60% of Homeowners Are Putting Off Necessary Home Repairs or Maintenance

SAVING & SPENDING - HOME & AUTO
FinanceBuzz surveyed homeowners to find out what home maintenance tasks they’re putting off, and how much they’ll cost.
Updated May 31, 2024
Fact checked
Hands holding up various tools, such as a drill and a paintbrush, around a model of a house that's sitting on stacks of quarters.

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Homeownership can provide a sense of stability, comfort, and accomplishment. It also can provide plenty of maintenance and repair projects (and sometimes headaches) to keep the house in tip-top shape.

But just because something around the house needs maintenance doesn’t mean that it gets done right away. We surveyed homeowners to find out how many are putting off maintenance or repairs for their houses, how much they expect those to cost them, and how much they could afford to spend on an emergency fix.

In these survey results

Key findings

  • 60% of homeowners are putting off necessary home maintenance or repairs.
  • More than 40% of homeowners have had to pay for a major home repair they believe could have been avoided with better upkeep.
  • On average, homeowners estimate that maintenance and repair tasks they’re putting off will cost them $5,650.

How many homeowners are putting off maintenance?

It turns out that the majority of homeowners (three out of every five) are putting off some kind of necessary repair or maintenance project around the house.

A pie chart showing what types of tasks homeowners are putting off: maintenance, repairs, or both.


Among homeowners who are leaving these projects for another day, 25% are putting off repairs, 27% are putting off maintenance, and nearly half (48%) are putting off both.

What maintenance and repairs homeowners are putting off

Since the majority of homeowners are actively delaying needed repairs or maintenance around the house, we wanted to know exactly which projects homeowners are most likely to procrastinate.

A chart showing which house maintenance projects homeowners report putting off. The top one is weeding the lawn.


Weeding the lawn is the maintenance task the highest percentage of homeowners are putting off. Nearly one-third (32%) of people reported that they’re delaying this chore.

Two more of the most commonly delayed maintenance projects also involve outdoor work. More than one-fourth of respondents said they need to clean their gutters or trim bushes/trees on their property (26% each).

A chart showing which parts of people's houses they say currently needs repairs. The top option is roofs.


Repair or replacement jobs are larger-scale projects than home maintenance tasks, and they tend to come with a heftier price tag.

Roofs are the repair or replacement project that homeowners put off most often. Nearly 40% said they know the roof above their heads needs fixing, but they just can’t get to right now.

There are two other top areas that homeowners said actively need repairs that they’re delaying: windows (34%) and plumbing (32%).

Top reasons homeowners are putting off maintenance and repairs

If homeowners know about the problem areas around their home and want to fix the issues, then why aren’t they completing these maintenance and repair projects?

A chart showing reasons why people report putting off home maintenance and repair tasks. The top reason is money.


Money stands out as the primary reason homeowners put off home maintenance and repair tasks. Among homeowners who are actively putting off some kind of task around the house, 60% said the cost is preventing them from getting repairs or maintenance done.

The second most common reason was not having enough time to perform maintenance or repairs. A little more than half as many homeowners (32%) reported time as a primary factor.

The cost of home repairs

Since money is such a big factor for when homeowners do or don’t get work done, we wanted to find out what the bill looks like for the maintenance and repairs the average homeowner is putting off.

A graphic showing that the average cost of a needed home repair is $5,650.


On average, homeowners believe they will need $5,650 to finish all of the home maintenance and repairs on their to-do lists. That amount is a little less than 2.5 times the average monthly mortgage payment in the United States, which shows just how much repairs and maintenance can add to housing costs.

Two charts, side by side. The left chart shows how many people say they're saving for unexpected home repairs. The left chart shows how many people say they've had to pay for a repair that could have been avoided.


Considering how much average repairs cost, it isn’t surprising that more than three-quarters of homeowners (76%) say they actively save money for unexpected home repairs.

Apart from saving for future repairs, we found that more than two of every five homeowners (41%) have had to shell out for a major home repair they believe could have been avoided if they had been more diligent about maintenance and upkeep.

Tips for saving money while keeping your house in tip-top shape

  • Save money with a maintenance guide. No one likes spending money on home maintenance. Follow our home maintenance checklist to save money on your home repairs before they get out of hand.
  • Find the right home insurance policy. Coverage and costs vary from one insurer to another, so it’s important to find a home insurance policy that matches your needs (and your budget). Compare options available from some of the best home insurance companies to find the right fit.
  • Look for ways to cut down on insurance costs. There are plenty of ways that customers can save money on their insurance costs. Explore some top ways to save money on home insurance to try and lower your bill.

Methodology

FinanceBuzz surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 or older using a survey platform. Responses were collected in April and May 2024. Respondents were screened to ensure that they currently own their own home. Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers for most questions.

Author Details

Josh Koebert Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.