Most Expensive Home Repairs

The most expensive home repairs are usually unexpected. Know the costs up front and don’t let yourself be caught off-guard.

$42K
potential cost of mold damage
$100K
potential cost of a sunken foundation
$1.4K
average cost of emergency repair
$427
national average cost per repair
Most Expensive Home Repairs
Rank Repairs Average Cost Low-end Cost High-end Cost
1 Sewer Line Repairs $6,000 $200 $25K
2 Foundation Repairs $4,500 $250 $40K
3 Mold Removal $2,230 $500 $10K
4 Deck Repairs $1,800 $200 $7,900
5 Driveway Repairs $1,700 $200 $5,000
6 Septic Tank Repairs $1,500 $200 $15K
7 Electrical Repairs $1,300 $60 $20K
8 HVAC Repairs $1,000 $50 $8,000
9 Roof Repairs $870 $250 $24K
10 Siding Repairs $750 $100 $24K

Our research team collected nationwide home repair prices – including homeowner surveys and quotes from home repair specialists – and made a list ranking the most expensive points of homeownership according to the national average cost per repair.

Bar Graph: Average Cost of Most Expensive Home Repairs

Most Expensive Home Repairs

Some of the most expensive home repairs are the end result of water damage. Emergency repairs are also more likely to be costly. Repairs that involve plumbing or electricity, for example, usually can’t wait and call for hired professionals.

  • 25% of homeowners spend more than $5,000 on repairs annually.
  • Homeowners spend $427 on each home repair or maintenance project.
  • The average homeowner spends a total of $3,192 each year on home repair and maintenance.
  • Homeowners spend an annual average $1,640 on emergency repairs at a cost of $1,400 per emergency.
  • 28% of property owners who made repairs in the last year hired a plumber.
  • 98.1% of homeowners insurance claims are property damage claims.
  • The most expensive claims are for fire and lightning, averaging $79,790 per claim.
  • Claims for wind and hail damage average $11,200; for water damage and damage caused by freezing, $10,850 is the average cost per claim.
  • Southern property owners spend the most on emergency home repair, up to 35% more than owners in other parts of the country.
  • Repairs on homes built before 1940 cost 7% more on average than the same repairs in 21st century homes.
  • The average home built before 1920 needs $4,200 in repairs.

Bar Graph: High-End Cost of Most Expensive Home Repairs

1. Sewer Line & Plumbing Repairs

Average Cost for Sewer Line Repairs: $6,000
Most Expensive Repair: $25,000 to replace a burst sewer line
Least Expensive Repair: $200 to patch a leaky pipe

Fixing a sewer line is the most expensive home repair depending on the location of the damage and the length of the sewer line. While costly, extensive replacement can actually cost less per linear foot than some smaller jobs.

  • Complex major repairs, especially those that involve concrete, may total up to $36,000.
  • Drain line repair costs an average of $700.
  • Cast iron drain pipe replacement is 2x to 5x more expensive than copper piping.
  • Sewer line inspections start at $350.
  • Clearing a sewer line costs a median average of $300.
  • Sewer line replacement can range from $60 to $250 per linear foot.
  • $230 per linear foot is an average cost to replace sewer lines of less than 50 feet in length.
  • For sewer lines in excess of 50 feet, the average cost for replacement works out to $110 per linear foot.

General Plumbing Repairs

Sewer line repair often leads to the sorts of plumbing issues that call for further repairs. Conversely, plumbers often discover sewer line breaks while performing other repairs.

  • Water line repair, which uses similar processes, is up to 50% less expensive than sewer line repair.
  • Additional costs for underground repairs such as those involving sewer lines include damage to the lawn and landscape.
  • $15,000 is the average insurance claim for a broken pipe and related water damage.
  • $450 is the median cost of emergency plumbing work.
  • Burst pipes underneath concrete can cost between $500 and $4,000.
  • Thawing a pipe that’s burst due to freezing $20 to $500.
  • The ultimate cost of a large broken pipe and water damage can total $50,000 or more.
  • Homeowners who have water pipes installed or replaced spend an average of $2,040.
  • Homeowners who install or replace plumbing spend $1,490.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Burst sewer line $3,000 $25,000
Broken water main $500 $5,000
Broken pipes $200 $15,000
Broken drain line $200 $1,000

2. Foundation Repairs

Average Cost for Foundation Repairs: $4,500
Most Expensive Repair: $40,000 to reconstruct a broken foundation
Least Expensive Repair: $250 to fill minor foundation cracks

Water, particularly improper drainage, is a common root cause of foundation damage. Repairs may include grading in order to drain water away from the base of the building.

