How Long Do Things Last? What’s The Life Expectancy Of Home Components?

heap-of-wood.jpg When building a new home, you are investing a lot of hard work, time, and money.

But have you given any thought to just how long those things that you’re installing are going to last? I have.

 

Recently the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shed some light on the life expectancy of common components inside a home — everything from appliances, cabinetry, and flooring… to roofing, plumbing, and HVAC.

Have a look…

Case In Point: My Washer & Dryer

My mother-in-law and I recently had this same conversation.

I asked her how long she thought a washer & dryer should last. She thought maybe 10 years.

I told her my Kenmore washer & dryer were purchased in 1992, making them 15 years old — and still going strong!

Shock and awe were expressed by all.

Turns out, according to this NAHB study, washers and dryers typically last 10 to 13 years.

…So I guess I’ve gotten my money’s worth!

 

Results From The NAHB Study: Summarized

What follows are the life expectancies of home components, based on how long items typically last, on average.

That means that some last longer, and others don’t last as long… based on frequency and type of use, as well as routine maintenance and upkeep.

 

NOTE: There is a wealth of information from the study that is not included here. To view the exact sources, special circumstances, and exceptions see the complete study here.

 

 


Appliances
Cooktops – electric13 years
Cooktops – gas15 years
Cooktops – magnetic induction10 years
Dishwashers9 years
Dryers – electric13 years
Dryers – gas13 years
Exhaust Fans10 years
Freezers11 years
Garbage Disposals12 years
Microwave Ovens9 years
Range/Oven Hoods14 years
Ranges – electric13 years
Ranges – gas15 years
Refrigerators – compact9 years
Refrigerators – standard13 years
Trash Compactors6 years
Washing Machines10 years

 

 



Cabinetry & Shelving
Bathroom CabinetsLifetime
Closet ShelvingLifetime
Entertainment Centers10 years
Garage Cabinets100 years
Home Office Desk Units10 years
Kitchen Cabinets50 years
Laundry Cabinets100 years
Medicine Cabinets20 years

 



Countertops
Cultured Marble Countertops20 years
Natural Stone CountertopsLifetime
Tile CountertopsLifetime
Wood CountertopsLifetime

 



Decks
Wooden Deck Planks25 years
Wooden Decks20 years

 



Doors – Exterior
Fiberglass DoorsLifetime
Screen Doors – pine20 years
Screen Doors – cedar40 years
Screen Doors – mahogany60 years
Steel DoorsLifetime
Vinyl Doors20 years
Wood DoorsLifetime

 



Doors – Interior
Closet DoorsLifetime
French Doors30-50 years

 



Electrical & Lighting
Copper Plated WiringLifetime
Copper Clad AluminumLifetime
Bare Copper WiringLifetime
Electrical Lighting Accessories10 years
Electrical Lighting Controls10 years

 



>
Engineered Lumber
Engineered Trim30 years
FloorLifetime
Laminated Strand LumberLifetime
Laminated Veneer Lumber30 years
Roof TrussesLifetime

 



Faucets and Fixtures
Accessible/ADA ProductsLifetime
Faucets, Bar/Hospitality15 years
Faucets, Kitchen Sinks15 years
Faucets, Bathroom20 years
Faucets, Toilets/Bidets10 years
Faucets, Tub/Shower20 years
Saunas/Steam Rooms15-20 years
Shower Doors20 years
Shower Enclosures/Modules50 years
ShowerheadsLifetime
Sinks – modified acrylic50 years
Sinks – enamel steel5-10 years
Sinks – soapstone100 years
Toilets & BidetsLifetime
Whirlpool Tubs20-50 years

 



Flooring
Bamboo FlooringLifetime
Brick Pavers100 years
Carpet Flooring8-10 years
Concrete Flooring50 years
Granite Flooring100 years
Laminate Flooring15-25 years
Linoleum Flooring25 years
Marble Flooring100 years
Slate Flooring100 years
Terrazo Flooring75 years
Tile Flooring75-100 years
Vinyl Flooring50 years
Wood Flooring – all natural100 years
Wood Flooring – engineered50 years
Wood Flooring – exoticLifetime
Wood Flooring – other domesticLifetime

 



Footings & Foundations
Baseboard System50 years
Concrete BlockLifetime
Poured ConcreteLifetime
Termite Proofing12 years
Waterproofing with Bituminous Coating10 years

 

 



