So they posed the question: Since perfection is not an option, what can you expect?
If you strip away the cosmetics, a house is made up of the structure, roof, building envelope and the “systems” of the house. The “systems” are things like heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical. All components and systems eventually wear out. Fortunately, they don’t all wear out at the same time. Different components have different life cycles. Houses tend to settle into what you might call a “normal maintenance pattern”.
THE 1% RULE
When you consider the life cycle of every component of a house, a reasonable annual estimate of the cost of normal maintenance is 1% of the value of the house. One year you may replace the furnace; a few years down the road you may re-surface the roof. Throw in the odd unexpected repair in between and you average 1% per year. It’s incredible but this rule is not far off even for very expensive and very inexpensive houses.
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