Repair or Replace: Finding a Sweet Spot in Savings and Frustrations 

So your electronic device went kaput. Now you’re wondering, “Should I repair or replace it?”. Find balance in that question in this guide.

Your old dependable laptop is starting to hit the fritz. When you open your computer the fans sound like a small airplane about to take off. The battery barely holds a charge and the applications take several minutes to a lifetime to load.

The question every electronics owner asks themselves when their electronics start to die is “should I repair or replace?” The answer is a little more complicated than you might think.

Many consumers feel electronics companies build their gadgets and gizmos with planned obsolescence. Which makes many consumers feel frustrated.

Most consumers want to save money and get the most out of their electronics. When your computer, phone, or appliance breaks, you need to decide if it’s worth fixing or replacing.

Are you trying to determine if you repairing or replacing your gadget is most economical? Here’s what you need to know before you decide to fix or replace your electronics.

What It Means to Repair or Replace

In both cases, repairing or replacing results in your getting an electronic or appliance that functions like new. Depending on the gadget and level of damage with it, both repairing or replacing can be a great way to save money.

The difference between repairing or replacing an item is straightforward.

Repairing an electronic means you take it to a professional to diagnose the problem and fix it. The advantage of repairing is you get to keep your same electronic. Many people find repairing to be more cost-effective.

Replacing means your toss out your old electronic and buy a new one. For many, this is an exciting option because you get the chance to upgrade to a newer model. Others have found this option to be stressful and expensive.

But how do you determine which option is best?

The Age of the Electronic

At some point, you will need to replace electronics in your home. Most computers, for example, have a lifespan of 3-5 years before needing replacing. Refrigerators can last for around 15 years and smartphones for roughly 2 years.

Electronics and appliances of all kinds devalue as they age. What was once a $1,000 computer can devalue to under $400 after a few short years. As you can see, the age of your electronics plays an important role when you’re deciding whether to repair electronics or replace them.

A computer that’s about 1-2 years old can function well for a few more years after repair. In this case, it’s more cost-efficient to repair than buying new. Your local computer repair professionals can also provide you with advice on repairing as they diagnose the problem.

If your computer is going on 4 or 5 years, an expensive repair isn’t cost-efficient. When a computer hits that age other problems will occur shortly down the road costing you more money. In this case, it will be more economic to replace it.

Besides costing more to repair, older appliances can take a toll on your utility bill. Old appliances, like refrigerators or washers and dryers, can waste electricity, even when they’re not in use. Replacing your old appliance will be more economic over time than continuing to repair it.

Determine the Cost of Repairing Versus Replacing

Considering the costs of a repair or a replacement is another way to help you decide on the best option. Repairs for electronics can get incredibly expensive. Even if the repairing costs are under the original cost of your electronics, that doesn’t mean it’s the most affordable option.

If the costs to repair an item are 50% or greater than the current cost of your electronics, you should replace it. To do this, you’ll need to determine how much your gadget costs when it’s running well by factoring in its age, use, brand, and model. Here’s a closer look at the costs of repairing and replacing popular electronics.


The average cost for a new smartphone is around $528 with high-end phones costing closer to $1,000. The average cost to fix it varies between $50 and $150 with more expensive repairs costing over $300.

Common repairs include debugging systems, fixing screens, water damage, and replacing charging ports. In most cases, repairing your smartphone is the better option.

Computers & Laptops

Computers and laptops range from $300 to over $3,000 for powerful high-speed models. The repair costs have an average of $300. Again, some repairs may cost much less depending on the damage.

Replacing your computer is often the better option. Some laptops, however, have an average cost of $1,000 while the costs of repairing are around $300. In this case, repairing is the better option.


Electronic appliances, like washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators are big investments. The average cost for these appliances ranges from $350 to $8,000. The cost to repair most appliances is around $170.

The most cost-efficient option is to service your appliance.


The type of printer you have will determine whether you should fix or replace it.

Large multifunction printers (MFPs) have an average cost of $1,000-$6,000 new. The cost to repair an MFP is much lower meaning it’s more affordable to repair your printer.

Desktop printers cost much less, around $100-$200 with a repair cost averaging $80. If your desktop printer isn’t working, replacing it is a better option.

Check the Warranty 

Most new electronics come with a manufacturer’s warranty to protect you from defects or problems. These can last anywhere from 30 days to a year (sometimes more) that covers all repairs at no cost. Some allow you to add a limited warranty for an additional cost.

