Updating Your Home: Repair or Replace?

Updating or fixing up your home isn’t a small undertaking. If you’ve ever jumped onto what you thought would be a small bathroom repair that turned into a complete remodel, you know how quickly costs can skyrocket. But a lot of the time, those costs come up unnecessarily, whether out of home upgrade inexperience or just from not knowing when it’s a good idea to repair something or replace it.

Both repairs and replacements can be costly, but some costs have a quicker return on investment over others. If you want to forgo going over your home update budget, it’s important to know what you expect from the project at hand. It’s easy to walk into a home project blindfolded. You might have an idea of what you’re expecting as an end result, but haven’t set yourself up for success by doing the proper research beforehand.

So, before you dive into a new project, take a look at the issue at hand. What is it you want to change? Is it a fix you can do on your own? And lastly, is this something that requires a repair, or should I keep replacements in mind? There is a significant difference between repairing and updating versus upgrading and replacing. Although repairing can be cheaper for up-to-date and smaller appliances, fixing a fridge, for instance, won’t change the layout of a poorly designed room. Weigh all your options before you commit to a costly project or a repair that you’re not happy with.

Outdoor Damage?

Think about where repairs need to be made and if the location will affect your decision. For example, let’s say the outside of your home is in need of minor repairs. Maybe vinyl siding has seen better days, or you’re looking to update the look of your home’s exterior completely. Of course, any work that you may or may not do to your home is very dependent on whether or not you’re currently part of an HOA or Homeowner Association. Although your HOA may not have strict architectural guidelines, certain home improvements will likely need to be approved by them.

Simple exterior repairs like a new coat of paint of repair of vinyl are far more cost-effective than replacing a material altogether. However, something like replacing windows or doors can be a coin toss. Of course, if you’re looking to change windows for an aesthetic reason, there may be little you can do besides changing out windows or doors completely. However, if you’re looking to make your windows or doorways more energy-efficient and still keep their current look, refreshing caulk can fix any gaps that could be causing heat or cold air to flow from your home uncontrollably. Even UV window tints can cut down on costs and save you more time than a full replacement.

Indoor Damage?

As for the inside of your home, the question of repair or replace comes down to total costs. There’s no way to work around major repairs while renovating a home, as there’s no way to work around costly replacements in a complete remodel. It is, however, beneficial to use your imagination before you buy brand new fixtures and appliances. More often than not, an experienced company can repair a fixture or appliance—even ones that appear vastly out of date—in the manner of days. Unless a fixture, even with the proper repairs looks out of place amongst your other furniture and fixtures, repairs often make greater financial sense.

No Short-Term Solutions

The thing that often gets to a homeowner’s wallet are repairs that seem effective in the home, but only prove to be a short-term solution. Of course, changing air filters in a furnace, or stripping a water heater of water deposits will definitely prolong the life of your appliance, now when you’re repairing versus putting a bandaid on a larger problem. Sure, replacements are more expensive, significant damages made by an improper repair are just as costly. This is when you have to accept when you can “do it yourself” and when you should hire a professional service.
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