  • Major foundation damage that puts a large structure can cost $50,000 or more.
  • A burst pipe underneath a home’s foundation can cost up to $4,000.
  • Water sealing a foundation costs $4,150.
  • Common water damage repairs such as leak repairs start at $2,000.
  • Stabilizing a sinking foundation may cost as little as $500 for mudjacking.
  • Professional structural engineers charge between $300 and $1,000 to inspect a home’s foundation.
  • Concrete generally costs between $5 and $10 per square foot.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Foundation leak $2,000 $7,000
Broken/sunken foundation $500 $40,000
Bowing walls $350 $10,000
Cracked foundation $250 $800

3. Mold Removal

Average Cost for Mold Removal: $2,230
Most Expensive Repair: $10,000 to remove mold from HVAC systems
Least Expensive Repair: $500 to remove mold from a basement or crawlspace

Excessive moisture often leads to mold growth. Mold can cause serious health problems, so this is not a home repair that can wait. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ertifies

  • Between $10 and $25 per square foot is the average cost to remove or remediate mold.
  • In extreme cases, mold can cause structural damage that costs in excess of $30,000 in repairs.
  • Moldy concrete costs an average of $10,000 for removal and replacement.
  • For as little as $200, a hired expert will inspect a home for mold.
  • Analyzing air samples costs between $30 and $150 and is not always included in the inspection price.
  • Removal of air particles with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum costs a median average of $0.81 per cubic foot.
  • Antimicrobial cleaning costs a median average of $550.
  • Mold prevention treatments cost between $5 and $80 per cubic foot.
  • Homeowners may wear an N-95 or above respirator to clean any accessible mold spots with bleach or dish detergent and a sponge or stiff bristle brush.

The National Institute of Health warns against using foggers or sprays to kill mold: “Moldy materials must be removed from structures and not merely disinfected.”

Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Mold in HVAC $2,000 $10,000
Mold in attic $1,500 $10,000
Mold in walls or crawlspace $500 $4,000

4. Deck Repairs

Average Cost for Deck Repairs: $1,800
Most Expensive Repair: $7,900 to rebuild a composite deck
Least Expensive Repair: $200 to anchor stairs

Mold and mildew are among the most common causes of damage to decks, especially wooden decks. Regular sealant applications and pressure washings are common preventative maintenance, both of which can be Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects.

  • High-end or luxury deck replacement can cost upwards of $20,000.
  • Fixing instability issues (i.e. wobbly boards) starts at $500 and can cost up to $4,000.
  • Board and railing replacement costs an average of $3,500.
  • Rebuilding a set of stairs costs $1,200.
  • Demolishing a deck costs a median average of $20 per square foot.
  • Replacing moldy or rotted wood starts at $150 and can cost as much as $5,000.
  • Extensive wood rot on a large, wrap-around porch or deck can cost up to $25,000 to repair.
  • Redwood is the most expensive wood while cedar is the least expensive.
  • Homeowners who add or replace a deck spend an average of $7,070.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Broken railings $500 $4,000
Instability $500 $4,000
Rotten wood $150 $5,000
Loose boards $100 $1,000

5. Driveway Repairs

Average Cost for Driveway Repairs: $1,700
Most Expensive Repair: $5,000 to replace a concrete driveway
Least Expensive Repair: $200 to patch holes in concrete

While homeowners may be able to DIY superficial driveway repairs, cracks and fissures allow water to seep into the ground underneath the driveway, decreasing stability and increasing the need for more extensive repairs later.

