In Search of The Perfect Home

By
Home Inspector with Electrospec Home Inspection Services

 

Article Courtesy of Carson Dunlop

 

THE 1% RULE

When you consider the life cycle of every component of a house, a reasonable annual estimate of the cost of normal maintenance is 1% of the value of the house. One year you may replace the furnace; a few years down the road you may re-surface the roof. Throw in the odd unexpected repair in between and you average 1% per year. It’s incredible but this rule is not far off, both for very expensive and very inexpensive houses.

 

NORMAL MAINTENANCE

If you strip away the cosmetics, a house is made up of the structure, roof, exterior envelope and the “systems” of the house. The “systems” are things like heating, plumbing, electrical and cooling. All components and systems eventually wear out. Fortunately, they don’t all wear out at the same time. Different components have different life cycles. Houses tend to settle into what you might call a “normal maintenance pattern”.

 

WHAT’S THE MESSAGE HERE?

A homebuyer should arrive at the home inspection with realistic expectations. If you are buying a 12-15 year old home, let’s face it, you may need a new roof covering. If you are buying a 60 year old home, you may have to update some plumbing. Don’t let this scare you away from a perfectly good home.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Here is a short list of typical life cycles of the most common components of the home. Please keep in mind that there will be exceptions in every category.

 

ROOF COVERINGS

  • Conventional asphalt shingles ................................. 12 - 15 years
  • Top quality asphalt shingles .................................... 25 - 30 years
  • Low slope shingles ................................................... 10 - 15 years
  • Slate............................................................................ 40 - 200 years
  • Tar & gravel roof (built-up roof)............................... 15 - 20 years
  • Single ply roof membrane ........................................ 15 - 20 years
  • Roll roofing................................................................  5 - 10 years

 

EXTERIOR

  • Gutters & downspouts ............................................... 20 - 30 years
  • Copper gutters and downspouts ................................ 50 - 100 years
  • Aluminum siding ........................................................ 50 plus years
  • Wood siding................................................................. maintenance dependent
  • Stucco........................................................................... maintenance dependent
  • Exterior paint .............................................................. 4 - 6 years
  • Deck.............................................................................. 10 - 20 years
  • Asphalt driveway surface............................................ 10 - 20 years
  • Driveway sealer ........................................................... 1 - 3 years
  • Concrete driveway........................................................ 30 - 40 years
  • Garage door opener....................................................... 8 - 12 years

 

STRUCTURE

  • Termite treatment ........................................................ 10 - 20 years

 

HEAT

  • Conventional furnace ..................................................  20 - 25 years
  • Mid efficiency furnace .................................................  20 - 25 years
  • High efficiency furnace ................................................ 15 - 20 years
  • Cast iron boiler ............................................................. 35 - 50 years
  • Steel boiler .................................................................... 20 - 30 years
  • Copper tube boiler ........................................................ 10 - 20 years
  • Humidifier ..................................................................... 5 - 10 years
  • Electronic air filter ........................................................ 10 - 20 years

COOLING

  • Air conditioning condenser .......................................... 10 - 15 years

 

PLUMBING

  • Galvanized steel supply pipe ....................................... 40 - 50 years
  • Copper pipe .................................................................. indefinite Toilet.............................................................................. 30 - 40 years
  • Sink ............................................................................... 12 - 20 years Faucet............................................................................ 10 - 15 years
  • Whirlpool bath ............................................................. 15 - 25 years
  • Shower pan...................................................................  unpredictable
  • Pump for well ............................................................... 10 - 15 years
  • Water softener ............................................................... 5 - 15 years
  • Sump pump ...................................................................  2 - 7 years
  • Water heater................................................................... 8 - 12 years
  • Tile bathtub enclosure .................................................. 10 - 50 years

INTERIOR

  • Paint............................................................................... 5 - 10 years
  • Windows ....................................................................... maintenance dependent

 

Copyright 2015/2016 Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd. All rights reserved. No written material may be copied without the express written permission of Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd.

Comments (1)

William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Yes, I have gone along with this idea for many years

Jan 09, 2017 05:17 PM