Life expectancy of Home Components

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Hendershot Realty

Good to know...

From the foundation to the rooftop, here's a quick look at how long, on a national average, some of the most common home components are expected to last.

  • Foundations. Poured concrete block footings and slab foundations should last a lifetime, 80 to 100 years or more provided they were quality built. The foundation termite proofing, 12 years, provided the chemical barriers remain intact.

    Properly installed waterproofing with bituminous coating should last 10 years.

  • Flooring. Natural wood flooring has a life expectancy of 100 years or more with proper care. Marble, slate, and granite, likewise, but again, only with proper maintenance. Vinyl floors wear out in 50 years, linoleum about 25 years, and carpet between 8 and 10 years, tops.
  • Electrical system. In the electrical system, copper plated wiring, copper clad aluminum, and bare copper wiring are expected to last a lifetime, whereas electrical accessories and lighting controls are expected to fail not much longer than 10 years.
  • Outside materials. Outside materials typically last a lifetime. Brick, vinyl, engineered wood, stone (both natural and manufactured), and fiber cement typically last as long the house exists. Exterior wood shutters get 20 years, well maintained gutters, 50 if they are copper, 20 years if they are aluminum. Copper downspouts last longest, 100 years or more, while aluminum ones give out after 30 years.
  • Doors. Exterior fiberglass, steel and wood doors will last as long as the house exists, while vinyl and screen doors have a life expectancy of 20 and 40 years, respectively. Closet doors are expected to last a lifetime, and French doors have an average life of 30 to 50 years.
  • Windows. Wooden windows last longer than aluminum ones -- 30 years compared to only 15 or 20.
  • HVAC systems. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems require a religious regimen of maintenance. Still, most components give up within 25 years. Furnaces break down in 15 to 20 years, heat pumps 16 years, and air conditioning units 10 to 15 years. Tankless water heaters can go for 20 years or more, but electric or gas water heaters only 10 years. Thermostats have a 35-year lifespan but are often replaced for more efficient models.
  • Appliances. Appliances' life expectancies depend largely on how much they are used, but they are typically replaced long before they are done. One must keep up with the Joneses. Among major appliances, gas ranges live15 years, dryers and refrigerators die at 13, compactors, dishwashers and microwave ovens might last until they are 9 years.
  • Roofing. The life of a roof is largely dependant upon local weather conditions, proper building and design, material quality, and adequate maintenance. Slate, copper, and clay/concrete roofs have the longest life expectancy, 50 years or more. Wood shake roofs, go for 30 years, fiber cement shingles last 25 years, asphalt shingles give up at 20.
  • Comments (1)

    Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
    Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
    Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

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    Mar 12, 2016 10:40 AM