Being a homeowner is an incredibly rewarding thing, but it also comes with its share of headaches and challenges, thanks in large part to repairs and upkeep that often require shelling out lots of money to complete. Repairs aren’t the only headache-inducing aspects of owning a home; even keeping up with cleaning windows, gutters, and fans can be a point of annoyance.
Of all that it takes to own a home, what are some of the most disliked maintenance tasks? HomeAdvisor conducted a survey to find out what homeowners think are the most insufferable things they need to do to maintain their house, and the results are pretty eyebrow-raising.
One of the biggest takeaways in the survey, which included 1,000 homeowners, was that more than one in four respondents said they regretted buying their house, and nearly one in five said they regretted buying their house because it was too much to maintain. Respondents were also asked about whether they knew how much time, money, and effort it would take to maintain their home prior to buying it; 52.4% said they underestimated the amount of time maintenance would take, while 41.8% said they perfectly estimated it, and 6.1% said they overestimated it.
When it came to finances, 50.8% said they underestimated how much money it would take for maintenance, while 37% said they perfectly estimated it and 13.1% said they overestimated it. Similarly, when it came to the issue of effort, 49.2% said they underestimated how much it would take for maintenance tasks, 41% said they perfectly estimated it, and 10.9% said they overestimated it.
Specific tasks are more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive than others, but it’s often the most mundane and even less expensive tasks that are the least enjoyable. Respondents in the HomeAdvisor study were asked about a variety of maintenance tasks to see which ones they enjoyed the least, and as it turns out, cleaning windows was by far the least enjoyable (37.6%). That was followed by cleaning gutters (34.9%), cleaning the bathroom fan (33.1%), fixing leaking pipes (30.3%), chimney maintenance (29.1%), lawn care (27.6%), cleaning the garage (26.6%), cleaning the oven (23.8%), cleaning the sink/tub drains (23.4%), and cleaning range hood filters (22.3%).
Broken down by generation, more than half of baby boomers disliked cleaning windows, while 38% of Gen Xers agreed, as did 34% of millennials and 31% of Gen Zers. Millennials were most likely to dislike cleaning the bathroom fan.
Why don’t respondents like these maintenance tasks? Well, 52.7% of those surveyed said it was because they were too time-consuming, 47.5% said it was because they’d rather have someone else do them, 41% said they were too gross or messy, 30.2% said they lacked the skills or knowledge, 27% said they were scared of getting injured, and 22.6% said they were too lazy or didn’t care about home maintenance tasks. When asked who they would typically delegate tasks to, an overwhelming 73.9% said they’d hire a professional.
Of course, there can be serious and long-lasting consequences from not keeping up with maintenance around your house. The biggest consequence is that it will ultimately cost more money, which 46.2% of respondents said was the top consequence among all possible outcomes of neglecting maintenance. 45.7% said water damage was also a top consequence, 36.1% said surface damage, 35.4% said shortened life span of appliances/broken appliances, 30% said mold, and 25.8% said structural damage.
Ultimately, it seems that the homeowners who participated in the survey have specific issues with the maintenance and upkeep part of homeownership, and many seem to regret buying a house as a result. At the end of the day, owning a home is a smart and rewarding investment in your future if you’re prepared and have the right expectations about the amount of effort, time, and money it takes to keep it functioning. If you can push past the tedious and challenging nature of maintaining your house, it’ll be well worth it.