7 Common Repairs on your Lowcountry Rental Property

Any rental property will need repairs over its lifetime to ensure that it is able to continue to be rented out and to continue getting the highest possible rent for it. This article will go over common maintenance and upkeep items that your Lowcountry rental home will need as well as the price including parts and labor.

1. Roof

The Lowcountry can experience strong heat and humidity for long periods of time. This means that asphalt shingle roofs will last for about 15 years before they need to be replaced. The cost will vary depending on the size of the roof, but material and labor will be approximately $10,000-$15,000. 

Pro tip: Even if you are replacing the shingles with the same exact shingles, you will most likely need to get the approval of the HOA, if your rental home is in an HOA community.

2. AC Units

AC units obviously get a lot of use in the Lowcountry, which can shorten their lifespan. To prevent this you should do preventative maintenance on your AC units to extend their useful life at least once or twice a year. You should be able to get around 15 years out of a unit before needing to replace it, which will cost $5,000-$7,000 for the unit and labor.

3. Carpeting

Carpeting can become moldy in humid climates and only lasts for about 5 years before needing to be replaced. We usually recommend replacing carpet with vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl plank is very durable, with a useful life of at least 10 years. The cost for vinyl plank will be around $5 per square foot.

If you really want to use carpet then it will cost around $2.50 per square foot for material and labor.

4. Interior Paint

Interior paint lasts about 3 years before the room should be repainted. If paint needs to be redone beforehand then it is within your right to charge the tenant for this as paint lasting 3 less than 3 years is not due to normal wear and tear. Paint and labor will cost around $1-$2 per square foot.

5. Hot Water Heater

Since Lowcountry homes do not have basements, hot water heaters are usually located in the attic or in a closet. Due to their location you will want to stay on top of the hot water heater to catch any leaks before it becomes an issue in the attic. 

One tip is to make sure there is a pan and a drain. Also metal pans are better because they won’t crack like plastic pans are prone to.

Hot water heaters last for around 12-15 years. The cost to replace a hot water heater will depend on the location and size of the heater. Hard to reach heaters will be a little more expensive to replace than heaters with easy access, such as ones located in garages. The cost will range from approximately $1,400-$1,600.

6. Power Wash

You will most likely have to have the home get power washed at least once a year to remain in compliance with HOA guidelines. The Lowcountry is very lush with vegetation due to the climate, which can cause the siding of homes in the Lowcountry to turn green, especially if located near trees. The cost for a power wash will be approximately $1 per square foot of the house. Usually only a part of the home needs to be power washed so a 2000 square foot home almost definitely won’t need $2,000 of power washing per year. A couple hundred dollars a year can be earmarked for this.

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