When one of your major appliances breaks down it can cause a disruption in your ability to complete household tasks. It could range from soiled clothes piling up to dirty dishes amassing over your generally pristine counter tops and sink. It could also cost you money when cherished end-of-day family time round the dinner table is replaced with expensive trips to local restaurants.
Yes, when your washer or dryer, dishwasher, stove or refrigerator stop functioning properly, your normal home life gets some unwelcomed disruptions. When this happens, you must decide if it makes more sense to hire an appliance repair company to service your device or buy a new appliance with a hefty price tag. Several factors come into play when choosing appliance repair services over a new product purchase. This article is written to help you make a good decision on whether to repair your current major appliance or take on the cost of a replacement major appliance.
Choosing Between Purchase and Replacement
When you’re faced with need to deal with a malfunctioning appliance you might be lured into a false sense of security when looking at store ads. Sales on major appliances are held all of the time. These “shiny and new” deals might make you think that immediately replacing your broken machine is the way to go. However, before you lay down your cold hard cash for a new appliance consider how it will affect you in the long run.
Out of Pocket Costs
First, a considerable amount of cash out of your pocket spent on a new washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator or dishwasher might be better off in your savings account for serious unforeseen emergencies. It’s hard to save money. Blowing a large part of your hard earned savings may be not only unnecessary but also impractical.
Monthly Payment Can Stress Your Budget
Second, a new monthly bill might hinder your ability to enjoy your life the and do other things. If you have a really tight budget a payment of even $40-$60 a month can mean a lot. While an appliance repair fee of $180 may sound high it’s a lot cheaper than 12 or more months of payments totaling $800 or more.
Being Forced Into Lower Quality Goods
Third, you might be able to afford only a used or low to medium-grade appliance. That means that you might have to turn around and replace it in just a year or two. Therefore, what appears to be shiny and new might in reality be cheap and bad purchase decision. If you are faced with repairing an otherwise high quality unit then a modest repair cost can continue your enjoyment of better equipment for quite some time.
The Cost of Appliance Repair Services
You might be skeptical of the true cost of appliance repair services. Generally speaking, you must pay the appliance repair company a trip charge just for coming to your house. Then you have to pay for any labor and parts costs. Since you do not know exactly what is wrong with your appliance, you are at the mercy of the appliance repair services company. That might be a really scary thought to you. You might have been burned by an appliance repair company before. There are ways to assure that you are making a good decision.
You can take power over the situation by getting several companies to agree to give you estimates for the work before it is performed. Most will say they cannot give you a price until they know what is wrong. Let them know you understand and that you are simply trying to gauge how much you may be paying. Usually they can give you a range depending upon “whether it’s this or it’s that”. Once you have the estimates, you can compare the cost of repair with the costs of a new product purchase.
Rather than be swayed by ‘trust me’ website content, take a few minutes to read online reviews of any appliance repair companies. Make sure that the company has a LOT of reviews as many reviews are written by friends and family members. Pay closer attention to recent reviews because these reviews probably reflect the work of current employees.
If you are a decent home repair handyman you may be able to watch a few Youtube videos to diagnose the problem, buy a part and do the repair yourself. Some of the most common repairs are for a switch that may take only 20 minutes and $15 top repair. If you’re not sure of your diagnosis you may end up replacing multiple parts and still not solve the problem. If you do decide to go the do-it-yourself route make certain you use all safety precautions such as unplugging the device from a power source and using proper personal protection equipment.
The Rule of Thumb
The decision for repair generally looks more attractive as the cost for replacement increases. While a homeowner would certainly be easily willing to replace a $75 garbage disposal a homeowner would be less inclined to quickly decide to replace expensive home power generators.
Consumer Reports Says
Consumer Reports advises that you should repair the appliance if the cost is less than half of a new appliance purchase. You should consider whether, after all is said and done, will you have a reliable piece of equipment that is the same or higher quality than that to which you are accustomed. If you have a really good major appliance that may need only a repair every year or so it may remain much cheaper than making a new purchase.
James Hobson is an internet marketing professional and avid blogger who writes about home repair and home improvement topics that help consumers and homeowners.