7 expensive home repairs

» 7 expensive home repairs

7 expensive home repairs

It’s not unusual for older properties to need home repairs, especially if regular maintenance has been overlooked. Some home buyers are unsure of which home repairs are expensive and those that aren’t. That’s where a professional Building and Pest inspection is essential.

For agents looking to put a value on a property, it’s also helpful to understand the cost of repairs especially those that will impact the value of a property.  I have put together a list of the 7 most expensive home repairs that I see regularly to assist agents and buyers.


Asbestos has been used extensively during the construction of many homes around the St George and Sutherland Shire and it’s expensive to remove. Around one-third of all Australian homes contain asbestos, knowing the type of Asbestos will help to determine the risk for potential home buyers. Removing asbestos requires specialists to handle and dispose of the material which can be costly.

There are two types of asbestos, friable and non-friable. The more dangerous type is friable (loosely bound), this asbestos-containing material can be very dangerous as it can contain up to 100% asbestos. If this type is found in a location that is easily disturbed it should be removed immediately.

Non-Friable Asbestos isn’t too bothersome when left alone. If a potential buyer is looking to make renovations, they should consider the additional cost for professional removal.

Where to look for asbestos

  • roof sheeting and capping
  • guttering
  • gables, eaves
  • wall sheeting (flat or a weatherboard style)
  • vinyl sheet flooring
  • carpet and tile underlays
  • imitation brick cladding
  • fencing
  • carports and sheds
  • expansion joints
  • packing under beams
  • concrete formwork

Foundation repairs and restumping

Issues with house foundations can be easily overlooked if you’re not aware of the warning signs. The foundations of a house are a vital structural element and when issues arise they can pose safety risks as well as the need for costly repairs. Look for cracks in the concrete slab and walls, as well or uneven floors. Repairs to foundations can range between $10,000 and $30,000.

For homes that are built using wooden stumps, it’s important to recognise they can deteriorate and may need replacing due to age, wear, termite infestation or soil erosion. As stumps weaken, the house foundation can become uneven, a sure sign is sloping floors or doors and windows that won’t close.

The cost of restumping can range between $4,000 and $15,000.

Roof problems

A roof replacement can be very expensive and often it’s not an easy issue to detect until a professional building inspection is performed. Once a potential buyer is aware a roof replacement is required, the sale price of the property could fall dramatically. Some of the issues to look out for are water stains on the ceiling, water leaks, roof dips, broken tiles and mould growth.


Wooden decks provide the perfect oasis for outdoor dining. If they have not been well maintained they can be expensive to replace. Look out for rotting wood or cracked timber.

Sagging decks can also be an issue, this problem is usually caused when the wrong type or size of timber is used. Over time this can lead to a complete deck collapse and expensive repair or replacement bill.

Retaining walls

Another potentially expensive repair can be retaining walls. Especially on a sloping block or where the retaining wall is on the property boundary or over a certain height. Issues with drainage can also be impacted.

The main issues we see during property inspections are; retaining walls that have moved or retaining walls that have not been designed correctly. Both pose a safety risk and must be repaired. We often see retaining walls built by homeowners that have used inappropriate or inferior materials during construction. Extended periods of heavy rain or bad weather can cause these already faulty retaining walls to collapse.

Termite infestation

The threat that termites pose to any wooden structure should not be overlooked. When left unchecked the repair bill can be extensive.

The saleability of a property with termite damage can also be impacted. A 2013 survey by pest control company Rentokil reported that 74% of respondents would definitely cross a home of their list if it had termites. In addition, fifty-four per cent of survey respondents believed homes with termites would lose at least 25 per cent of their value.

Signs of termite infestation include tiny piles of wood-coloured droppings, mud tubes along exterior walls and swarms in early spring. A pre-sale building and pest inspection is a good idea if termites are suspected, as vendors will have the opportunity to make the necessary repairs before sale price is impacted.

If you have any questions or require a professional Building and Pest Inspection please do not hesitate to call me on 0439 282 236 or click here to contact us.