Now that the prices of commodities are crashing around the world, why not take advantage? Look at how much copper prices have fallen -- down about 55% from their peak in 2011, with no bottom in sight:
You could make the best of these historic lows and upgrade your plumbing to copper, although it may be hard for the plumber to get at all the existing pipes (behind walls, etc.), and you may not want to have the water shut off for large amounts of the day.
Upgrading exterior elements to copper, however, wouldn't be difficult for the installer, and wouldn't seriously disturb the day-to-day atmosphere. You can't install copper yourself, so you'll still pay for specialist labor, but that isn't the biggest chunk of the total costs, which is the copper itself (expensive compared to other materials, yet suddenly a LOT more affordable).
Copper roofs, gutters, downspouts, and trim will last forever -- centuries at the least -- provide an interesting texture, wonderful color that changes over time, and a familiar natural material. As opposed to cruddy, bland, new-fangled stuff. Juxtaposing the blue-ish patina that develops on copper, and masonry or brick that is brown / red / orange / yellow, is one of the most pleasing and subtle color contrasts available. It also works well with whiter materials, which make it look more bright and cheerful than sober and handsome.
Formerly just a dream, now within reach.