Monday, June 27, 2011

The TV is Broken Should I Repair or Replace?

Plasma FlatImage via WikipediaThe picture on our TV went out the other day. The sound is OK, but no picture. The repair man came over and said it was a bad X-Sustain board. It would be only $350 to fix it. We spent $1100 for the 42" plasma TV 5 years ago. The question in my head is should we repair or replace the TV.

A new TV the same size could be purchased for $500 today. With the $150 difference from repairing it, I have decided to buy a new one. This decision was pretty easy to make because of the age of the TV and the probability of other things breaking on the set in the years to come.

Sometimes the decision to repair or replace is not so clear. I did have to give this one a little thought and a trip to the store convinced me that the TV's today cost 50% less than when I purchased my TV and the high cost of repair was not encouraging.

A few years ago My roof was in question. Should I repair a 30 year old roof or replace? The repair cost was 25% of the new roof cost. Also the maintenance on the old roof was high compared to the new roof which is negligible.

So how do you decide?

I put together a check list of common things that could be repaired or replace around your home.

Your Roof: 

There is a time in every roof’s life when it needs to be replaced. But, do you really need that new roof now? It’s a difficult decision given that a new roof can be costly. Just because the roof is leaking a bit does not necessary mean it needs a full replacement.

Replace it if:
  • It is 20 years old or more. The average roof life is 15 years.
  • There 1/3 or more of the shingles are damage, missing, cracked or curling.
  • You see sagging roof boards or mold in your attic.
  • It was significantly damaged by a storm. Your insurance may cover this
Repair it if:
  • You see minimal water damage in your home. Most water leaks can be repaired.
  • You are only missing a few shingles. Repairing a few shingles may only cost $75 – $250.
Your TV: 

It’s a sad day when the tube stops working. It’s usually very high on the list of priorities, but a decision has to be made to fix or replace first

Replace it if:
  • There is a recall for a defective TV. Sony is replacing certain models of their TVs for a great discount because they have defective parts.
  • It’s old. New technology is better than ever and has become more affordable. You will likely get a better TV at a lower price than your previous one.
  • The repair will cost more than half the price of a new TV.
Repair it if:
  • You bought the extended warranty.
  • It’s a really big expensive TV. It will not be easy to afford to replace this and will be worth the cost of a repair.
Your Business Copier:

 An office copier can be an expensive investment. What do you do when you your copy machine isn’t working properly.

Replace it if:
  • The cost of repairs over the last six months adds up to more than fifty percent of the cost of the copier.
  • It’s not reliable and you are losing money on your business without it.
  • Leasing a copier is cheaper than your monthly repair bills.
Repair it if:
  • Your warranty has not expired.
  • You can purchase the broken part on the cheap and replace it yourself.
  • It doesn’t break down very often.
Your Gutter System:

 Gutters carry out an important function for your home: Carrying water away. It’s important that they are functioning properly, so action needs to be taken when you notice something is wrong.

Replace it if:
  • You notice that the system is rusting out or the nails are pulling away from your home.
  • Water is pouring over even when the gutters are clear of debris. The system may be too small for your home.
Repair it if:
  • They simply need to be cleaned. Some gutters leak because they are full of leaves. Gutter cleaning only costs $150 to $300 per day.
  • Less than 2 or 3 sections are damaged.
Your Hardwood Floors:

 A hardwood floor can hold up for more than 100 years! Refinishing your hardwood floors can make them look like new again in most cases, but there are a few exceptions when you will need to replace them.

Replace them if:
  • You want a different grain or much lighter color.
  • There isn’t enough material left to refinish it again. It has been sanded many times and the nail heads are showing at the seams.
  • Water damage has caused the floors to warp or buckle.
  • They have very deep holes or cracks.
Repair (or refinish) them if:
  • There are scratches or traffic wear, but plenty of material left to sand.
  • You found them underneath your old carpet or vinyl floor. Old hardwood is very valuable and a refinish will take off any material left from the carpet or vinyl.

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