The Changing Life Expectancy of Home Products
Maintenance and repair: in many ways they're the phantom elements when trying to figure the cost of owning a particular home. Consumers often focus on easy-to-identify figures, the mortgage payments and property taxes of the world. When it comes to repair costs, potential buyers, current homeowners and sellers alike are usually tempted to come up with a rough "guesstimate". While there is no scientific way to calculate future maintenance costs, some of the mystery can be eliminated by considering the average life expectancy of home components.
The reasonable lifespan of any home component depends on the quality of installation, level of care/maintenance, weather or climate conditions and the intensity of use. Of these factors, most experts agree that the regularity and the quality of maintenance plays the biggest factoring the life expectancy for the average home product. That being said, the average natural life of a specific element can be a useful guideline when estimating maintenance and repair costs.
In the summer of 2006, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey of trade associations, researchers and manufacturers to compile information about the durability of common home elements. When compared with the previous such survey by NAHB (taken during the summer of 1993), the life expectancy of some home components has increased in recent years, while the average life of other products has actually gone down.
Below is a sample of their findings. Please note that these figures represent general guidelines, and should not be interpreted as a warranty or guarantee of performance for an individual product.
|Type||Lifespan (in years)|
|Refrigerators (standard size)||13|
|Water Heaters (Electric)||11|
|Water Heaters (Gas)||10|
|Warm Air Furnaces (Electric)||15|
|Warm Air Furnaces (Gas)||18|
|Warm Air Furnaces (Oil)||20|
|All Wooden Floors||Lifetime|
|Steel, Fire Rated||Lifetime|