UK homeowners forked out an average of £2,864 on home maintenance in 2022 – 5.8% higher than the year before – piling on the huge financial pressure in the throes of a bill crisis.

With this in mind, Heath Alexander-Bew, director of personal lines at Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance has joined up with experts at Zoro to reveal the costliest home maintenance issues, as well as money-saving tips to fix them entering 2023.

The most expensive home repairs, according to experts

RankType of maintenance issueEstimated repair cost
1Poor/old wiring£3,000 – £6,500
2Paint peeling due to moisture£2,200 – £5,000
3Brickwork defects, drafts£1,900 – £5,000
4Boiler failure£500 – £3,000
5Mould through poor ventilation£800 – £1,000
6Obstructed gutters£240 – £300 *
7Clogged water pipes£150 – £300
8Leaking radiators£120 – £240 **
9Missing roof slats£120 – £220

Poor/old wiring – £3,000 – £6,500

Poor or old wiring is the most expensive home repair, potentially costing British homeowners a hefty £3,000 to £6,500. Risks associated with faulty and old wiring are extreme and are often the root cause of house fires across the country.

To prevent electrical fires, Heath suggests: Get an electrical inspection done by a licensed electrician to recognise early wiring problems and reduce the risk of costly emergency call-outs. Opt for copper wiring instead of aluminium which will be more cost-effective in the long run and reduce risks of overheating.”

Peeling paint and rising damp – £2,200 – £5,000

Peeling paint due to excess moisture is the second costliest house repair. It costs between £2,200 and £3,200 to fully repaint a damaged house – if damp is involved, it could stretch up to £5,000!

Heath continues: “Keep good ventilation through open doors and windows, and improve airflow by leaving gaps between furniture and the walls. If dampness has already set in, try injecting a damp-proofing cream or buy a dehumidifieras cheap as £1 – to absorb excess water.”

Brickwork defects – £1,900 – £5,000  

In third place is brickwork defects, usually occurring through age, moisture buildup, poor fitting and more. An issue that leads to a drafty home and poor thermodynamic insulation, it can cost between £1,900 and £5,000 to repair.

For minor brickwork damage, Heath suggests using : “A moulded mortar replacement. A crack injection mortar will fill small holes in the brickwork perfectly, and can be colour matched. However, with bricks that are too damaged, safe removal and replacement is the best option.”

Missing or damaged roof slats – £120 – £220

Missing roof slats is the cheapest home issue to fix, at just £120 to £220. Roofs with missing slats can happen to any home, usually due to high winds. Storm damage is often covered by insurance.

Heath suggests: “Missing roof slats can cause flooding from rain and lead to structural damage to the house, ruining valuable possessions. It’s important to recognise a roofing issue early before things deteriorate. In addition, carry out seasonal roof cleaning to avoid costlier repair fees due to moss growth, as well as gutter blockages caused by leaves and debris.”

Heath Alexander-Bew, Director of Personal Lines at Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance offered his comment:

“During an economic crisis, it’s important to combat high energy prices the best we can. Flicking off the lights at night and using appliances during inactive hours certainly helps, but home maintenance issues could be costing a lot more than you think.

Clean gutters and have your boiler serviced regularly, replace faulty wiring and take proper precautions to keep your home damp-free – doing so will save you thousands of pounds and days of stress heading into the new year. It’s also important to remember that a poorly maintained property could cause issues if you need to claim off your insurance. ‘Wear and tear’ is not something you can insure against.”

*: Estimated cost per hour is £ 120 – £150; experts suggest it’ll take about 2 hours to fully clean the gutters of an average UK home.

**: Estimated cost per hour is £40 – £80; experts also suggest it’ll take between 2 and 3 hours to repair leaking radiators, based on the quantity within the home.