There’s plenty to love about owning a home. But in addition to all of the freedoms and financial perks, there are also some points of contention. The constant need to fix or repair something is one such area of friction.

The Strain of Home Maintenance

When it comes to the cost of home ownership, most people consider the mortgage, insurance, and maybe property taxes. However, it goes a lot deeper than this. The thing that gets most people is the ongoing cost of maintaining a house.

If you aren’t careful, a house can go from affordable to outrageously expensive in a matter of months. A $5,000 HVAC installation here, a $1,000 plumbing repair bill there, and a few hundred dollars in miscellaneous fixes will sink most homeowners. And while it’s not always possible to prevent the occasional breakdown, there are proactive steps homeowners can take to ensure these costly issues are fewer and farther between. 

How to Build a Low-Maintenance House

As you think about ways to reduce the cost and stress of homeownership, you should consider building your own house. When you take this route, you’re in charge of all the different material selections, designs, and structural decisions. This means you’re able to construct a house that’s stronger, sturdier, and less likely to need frequent maintenance. 

If you do decide to build, heed the following advice:

1. Install a Metal Roof

A roof can make or break a house. If a roof is improperly installed – or if low quality materials are used – you’ll deal with maintenance issues for years. But if the right type of roof is installed in the right way, you’ll enjoy decades of worry-free protection.

“For a durable, great looking roof that will pay for itself over time, no other roof material tops metal,” Warren Roofing explains. “Metal roofing can do more than just look great and protect your home or building from rain and wind. It can also help you keep your house cooler and save energy.”

There are a variety of metal roofing styles to choose from. There are metal shingles, metal tiles, metal shake, and vertical panels. Most people go with the traditional look of vertical panels, but consider all of your options prior to making a final selection. 

2. Use Fiber Cement Siding

Instead of wood siding (which is prone to rot) or vinyl siding (which can easily chip or split in a storm), go with fiber cement. Not only does it look great, but it lasts much longer.

“Tough, long-lasting fiber-cement siding is dimensionally stable when the weather changes, which puts less stress on paint finishes, helping preserve those good looks for years (and letting you enjoy a big reduction in upkeep),” home improvement author John Riha mentions. “It’s also rot-, fire-, and insect-proof. Warranties range from 30 to 50 years.”

3. Install Aluminum Windows

If your home has wood windows, they will rot over time. You can invest hours and hours of time into prolonging their useful life, but they’ll eventually give in to the elements. 

If you want the beauty of wood windows without the hassle of regular maintenance, you can find options where the exterior is wrapped in aluminum. It’ll cost you a slight premium, but it’s a far more cost-effective investment over the life of your home.

4. Install Artificial Turf

If you want a beautiful, lush lawn, expect to spend at least a couple of hours per week mowing, watering, weeding and fertilizing. This amounts to over a hundred hours per year (minimum). While it’ll cost you a bit more upfront, installing artificial turf instead of real grass will save you time. It’ll also eliminate the expense that comes with lawn mowers and landscaping.

5. Keep it Simple

When it’s all said and done, aim to keep things as simple as possible. Every time you add a new system or upgrade a technology, you’re asking for trouble. A simplistic approach will help you spend more time enjoying your house and less time working on it. 

Ready, Set, Build

Building a house isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes time, patience, and vision. It’s also not as cheap (in the short-term) as buying an existing house. Having said that, the long-term rewards are plentiful. And if you do it the right way, you’ll enjoy less stress and lower monthly costs over the life of ownership. What do you say?