  • Concrete driveways are the second-most expensive to repair, starting at $1,000.
  • Average repairs for a brick or cobblestone driveway can cost $2,000 or more.
  • Synthetic crack fillers are the least expensive method for repairing cracks at $0.12 per linear foot.
  • For minor cracks, a bag of fast-setting concrete can cost less than $0.06 per pound at an average hardware store.
  • A gravel or dirt driveway can be repaired for a median price of $170.
  • Heated driveways cost an average of $14,300 to repair but the cost can run as high as $25,000 or more.
  • Homeowners who add or replace a driveway spend $3,930.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Damaged Asphalt $850 $2,000
Damaged brick $700 $2,000
Damaged concrete $300 $3,500
Rutted gravel/dirt $40 $300

6. Septic Tank Repairs

Average Cost for Septic Repair: $1,500
Most Expensive Repair: $15,000 for leach field replacement
Least Expensive Repair: $200 for filter replacement

Septic tanks generally last 40 years. A damaged septic tank can harm its local environment and result in fines for the property owner.

  • A clogged leach field is the most expensive problem for a septic tank.
  • In cases of long oversaturation or deterioration, a replacement leach field also requires digging a new drain field.
  • TerraLift services to prolong the lives of leach and drain fields costs between $1,200 and $1,500.
  • Tank repair and replacement costs a median average of $6,500.
  • Repairs to a septic line (similar to a sewer line) cost an average $1,500.
  • Repairing a septic pump costs a median average of $325.
  • A new pump can cost $1,000 or more.
  • Baffle replacement costs a median average of $600.
  • Septic tank inspections cost between $100 and $200.
  • A replacement filter costs a median average of $250.
  • Cleaning a septic tank costs an average of $400 every 3 to 5 years.
  • Homeowners who have septic tanks added or replaced spend an average of $4,530.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Leach field deterioration $2,000 $15,000
Broken line $1,100 $4,200
Damaged baffle $300 $900
Broken pump $250 $1,000

7. Electrical Repairs

Average Cost for Electrical Repairs: $280
Most Expensive Repair: $9,000 to replace a mid-sized electrical system
Least Expensive Repair: $60 to repair a light fixture

Outside of replacing a switch plate or rewiring a lamp, electrical repairs require a licensed professional. For some projects, inspections or building permits may be necessary.

  • Rewiring a large home can cost up to $20,000.
  • The national average cost to install wiring is $1,330.
  • An electrical panel upgrade costs between $1,200 and $4,000.
  • Installing new panels costs between $1,000 and $2,700.
  • Electrical system upgrades for a smart home cost between $1,200 and $1,700.
  • Repairing an electric generator costs an average of $260.
  • Much older systems, such as knob and tube wiring, may require special permits before anyone can work one them.
  • Homes that predate 1940 are the most likely to have obsolete materials and unorthodox layouts.
  • Homeowners who add or replace electrical elements in their homes spend an average of $1,970 each.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Bad wiring $500 $9,000
Broken panel $90 $4,000
Broken outlet $70 $300
Broken fixture $60 $600

8. HVAC Repairs

Average Cost for HVAC Repairs: $1,200
Most Expensive Repair: $8,000 to repair a central air system
Least Expensive Repair: $50 for a thermostat replacement

HVAC includes Heating systems, Vents, and Air Conditioning. The more complex the systems involved, the more expensive the repairs will be.

  • Replacing a duct system starts at $3,000 and can run as high as $16,000.
  • Furnace repair costs an average of $300.
  • Installing a new furnace costs anywhere from $800 to $10,000
  • Energy efficient repairs cost 33.8% more than conventional repairs.
  • Electronic subfloor installation costs $16,500 on average.
  • New vents cost an average of $500.
  • Cleaning out air ducts costs a median average of $400.
  • Cleaning vents can cost as little as $30 per vent.
  • Minor repairs and maintenance generally cost less than $100.
  • Furnace removal and disposal can cost as much as $500.
  • The average homeowner who has an HVAC system installed or replaced pays $4,750 on average.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Leaky ductwork $350 $5,000
Clogged ductwork $300 $700
Broken furnace $130 $2,000
Broken air conditioner $100 $2,300

9. Roof Repairs

Average Cost for Roof Repair: $770
Most Expensive Repair: $18,000 for slate repair or replacement
Least Expensive Repair: $200 to replace asphalt shingles

The cost of roof repairs is highly dependent on the construction material as well as the extent of the repairs.

