Repair It Or Replace It?

When something breaks in our home – whether it’s a laptop, a washing machine or even your home’s roof – the biggest question can often be ‘should I repair it, or should I replace it?’. Knowing which option to take could save you a lot of money. Here are just a few things to consider that could help you to make the right decision.

Is it insured?

Before repairing or replacing a broken item, you should first consider if it is insured.

Many products are covered by a warranty for the first year or two – this could allow you to get free repairs. A lot of people forget about these warranties or don’t even realise that they had them in the first place.

In other cases, there may be insurance in place to cover replacements. If you’ve got home insurance and your front door has been broken down, home insurance could help to pay for a new door. In this case, replacing could be more sensible than repairing – an upgrade to a more secure door may be needed to prevent further break-ins.

The 50% rule

If an item isn’t insured, you should consider the 50% rule. This rule basically states that a repair is only worthwhile if it comes to less than 50% of the cost of a replacement.

For instance, if it costs $150 to repair a laptop that only costs $250 to replace, you could be better off replacing. However, if repairs cost $100, repairs may be the more economical option.

The 50% rules also applies to multiple repairs over a period of time. For instance, if you’ve has to get your $250 laptop replaced two times already each for $50, it may not be worth getting it fixed a third time for the same cost.

The age of the product

The age of the product is also worth considering. Many products have an expected life, after which parts are wear and tear is likely to cause recurring faults. This varies depending on the item – a dishwasher is generally expected to last 9 years, whilst a roof can last 30 years. Replacing broken items that have exceed this expected life could be sensible.

Besides, there could be more energy-efficient options on the market. A 20 year old broken fridge is probably not worth repairing even if it is the first time it’s broken, largely because it’s likely to have a terrible energy rating – upgrading to a new fridge could save you a lot of money in energy bills.

As for newer items, they are generally worth repairing. There’s no benefit to upgrading a three year old fridge when a new fridge is probably just as economical – appliance repair makes a lot more sense. That is unless the 50% rule applies.

Can you get money for parts?

You may be able to make money from scrapping broken items and buying a replacement. Even in the case of a very damaged appliance or piece of furniture, there will likely still be parts that can be salvaged for cash. Of course, you need to be able to find someone that is willing to buy these parts


  1. I've never heard of the 50% rule. I like the guidelines. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really miss the days of fixit shops and built to last, where so much of everything we use wasn't intentionally created to end up in a landfill.

  3. people just throw out too many things. we try to fix everything we can!

  4. This is definitely my dads motto, he is always trying to fix everything before actually getting rid of it! There are a lot of things that can be fixed rather than thrown away though. This is a great guide to go by, thank you so much for sharing!

  5. We usually try to fix something first. Out ice maker went nuts a couple of days ago so we are trying to repair it ourselves.