Is Your Home Improvement Budget Ready for a Rainy Day?

home improvement budgetWhile many homeowners have a to-do list of fun home improvement projects, most don’t enjoy spending money on things that keep the house safe and sound. You might convince yourself that the brownish-yellow water stain on the ceiling is not a big deal because you really want to spend your savings on new hardwood floors or the latest trend in kitchen counter tops. Certainly those home improvements can be a good investment! But, in the end, ignoring essential home maintenance tasks means that you’ll have many more rainy days ahead. The bill always comes due.

Home Repairs that Cannot Wait

home improvement budget

There are a few areas of your home that demand immediate attention at the very first sign of trouble.

Specifically, any issues that allow water into your home must be addressed and without delay. In a February 2017 survey of U.S. renters and homeowners, 55% of respondents said they had water issues in their basement. Wet basements are often caused by foundation cracks, groundwater seepage and improper drainage. But issues with your roof and gutters can also send water into the basement. Even as little as one inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof can yield more than 600 gallons of water into your gutters. If that water is blocked and has no place to go, it will eventually find its way into your home. And over time, this water can cause structural damage.

Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and free of clogs. If you’re not able to manage the job yourself, hire a professional. Always have a professional look into any signs of a leaky roof or wet basement. Many roofing companies and basement waterproofing companies offer a free evaluation.

If water issues, even minor leaks, are not fixed immediately, mold will be your next problem. Mold can cause health issues for you and your family. And mold remediation can make a big dent in your wallet.

In addition to roof, gutter, and wet basement issues, here are some other items that require immediate action. Faulty heating and air conditioning systems, cracked or insecure windows, leaking pipes, and electrical problems are some of these problems. Make sure that you do have rainy day cash saved for these repairs or replacements.

What If You’re Strapped for Cash?

home improvement budget

If you’re in need of emergency home repair but are tight on cash, consider applying for a home improvement loan.

You can also search online for nonprofit groups that assist homeowners who can’t afford to make necessary home repairs. Douglas Robinson, a spokesperson for, suggests tracking down your local community development financial institution. Here you can seek advice and financial assistance. “They’re all around the country, and not everyone will qualify, if we’re talking about something that isn’t dire and you have time to do your homework, it’s probably a good way to go,” Robinson says.

For more advice on loans, grants and refinance options, read, “What to Do When You Can’t Afford a Home Repair.”


Most homeowners prefer to spend their money on home improvements that they can show off to their neighbors and friends. It’s pretty hard to get excited about a new roof, an investment in basement waterproofing or routine maintenance but those are the kinds of things that will keep your house intact and ready for resale when the time comes. Consider using a home maintenance app to help you track your budget and stay on top of your home maintenance tasks – keep those rainy day surprises to a minimum!

Author bio: Grant Dawson is the co-owner of Kings of Clean, a pressure washing and gutter installation and repair company serving, Cincinnati, Columbus and Northern Kentucky.