s done.

When is foundation repair necessary?

The foundation of a house is one of the most important and major home repairs ever, and yet it is often the most overlooked. It’s necessary to repair the foundation if there are any signs of damage in order to maintain the structural integrity and stability of the entire house. If you notice that your foundation is sinking, settling or cracking, it is likely in need of repair.

8. Electrical Issues

Average Cost: WalletGenius says $2,140

Electrical repair costs can vary widely, but WalletGenius says the average electrical repair bill is around $280 for small jobs and $4,000 for larger ones. And no buyer is going to want to go into contract with you if there are electrical issues. Except Osborne Homes, we buy houses in any condition!

When is it necessary to fix electrical issues?

When you hear cracking, sizzling or buzzing sounds in your home it could be an indication that there’s loose wiring connections and other issues which require professional assistance. You may also be experiencing power outlets that don’t work or even breaker problems.

9. An Exterior Paint Job

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $3,063

This amount is based on a 1,500 square foot home. The average cost to paint the entire interior of a 1,500 square foot home is about another $3,000. A nice paint job makes one of the biggest first impressions on a buyer and could make or break a sale depending on whether the home has a fresh coat.

When is an exterior paint job necessary?

When you are looking at common home repairs and costs, a paint job will likely be near the top of the list. On average, your house should be painted every 5-10 years. The amount of time you can go between without seeing much need for a repaint depends highly on the surface type and quality of paint it’s currently got. Remember, you can save this cost when you sell your home to our Osborne team. We will gladly take your faded and flaking paint problem off your hands!

10. Termite Damage

Average Cost: Orkin says $3,000

Talk about major home repairs! It’s a fact that destructive insects like termites cause around $30 billion in damage to crops and man-made structures each year, in the United States alone.

When is it necessary to fix termite damage?

When a colony of termites causes so much damage that they penetrate through the walls of your home, that is when the wood needs to be removed and replaced. It’s safer to just replace the wood vs try and repair it, especially when dealing with load-bearing areas of a home. 

11. Replacing a Fence

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $2,550

Installing a new wooden fence around a property isn’t one of the most major home repairs, nor is it one of the most expensive home repairs, but it does make your home look nicer and therefore makes selling your home easier – note: it will cost  you anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 to build a fence.

When is it necessary to put a new fence in?

The general rule for absolutely needing to replace a fence is when more than 20% of it needs repairs. If you have any questions about your specific situation, contact an experienced professional to help guide the process and make sure that everything will be done correctly.

12. Water Damage Restoration

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $2,582

When you need to clean up water damage, it might also come along with one of your most expensive plumbing repairs if the damage was due to broken pipes. Expect the water damage restoration, alone, to cost between $1,240 and $5,342.

When is water damage restoration necessary?

It can be easy to miss the signs of water damage when you’re not looking for them. But once they appear, there is no hiding them: peeling paint or wallpaper; a swollen ceiling that feels spongy under your fingers; wet flooring anywhere, especially in a room that is not used frequently – these are all dead signs that it is time to make some repairs.

13. Mold Removal

Average Cost: HomeGuide says $2,325

As dangerous to health as they say mold can be, it’s alarming that mold removal is one of the most common home repairs and costs. Plan to spend between $1,500 to $3,150 for mold remediation, says HomeGuide.

When is mold removal necessary?

You should call a mold removal professional if you have a large-scale mold infestation; that is when over 10 square feet of your property is infested with mold. A mold expert like this will be able to identify the type and severity of the problem, as well as give recommendations for long term solutions.

14. Septic System Repair

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $1,757

This can be one of the most expensive home repairs. Because, if the septic system needs to be completely replaced, you can bet you’ll be spending closer to $10,000, or more.

When is septic system repair necessary?

Slow draining in the home and funny drain field activity can both be signs of damage to your system. The cause may be built up sludge, clogged pipes, a lack of good bacteria due to using chemicals, or even tree roots. A septic back up in the home is a sign that the system has already failed. You don’t want it to get to this point (yuck!) so be sure and watch for the warning signs.

15. Roof Repair

Average Cost: HomeAdvisor says $1,205

If a roof requires more than just a repair and instead needs to be completely replaced, you’re looking at an average replacement cost of $7,211.

When is roof repair necessary?

Your roof needs to be repaired if you notice curling, missing, cracked or mossy shingles and, just like fencing, needs to be completely replaced if more than 20% of the roof needs repairs.

16. Hot Water Heater Replacement

Average Cost: Forbes says $1,200

Much cheaper than replacement, if it just needs a repair, not total replacement, the average cost for the average hot water heater repair is just $591, according to HomeAdvisor.

When is it necessary to get a new hot water heater?

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. Signs that it’s getting close might be strange noises coming from it, rusty water coming through the tap, hot water not lasting as long as it used to, you’re finding puddles around the outside of the unit or a combination of any of those.

What do you do when you can’t afford repairs?

When you need to sell a house that needs major, big ticket home repairs, you might not know what to do. Because, while some home repairs may seem minor, they can add up quickly and cause a significant amount of financial stress. 

If you’re looking to sell your home in a traditional real estate sale, you will need to make sure that all repairs are taken care of before putting it on the market. Even the most expensive home repairs will be required sometimes before a lender will give out funds to a buyer. 

If you don’t have the time or money to make the repairs that your home needs, our team at Osborne Homes is here to help. It is never a requirement to make repairs when you sell your home to us. We buy homes as-is, so there’s no need to worry about spending all your savings on fixing things like water or termite damage. Let us take care of everything for you so that you can move on with your life, sooner rather than later. Contact us today!


A home is a burden if you can’t sell it. Our goal is to help you easily sell your home fast, for cash, and at a fair price. We’re committed to providing reputable home purchasing services that leave you feeling good about selling your home. And that gives you more cash—and more freedom. Call us today at 559-500-3610
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