How Long Will It Last – Know when you may need to replace it
When preparing to purchase a home or owning a home it is a good idea to understand the life expectancy of the appliances and structural parts that make up your home. Below is a summary of these items based upon a review of the National Association of Home Builders “Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components” which gives a good guesstimate of life-cycle data based on data from product manufacturer and testing labs.
The life expectancy of appliances depends on several factors, the most important is the extent of use it receives. Typically speaking, many appliances are often replaced before they are worn out because of a desire to update the style, technology and preference of the appliance itself. Typically speaking appliance life expectancy is:
• Gas Ranges – 15 years
• Dryers and Refrigerators – 13 years
• Trash compactors – 6 years
• Dishwashers – 9 years
• Microwave ovens – 9 years
Cabinetry and Storage
• Kitchen cabinets – 50 years
• Medicine cabinets – 20+ years
• Garage/laundry cabinets -100+ years
• Closet shelves are expected to last for a lifetime.
Concrete and Masonry
Masonry is one of the most durable components of a home.
• Chimneys, fireplaces, and brick veneers can last a lifetime
• Brick walls have an average life expectancy of more than 100 years.
• Natural stone countertops are expected to last a lifetime.
• Cultured marble countertops have a life expectancy of about 20 years.
Because they are subject to a wide range of conditions in different climates, the life expectancy of wooden decks can vary significantly. Under ideal conditions, they have a life expectancy of about 20 years.
• Exterior fiberglass, steel and wood doors will last as long as the house exists
• Vinyl and screen doors have a life expectancy of 20 and 40 years, respectively.
• Closet doors are expected to last a lifetime
• French doors have an average life of 30 to 50 years.
Electrical and Lighting
• Copper plated wiring, copper clad aluminum, and bare copper wiring are expected to last a lifetime
• Electrical accessories and lighting controls are expected to last 10+ years.
Faucets and Fixtures
• Kitchen sinks made of modified acrylic will last 50 years
• Kitchen faucets will work properly for about 15 years
• Bathroom shower enclosures average 50 years
• Showerheads last a lifetime
• Shower doors will last about 20 years
• Bath cabinets and toilets have an unlimited lifespan, but the components inside the toilet tank do require some maintenance.
• Whirlpool tubs will function properly for 20 to 50 years, depending on use.
• All natural wood floorings have a life expectancy of 100 years or more.
• Marble, slate, and granite are also expected to last for about 100 years, but can last less due to a lack of maintenance.
• Vinyl floors last up to 50 years
• Linoleum floors last about 25 years
• Carpet between 8 and 10 years (with appropriate maintenance and normal traffic).
Footings and Foundations
• Poured as well as concrete block footings and foundations last a lifetime, assuming they were properly built.
• Termite proofing of foundations will last about 12 years if the chemical barriers put in place during construction are left intact.
• Waterproofing with bituminous coating lasts 10 years, but if it cracks it is immediately damaged.
• Concrete or cast iron waste pipes are expected to last 100 years or more.
Framing and Other Structural Systems
• Framing and structural systems have extended longevities: poured-concrete systems, timber frame houses and structural insulated panels will all last a lifetime.
• Wall panels and roof and floor trusses will similarly last a lifetime.
• Softwood, hardboard, and plywood last an average of 30 years
• OSB and particleboard are expected to function properly for 60 years.
• Garage door openers are expected to last 10 to 15 years
• Light inserts for 20 years.
• Home technology systems have various life expectancies
• Built-in audio system will last 20 years
• Security systems and heat/smoke detectors have life expectancies of 5 to 10 years
• Wireless home networks and home automation systems are expected to work properly for more than 50 years.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
• Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems require proper and regular maintenance in order to work efficiently – most components of such systems only last 15 to 25 years
• Furnaces on average last 15-20 years
• Heat pumps 16 years
• Air conditioning units 10-15 years
• Tankless water heaters last more than 20 years
• Electric or gas water heater lasts about 10 years
• Thermostats usually are replaced before the end of their 35-year lifespan due to technological improvements.
Insulation and Infiltration Barriers
As long as they are not punctured, cut, or burned and are kept dry and away from UV rays, the cellulose, fiberglass, and foam used in insulation materials will last a lifetime. This is true whether the insulation was applied as loose fill, house wrap, or batts/rolls.
• Ladders are expected to last a lifetime
• Lifts is about 8 to 10 years.
Molding and Millwork
• Custom millwork will last a lifetime
• Stairs—circular and spiral stairs, prebuilt stairs and attic stairs—are expected to last a lifetime.
Paint, Caulks and Adhesives
Both interior and exterior paints can last for 15 years or longer
• Hardboard panels and softwood panels are expected to last 30 years
• Oriented strand board and particleboard have a life expectancy of 25-30 years
• Wall panels are expected to last a lifetime.
The life of a roof depends on local weather conditions, proper building and design, material quality, and adequate maintenance.
• Slate, copper, and clay/concrete roofs have the longest life expectancy—over 50 years
• Roofs made of asphalt shingles last for about 20+ years
• Roofs made of fiber cement shingles have a life expectancy of about 25 years
• Roofs made of wood shakes can be expected to last for about 30 years.
Siding and Accessories
Outside materials typically last a lifetime.
• Brick, vinyl, engineered wood, stone (both natural and manufactured), and fiber cement will last as long the house exists
• Exterior wood shutters are expected to last 20 years, depending on weather conditions
• Gutters have a life expectancy of more than 50 years if made of copper and for 20 years if made of aluminum
• Copper downspouts last 100 years or more, while aluminum ones will last 30 years.
Site and Landscaping
• Most landscaping elements have a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years
• Sprinklers and valves last about 20 years
• Underground PVC piping has a lifespan of 25 years
• Polyvinyl fences are designed to last a lifetime
• Asphalt driveways should last between 15 and 20 years.
• Tennis courts can last a lifetime if recoated; most coatings last 12 to 15 years.
• Concrete shell of a swimming pool is expected to last over 25 years, but the interior plaster and tile have life expectancies of about 10 to 25 years.
Walls and Ceilings
Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.
Windows and Skylights
• Aluminum windows are expected to last between 15 and 20 years
• Wooden windows should last upwards of 30 years.