15 Items That Are Super Expensive to Replace

Replace That Roof


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Replace That Roof
Young woman on laser tattoo removal procedure


If and when you feel the need to replace the tattoo you got one night as a drunken 20-something, know that removal averages more than $450 per session and can take more than 10 sessions over the course of more than two years to complete. Lightening an old tattoo enough to allow it to be covered with original body art could be a slightly cheaper option.   

Related: How Much People Spend on Tattoos and Other Amazing Facts About Ink in America

Car shape keyring and remote control key
Catalytic Converter Removal at a Salvage Yard stock photo

Catalytic Converter

We can thank catalytic converters for keeping our air a little cleaner, but any car owner who’s dealt with a broken or stolen catalytic converter knows replacing one can be catastrophic to your budget. The typical price is $800 to $1,200 plus labor, but can go up to $3,000 or more. Catalytic converters on certain auto models, such as the Toyota Prius, are often targeted by thieves because they contain more precious metals.

Related: Warning Signs You Need a New Vehicle

A broken tablet computer screen

Tablet Screens

Tablets are great for their portability, but when we tote them everywhere we go, it’s almost inevitable that they’ll get dropped. The price is steep to replace a tablet screen, anywhere from $50 to $600

Related: Ways to Turn an Old iPad Into Something New

Warped deck wood plank

Deck Lumber

Having a deck is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. But once the boards start rotting or warping, the sunny days are over: It’s time to make costly repairs or scrap the whole thing and build a new one. Typical total deck replacement costs are between $4,000 and $11,000, depending on the deck’s size and material and labor costs. If your contractor allows it, buying your own lumber could help you save a little cash.  

Related: Low-Cost Home Renovation Ideas With the Biggest Payback

Deployed airbag in the interior of a vehicle

Air Bags

“How much is this going to cost me?” is not the first thing on your mind if you’re in an accident and an airbag deploys. Airbags have saved more than 50,000 lives between 1987 and 2017. But grateful-to-be-alive and bummed-to-be-slapped-with-a-big-bill are not mutually exclusive, and you can expect to pay at least $1,000 per air bag — and sometimes much more.    

Related: Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Car for a Teen

bath tube


Nothing is quite as relaxing as kicking back in a warm bath, but the price to replace a tub if it’s leaking or discolored could leave you feeling a bit tense. It can be as high as $20,000 if the plumbing also needs to be changed. At least your money isn’t going down the drain: It’ll go toward enhancing that spalike vibe.

Related: Ways to Save on a Bathroom Makeover

Young African-American man at dental office

Cavity Filling

“I’ll never forget how much fun it was when I went to the dentist and got those fillings a few years back!” said no person ever. And the hits just keep on coming when you realize that fillings do not last forever, needing eventually to be replaced for costs ranging from $150 to $2,800 a tooth depending on the materials used (e.g. resin, amalgam, gold), the extent of the damage, and the cost of tuition at your dentist’s kid’s school.

Related: 14 Ways to Save Money at the Dentist

Senior woman in the dental office.


What to do when a tooth is too far gone to be fixed with a filling or you lose one — or more — in an accident? A dentist can hook you up with faux pearly whites, but they’re gonna cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000, depending on whether you go with partial dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge.

Related: Ways to Save Money at the Dentist

Printer ink
vladacanon / istockphoto

Ink Cartridges

It’s no mistake that the cost of replacing ink cartridges is so high. Manufacturers actually sell printers at a deep discount, factoring in that you must buy expensive ink to keep them going. It’s not unusual to buy a $70 printer that requires hundreds of dollars a year in ink to keep going at high volume. But shrewd customers can find ways to lower ink costs.

Related: The Best Places to Buy Cheap Printer Ink Online

Broken blue jeans zipper fixed with safety pin
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As the name implies, zippers were invented to be fast and simple. But a busted zipper can be prohibitively expensive to replace because it can be such a tedious job for the tailor. Replacing the zipper on a winter jacket or sleeping bag could cost more than $50. (Price lists, such as this one from a Connecticut cleaners, can give you an idea of whether it might be worth replacing a zipper or the item itself.)       

Related: Things You Didn't Know You Could Repair to Save Money

Replace That Roof


You can expect a home’s roof to last from 30 to 100 years, which seems like a long time … right up until you find yourself in need of a new one. The average cost of replacing a roof is $8,000, and will be higher or lower depending on square footage, materials used, and local labor costs. 

Related: 20 Repairs to Leave to the Pros to Avoid DIY Disasters

Break-in and broken window
erlucho / iStock


Whether the neighbor’s kid has sent a baseball through a pane or you’re just dealing with normal wear and tear, sometimes replacement windows are a necessary expense. The cost of replacing the windows in a typical three-bedroom home could run $10,000 or more. The good news is that you can recoup some money if better windows reduce your energy bill.

Related: Ways to Upgrade Your Home That Will Save Money in 2021


An Employee

It’s estimated that the cost of replacing an employee can be up to double their yearly salary, adding up to a huge expense for businesses. Gallup research shows that 50% of employees who leave their jobs voluntarily say that their companies could have done something to prevent their departure.

Related: Lies That Bosses Tell Employees

Close up view of Permanent resident card (Green) card of USA on blurred background.
Evgenia Parajanian/istockphoto

Green Card

Keep this document safe! If you have permanent resident status and find yourself in need of a new physical green card because yours has been lost, stolen, or destroyed you’re going to be out $540. Another cause for the expense is if you change your name — but at least you’re in control of that decision.

Related: Which Celebrities Besides Tom Hanks Have Dual Citizenship?