Low Maintenance Home Improvement Projects

Written by Posted On Friday, 28 June 2019 08:27

Owning a home is rarely a passive investment; there are always items to be repaired, replaced, or updated in order to maintain the value and relevance in the market. Because these projects take time and money, it’s always wise to opt for improvements that improve usability or convenience. Understanding how you can save money in the long term can help you make informed decisions on cost and materials that may initially seem more expensive.


Roof replacement is often such a costly project no matter what materials you use. It can be tempting to simply go for the cheapest materials, but you shouldn't. Asphalt shingles tend to be the lowest cost material, but they also have the shortest lifespan. While some are advertised to last 15-20 years, they are susceptible to hail and wind damage, and low hanging tree limbs or heavy annual snow and ice loads can degrade them prematurely as well.

Though more expensive, clay tile and metal roofing materials can last 50 years or more and withstand harsh weather conditions with fewer repairs or replacements. Even if you don’t plan on staying in your home for 50 years, the material you choose can affect the value when it’s time to sell, especially if you have a worn asphalt roof near the end of its usable lifespan when your house goes on the market. When Appraisers evaluate your home, they factor in the age of all major components when determining the appraised value, so this can also affect you if you’re trying to refinance rather than sell.


All parts of your home that are exposed to the elements are going to need regular maintenance but selecting the proper material can significantly reduce this burden. Wood siding can be the lowest cost depending on the type of wood used, yet it can be prone to rot and termites in constantly humid conditions and needs to be repainted or refinished at least every five years. In contrast, vinyl siding can last longer without the need for continuous repainting, but advances in the technology of composite cladding can provide homeowners with extremely durable, beautiful looking materials that require little to no maintenance.

Decks and Porches

Along the same lines, if your home has wooden decking or exposed porches, you’ll need to perform quite a bit of routine maintenance. The closer to the ground your deck is, the more potential for damage due to consistent moisture, hence the increased likelihood that pieces or the entire deck will need to be replaced on a regular basis as they become unstable.

If you want your deck to have a natural finish, various wood species can last longer than others, though that durability comes with a price. If you plan on having a painted surface, a lower maintenance, longer-lasting option like composite decking can often be worth the additional money you might spend.


Windows have evolved significantly over the past 50 years in both appearance and functionality. One of the more popular changes has been the ability to upgrade old windows with a double-hung window replacement that enables homeowners to more easily clean and maintain windows, especially on the second story. Another popular option is having the grid or mullion to the inside of double-paned windows, creating an uninterrupted surface on either side that is much easier to clean and dust. In homes with a more modern style, some homeowners are opting for windows with no mullion grids at all for a more expansive feel and clean look.

No matter what part of your home needs attention, weigh the amount of work your improvement will take to maintain and the estimated elapsed time before you have to make a repair again when you consider how much to pay for materials or labor.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Harris Johnston

Real estate investor with ownership stakes in commercial and residential projects in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Denver, and Laguna Niguel.

Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.