Impatience and a disposable electronic culture lead to many unnecessary replacement projects around the home. It seems like item repairing is no longer a first option, and often new homeowners go straight for the carotid artery – how much for a new one?
A young couple who are also new homeowners recently told me about a situation where the toilet was running all the time and not flushing properly. In addition, the shut-off valve on the toilet had come off and the water to the toilet no longer turned off. They convinced themselves they needed a new toilet, and a local plumber agreed – what else would a decent plumber do? The young couple spent $ 500 on a new toilet with the installation and now they have a toilet that flushes properly and doesn’t keep running water.
Unfortunately, all you needed was a $ 20 ball valve, a $ 5 butterfly valve, and a $ 6 stop valve. Plus a plumber or handyman with a good YouTube connection to fix the old toilet. Even with a plumber, the bill would likely have been less than $ 150 to repair the toilet instead of $ 500 to buy a new one. More importantly, the life of this item would have been extended. Repairing items around the home is more about getting all of the value of the original investment before it needs to be replaced to wear out.
The water heater is another item in the home that people are quick to replace rather than repair. The heating element and the pressure relief valve can often be replaced. My youngest daughter had a home inspection five years ago when she bought her house. The home inspector reported that the water heater is not working properly and may need to be replaced. The only problem was a broken pressure valve that was fixed for less than $ 20. For just $ 20, she got five more years of life from an older water heater – that’s real money!
Heating and air conditioning systems are often replaced when they can be easily repaired. A non-working unit on the hottest day of summer will force desperate homeowners to make a bad decision. Of course, overzealous repairers are more than willing to sell you a new device because it is often easier and more profitable.
Spending $ 200 on a home HVAC repair is not an exaggeration. The longer you can keep an old device running, the better it is for you as a homeowner. Replace the HVAC unit if the unit needs constant repair or if the parts are out of date.
The garage door opener is another area where homeowners replace the product rather than repair it. Unfortunately, when a car is trapped in a garage, the garage door has to work as soon as possible.
An obnoxious service technician is pushing for a new garage door opener to be installed when the opener often only needs a reprogrammed remote control or a new motherboard due to a power surge. Often times, other unnecessary repairs such as replacement rollers are included in these repairs as a hectic homeowner just wants their garage door to work.
If many homeowners are dirty when calculating replacement and repair, then the repair cost will be incurred, which relates to a new item in the house. However, they forget that repairs will extend the life of the item. A house is about longevity. The longer the lifespan of household items, the less a homeowner pays for long-term housekeeping. For example, repairing a $ 400 HVAC unit that adds five years of extra life is a great investment and eliminates one in the replacement cycle.
Yes, it is sometimes difficult to determine when to replace a household item rather than repair it. Take into account the additional service life that the repair will bring. The best question to ask a repair person is, “If I do this repair, how long do you think this item will last?” If you add years to it, repair is usually the best answer.
Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply and the host of Around the House, which can be seen on aroundthehouse.tv.