The advantage of a warranty is it can save you money when something serious goes wrong. When your electronic or appliance goes kaput, check if it’s still under warranty and what the warranty covers. Some warranties will cover almost anything while others cover a very limited number of issues.

Does the warranty cover most of the costs to repair your gadget? If yes, then repairing will save you money.

Repair or Replace Your Electronics with Confidence

Deciding whether to repair or replace your electronics can be stressful. By following this helpful guide, you can make a smart choice that will save your money later on.

Want to learn more helpful life hacks? Check out our latest articles to make your life easier.


Understanding the Psychology of Space: Having a Functional Home

After a long day at school or at work, there’s nothing better than walking through our home’s front door, kicking our shoes off, and finally winding down. But what if our home isn’t exactly the oasis of comfort we’d like it to be?

Addressing the dysfunctional aspects of the home isn’t always easy and actually getting started on the updates themselves can be even harder. The inevitable destruction that comes along with renovation isn’t comfortable and, in the short run, may not seem worth it – but leaving a project half finished due to poor planning is even worse.

Save yourself the headache down the line by being as honest and realistic as possible during the planning phase and consider your own time restrictions and skill level. While many homeowners plan on doing at least some of the work themselves, consulting with professionals will help reel in scope, manage priorities, and get the job done right the first time.

For most families, a functional home is a happy home. Here’s how to keep renovation projects on track, within budget, and build a space that works for your family, not against it.

Manspeak, Volume 2: Heroism

Subconsciously I view handymen and auto mechanics as super heroes. Because the only thing I can build is a Lego house and the only vehicle I can fix is a Lego car. While I’m not a “slow learner”, I don’t learn new skills quickly. It takes daily practice for at least several weeks before I master something new. So to see a man who gets daily exposure to these expected masculine events, I can’t help but have admiration.

Any laugh track infused sitcom that features a typical “dad figure” has had at least once episode where there is a need for home repair and the man of the house rises to the occasion (against the advice of others in the household, namely the wife). Of course, the man botches the job for the comedy highlight of the episode: On Who’s the Boss, Tony “fixed” the toilet upstairs but smashed a hole in the floor which he fell into, causing only his butt to be visible from the living room ceiling by his family below. On Perfect Strangers, Larry “fixed” the shower but it caused the shower head to shoot water across to the other side of the bathroom and blasted Balki in the face, who decides to just stand there with his mouth open and drink the water instead of move out of the way. And as for Home Improvement, “man hilariously attempts home repairs” was the theme of every entire episode.

The fact that under-qualified men continue to try to fix things when they don’t really know how to, is a universal issue. Why? Because it is a man’s job to fix things. It is literally the way men were wired. A woman says to a man, “Our garbage disposal isn’t working right. I think we should call someone to come fix it.” The man hears this: “You’re a man, capable of figuring out how to fix this, but instead, I’m going to call another man to get the job done because he’s more qualified than you”. Shrinkage follows at just the thought of another man walking in the door with his tools.

A man walks around with this hidden fear that he will not be successful in life. In all ways big and small. If he can’t successfully make the evidently simple home repair, he fears he may be seen as insufficient, incapable, and useless. When he longs to be the hero. And hiring someone else to do the job makes him feel unnecessary. May seem a little over the top, but being a man, I recognize the tendency of thinking in terms in worst case scenarios about this stuff.

This also explains the all too familiar (yet somehow not cliché because it’s so true) story of the man who won’t stop to ask for directions. It’s a man’s job to explore and find his own way if he’s lost. A major sense of accomplishment if he can do it. And just for the record, he’s not lost. He’s either taking the scenic route or the short cut (depending on how much time is delayed).

One of my proudest accomplishments regarding home improvement was when I turned down an aggressive salesman who knocked on the door one sunny Saturday morning. If I signed a year-long contract right then since his company was already in the neighborhood, his company would regularly spray my house for bugs for the low, low yearly fee of $545. He inspired me to immediately drive to Lowe’s and purchase a 5 gallon sprayer for $11. Needless to say, I now consider myself a professional bug killer.

Last week as I was getting ready for bed I heard my wife scream loudly from the stairs. My initial thought is that someone broke into the house. I ran over to the stairs to find the intruder to be a wolf spider. A very large scary spider that appeared quite afraid to end up lost and confused at the top of the stairs. I took on the form of the 1984 no nonsense straight-faced Bill Murray, racing downstairs to transform the vacuum cleaner into a proton pack with which I sucked up the monster with great force, feeling the vibration of the thump as it was crushed to death by my weapon. I was a hero. An ego trip shortly followed.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: