Homeowners Fall To-Do Lists Are Getting Long

This winter is forecasted to be harsh for many areas of the country. Here’s how homeowners are getting their properties ready.

Homeowners are taking on jam-packed to-do lists before the arrival of winter, which is expected to be harsh this year as a weather pattern known as El Niño threatens to wreak havoc on many areas of the country.

“From hurricanes to record snowfall to soaring temperatures, 2023 has seen its fair share of extreme weather,” notes a new report from Thumbtack, a home service resource. “And it’s taken a toll on our homes. As homes get older and face more storms, some wear and tear is inevitable.”

The report notes that water damage cleanup and restoration projects have risen 91% year over year, and waterproofing projects are up 71%. Thumbtack also notes that roof inspections are up 108% annually, with nearly half focused on routine check-ups in preparation for the winter season.

Photo courtesy: Thumbtack

Homeowners can take proactive steps to get their house ready, including ensuring their gutters are properly installed and cleaned out each season. Home improvement professionals also say it’s important that basement walls are properly sealed to prevent water seepage. Checking the landscaping is also important to make sure water is flowing away from the house and not toward it.

The report notes an uptick in sump pump installation and repairs (up 63% compared to a year ago) as more homeowners take steps to remove excess water and protect their property from flood damage. “Sump pumps also can help homeowners reduce energy consumption and lower energy bills,” the report notes.

Also, the report notes a recent increase in projects geared toward maintaining the home’s heating system, particularly duct and vent repair, which are up 67% year over year. “Ensuring your HVAC system is serviced and working properly will help you stay warm during the cold winter months ahead and avoid any pricey emergency repairs,” the report notes.

Thumbtack evaluated its database of millions of home projects nationwide to uncover the top home projects this fall. The following are the repair projects homeowners are requesting most this fall and their average cost:

  1. Appliance: $80
  2. Electrical: $185 
  3. Plumbing (pipe repair): $175 
  4. Roof: $375 
  5. Plumbing (drain repair): $56-$129 per hour
  6. Central air conditioning: $300 (average cost for labor and parts) 
  7. Drywall: $310 
  8. Sprinkler and irrigation system: $100 
  9. Garage door: $154 
  10. Locks: $104 

Thumbtack also reports the following outdoor projects as most popular this fall:

  1. Lawn mowing and trimming: $55-$70
  2. Full-service lawn care: $65-$108 
  3. Tree trimming or removal: $490 
  4. Roof repair and maintenance: $400 
  5. Outdoor landscaping and design: $62-$96 (average minimum fee)
  6. Pest control services: $125 
  7. Pressure washing: $281 
  8. Exterior painting: $3,000-$8,100 
  9. Fence and gate installation: $1,501 
  10. Concrete installation: $6.92-$9.77 per sq. ft.