Broken Appliances: Should You Repair Or Replace Them?

Appliances have a certain lifespan of use, and then, unfortunately, they tend to break down one way or another. Depending on the age of the appliance and the amount of the repair cost, you should make an informed decision as to what will be a good for your finances and your home.

So, when the fridge stops producing cold or the dryer stops drying things, you may go into panic mode and try to either buy a new appliance or call a repair person. Before you make a snap judgment, you should take a step back. It’s important to ask the question: 

Is it worth getting this repaired?

If you are able to get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost, this will give you a good place to start. This is the fastest way for you to get the answers that you need. If the life of the appliance is going to only be a few years, you may be better off investing your money in a new appliance. The cost of a repair can run somewhere around 20-30 percent of the cost of replacing the appliance completely.

Understand The Life Expectancy Of Each Appliance

Some appliances are meant to last for a decade, others will last for a shorter period of time. As a general rule of thumb, if your appliance is over 7 years old and breaks down, you should probably replace it rather than repair it. It will be a better investment in the long run. Some typical lifespans for appliances are:

  • Dishwasher 9 years
  • Freezer 13 years
  • Range 15 years
  • Dryer 13 years
  • Washing Machine 10 years

Before you replace your broken appliance, there are a few things you should understand. First, sometimes, it really isn’t broken. A plug could be loose or a circuit could have tripped. You would hate to spend the money on a new appliance rather than deal with a simple problem. Troubleshoot the problem yourself by taking a peek at the owner’s manual first.              

Pricing Appliances 

Once you have repair estimates, you should find out how much it will be to replace your appliance completely with a similar model. Make sure that you factor in things like the removal of the old appliance, the taxes, and the installation. By running the numbers, you’ll know if you can afford a new appliance or not compared to the repair costs. 

New Features

If you have been dreaming of a refrigerator with an ice maker, it may be a good decision for you to spring for a new model. If you love the features you have, you’ll want to either price similar units or do the repairs. Really, your budget and needs very much dictate your decision for new appliances. Consider the options and make the repair or replacement call based on your needs.

How to Repair Holes in Your Drywall

Let’s face it: you probably have picture frames or decorations hiding some small holes in your drywall. Most people hold off on filling small holes until it’s time to repaint the wall. Even then, some people assume you can just paint right over the holes to cover them up. There’s a much better way to ensure you have smooth and uniform walls, however. Read on to learn how.

Repairing small holes

If the areas you are attempting to repair are mainly small holes from picture frames made by hooks and nails, there’s a relatively easy way to make your wall look like new again.

  1. First, you’re going to want to pull out any debris from the whole, including loose or chipped pieces of drywall. This is an important step that many people omit. If you put your spackle or paste in a hole that has loose drywall in it, it could just fall out when it drys.
  2. Next, fill up the whole with spackle and smooth it with a putty knife or any flat surface available to you. Read the directions on the paste to determine how long it will take to dry.
  3. Once dry, sand down the area using a fine-grit sandpaper (at least 120 grit). Rub your hand over the area to see if there are any bumps. Be careful not to sand too hard if your wall is textured at all. Once the spackle is smooth and flush with the wall, you can move onto the next step: repainting.

Repainting your wall

It’s good practice to save leftover paint and color samples for the walls of your house. If you’ve done this, your work here will be a lot easier. When you repaint the area you’ve sealed and sanded you’ll want to paint over the edges slightly to blend it with the paint already on your wall. This will, hopefully, make it so the repaired area doesn’t stand out. Remember not to panic when the paint appears darker and more vibrant where the repair is. Once it dries it will more closely resemble the paint on the wall.

It may be necessary to put a second coat onto the area, so don’t put your paint away just yet. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity to check the walls in the room for any other areas that need to be touched up.

It doesn’t look quite the same

If you find yourself staring at the one-inch area of your wall that looks slightly different than the rest, you have two options.

  1. Back away, go do something else for a while and then come back later. Was it obvious to you where the spot was after taking a break? Sometimes artists get too close to their work and focused on details that are only apparent to them. Remember that no one is likely to notice but you.
  2. If it’s driving you nuts, you could always use this opportunity to repaint the entire wall. Many rooms now have an “accent” wall, meaning one wall painted differently than the other three. This is a great way to add a hint of color to a room. Find a color that will nicely accent the walls and head to the paint store.

 

Leave These Three Home Repairs to the Pros

When you’re a homeowner, it’s tempting to save money any way you can. Oftentimes people take repairs into their own hands when they don’t have the knowledge or experience to complete the job safely. What begins as a way to save money can quickly turn into a disaster–as you spend lengthy periods of time on a project and find yourself going over your initial budget.

It isn’t always easy to know which projects you can attempt yourself and which ones are better left to the pros. And, of course, it will depend on your comfort and skill level when it comes to various household repairs. So, if you’re a plumber, disregard our plumbing advice and dive in to your DIY plumbing projects since you have the know-how. But if you’re an average homeowner looking to make some renovations and repairs, read on to find out which ones you should attempt and which ones are better left to the pros.

1. Electrical work

So you’ve got a few faulty outlets in the new home you bought. It doesn’t seem worth calling in an electrician just for those few minor issues. However, due to the dangers and complications that can arise from electric work, it’s a good idea to hold off and call in the experts.

Aside from shocking yourself (which can be deadly), you could also create fire hazards or damage circuitry, resulting in much higher repair costs than you initially had.

Another benefit of calling in an electrician, other than having the project done correctly, is that they will be able to diagnose your home circuitry to let you know what other problems might arise in the foreseeable future. So, when it comes to power issues, always call in the pros.

2. Hazardous materials

Many people will tell you not to worry about asbestos or lead paint unless you have children. However, these are both dangerous materials than can create several chronic health problems in adults as well. If you’re concerned for the safety of yourself and your family, call in contractors who will remove the lead or asbestos.

What can go wrong if you try to do it yourself? Lead chips and dust will fly through the air when attempting to remove lead paint. Breathing in these fumes is dangerous initially and down the road when the dust settles into the corners of your home. Asbestos, especially in blown-in insulation can be particularly dangerous.

Aside from ensuring your safety, a contractor will also be able to assess the situation and determine whether your hazardous materials need to be removed or can just be “repaired” or covered up. Simple repair jobs on asbestos or lead-containing objects can save you some serious time and money.

3. Roofing and siding

There’s a reason even building contractors bring in third party companies to install roofs and siding. These are both labor-intensive and time-intensive jobs that require specialized skills and tools that only dedicated companies can accomplish correctly.

Roofing and siding are both dangerous jobs that carry the risk of falling off of roofs and ladders, as well as injuring your back lifting heavy shingles. The pros have the tools and experience to avoid these injuries.

When you hire the professionals to do your roofing or siding, you can rest assured that the job is done correctly and will last much longer than if you made it a DIY project as well.