  • Replacing asphalt shingles costs an average of $360 or $11 per square foot.
  • Before the cost of labor, asphalt shingles can cost as little as $3.90 per square foot.
  • Slate roofs cost an average of $950 to repair and can run as high as $75 per slate.
  • Clay tiles average $9.80 per square foot, though their significant weight may require additional structural reinforcement and repair.
  • Including the cost of labor, high-end metal roof repair and replacement can run as high as $20,000 or $12.50 per square foot.
  • Low-end metal roofs cost an average of $5.40 per square foot to repair, and metal shingles cost $7.50.
  • Thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO roofing cost $6.30 per square foot.
  • Installation of wood or cedar shingles costs an average of $7.10 per square foot.
  • Removing wood shingles generally costs $1.50 or less per square foot.
  • The average cost to repair wooden battens is $3.75 per inch or $45 per foot.
  • Repairs to a rubber roof average between $375 and $700; reseaming is $13 to $20 per linear foot.
  • DIY repair kits for rubber roofs cost between $260 and $300.
  • Homeowners who install or replace roofs spend an average of $8,370.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Leaky roof $300 $2,500
Missing shingles $200 $1,500
Damaged soffits $15 $2,500
Damaged gutters/downspouts $15 $500

Bar Graph: Low-End Cost of Home Repairs

Many homes built before 1989 contain asbestos siding. Asbestos is toxic and extremely hazardous to human health.

10. Siding Repairs

Average Cost for Siding Repair: $750
Most Expensive Repair: $24,000 for asbestos siding removal and replacement
Least Expensive Repair: $100 to repair cracks in vinyl siding

To estimate the cost of siding repairs, material is key. Vinyl siding is among the least expensive options, and the most common vinyl siding repairs involve correcting errors made during installation.

  • $4,800 is the average cost to remove asbestos siding.
  • For a mean average cost of $6,000, it is also possible to encapsulate asbestos.
  • For a further $7,400 to $18,000, a new siding can be installed over the encapsulated asbestos.
  • Common repairs to vinyl siding cost less than $500.
  • $11.70 per square foot is the high-end price to replace vinyl trim.
  • Composite wood siding costs about $8.00 per square foot to repair and replace.
  • Cement siding and backboards average $8.80 per square foot including labor and materials.
  • DIY repairs to siding such as rot repair and removing old paint average $600 in material costs.
  • $3,875 or $2.40 per square foot is the average cost to sand down and paint the siding on a 1,600 square foot home.
  • Natural stone is the most expensive exterior siding to install and costs $35 per square foot.
  • Homeowners who have siding installed or replaced spend an average of $6,220 apiece.
Common Repair Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Damaged Wood $200 $14,400
Damaged Cement $200 $8,400
Damaged stone $150 $24,000
Damaged brick $150 $12,000
Damaged Stucco $100 $4,800
Damaged Aluminum $150 $7,200
Damaged Vinyl $100 $4,800

Sources

  1. United States Census Bureau, American Housing Survey
  2. National Institute of Health, Mold Remediation Guidance
  3. National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Why Organizations Should Invest In Home Repairs To Improve Health
  4. Women of HVAC, Keep HVAC Maintenance Costs Under Control
  5. Remodeling Calculator, True Cost Complete House Renovation Guide
  6. Cost Helper, Sewer Line Replacement Cost
  7. United States Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Better Buildings Program
  8. Insurance Information Institute, Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and Renters Insurance
  9. Consumer Affairs, Home Repair Statistics
  10. Home Advisor, State of Home Spending Report
  11. Thumbtack, How Much Do Outdoor Plumbing Repairs Cost?
  12. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings: Chapter 1
  13. House Logic, How Much Does Professional Mold Removal Cost?
  14. Home Guide, How Much Will Your Mold Removal Cost?
  15. Ace Home Hardware, How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Broken Water Pipe?
  16. SidingCost.org, House Siding Options, Plus Costs, Pros & Cons 2020
  17. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shopping List for Cleaning Mold in Your Home After a Flood
  18. EarthCare, Septic Installation & Repairs
  19. Jarrid M. Lentz of Septic System Installation and Septic Repair, Why Should I “TerraLift” Instead of Replace Septic Drain Lines?
  20. HowMuchIsIt.org, Wood Rot Repair