Framing & Structural Systems
Floor TrussesLifetime
Poured Concrete SystemsLifetime
Roof TrussesLifetime
Structural Insulated PanelsLifetime
Timber FrameLifetime

 



Garages
Garage Door Openers10-15 years
Garage Light Inserts20 years

 



Gutters & Downspouts
Downspouts – aluminum30 years
Downspouts – copper100 years
Gutters – aluminum20 years
Gutters – copper50 years
Gutters – galvanized steel20 years

 



Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Air Conditioners – room10 years
Air Conditioners – central15 years
Air Quality Systems15 years
Boilers – electric13 years
Boilers – gas21 years
Burners10 years
Dampers20 years
Dehumidifiers8 years
Diffusers, Grilles & Registers25 years
Ducting10 years
DX – water or steam20 years
DX – electric15 years
Furnaces – warm-air, electric15 years
Furnaces – warm-air, gas18 years
Furnaces – warm-air, oil20 years
Heat Pumps16 years
Heat Recovery Ventilators20 years
Humidifiers8 years
Induction & Fan-Coil Units10-15 years
Radiant Heater – electric40 years
Radiant Heater -
hot water or steam
15 years
Shell-and-Tube20 years
Thermostats35 years
Ventilators7 years
Water Heaters – electric11 years
Water Heaters – gas10 years
Water Heaters – tankless20 years

 



Home Technology
Built-in Audio Systems20 years
Heat/smoke Detectors5-10 years
Security Systems5-10 years
Wireless Home Automation Systems50 years
Wireless Home Networks50 years

 



Insulation & Infiltration Barriers
Batts/Rolls of InsulationLifetime
CelluloseLifetime
FiberglassLifetime
FoamLifetime
House Wrap InsulationLifetime
Loose Fill InsulationLifetime

 



Jobsite Equipment
LaddersLifetime
Lifts8-10 years

 



Masonry
Brick VeneersLifetime
Brick Walls100 years
ChimneysLifetime
FireplacesLifetime

 



Molding & Millwork
Custom MillworkLifetime
Stair PartsLifetime
Stairs – atticLifetime
Stairs – circularLifetime
Stairs – prebuiltLifetime
Stairs – spiralLifetime

 



Paint, Caulks & Adhesives
Exterior paints15 years
Interior paints15 years

 



Panels
Hardboard Panels30 years
Softwood Panels30 years
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)60 years
Particleboard60 years
Plywood25-30 years
Underlayment – flooring25 years
Wall PanelsLifetime

 



Plumbing
Cast iron Pipes100 years
Concrete Pipes100 years

 



Roofing
Asphalt Shingles20 years
Aluminium Roof Coating3-7 years
Clay/ConcreteLifetime
Coal and Tar30 years
Copper RoofsLifetime
Fiber Cement Shingles25 years
Modified Bitumen20 years
Simulated Slate Roofs50 years
Slate Roofs50 years
Wood Shakes30 years

 



Shutters
Aluminium Shutters – interior10 years
Wood Shutters – exterior20 years
Wood Shutters – interior15 years

 



Siding & Accessories
Brick SidingLifetime
Engineered Wood SidingLifetime
Fiber Cement SidingLifetime
Stone Siding – naturalLifetime
Stone Siding – manufacturedLifetime
Stucco Siding50-100 years
Vinyl SidingLifetime

 



>
Site & Landscaping
Asphalt driveways15-20 years
Clay PavingLifetime
Controllers15 years
Polyvinyl fencesLifetime
Sprinklers20 years
Underground PVC piping25 years
Valves20 years

 



Swimming Pools
Cleaning Equipment7-10 years
Concrete Shell25 years
Decking15 years
Interior Finish – pebble-tec25-35 years
Interior Finish – plaster10-15 years
Interior Finish – tile15-25 years
Waterline Tile10 years

 



Walls, Ceilings & Finishes
Accoustical CeilingLifetime
Ceiling SuspensionLifetime
Ceramic TileLifetime
Standard GypsumLifetime

 



Windows & Skylights
Aluminum/Aluminum Clad15-20 years
Window Glazing10 years
Wood Windows30 years

  

For complete details including all sources, special circumstances, and exceptions see the complete NAHB study here (dated February 2007).

 

Some Surprising Findings, In My Opinion

Of all the items listed here, only a few took me by surprise.

Specifically:

    • Smoke Detectors only last 5-10 years

     

    • Ditto for Home Security Systems

     

    • Copper Gutters last 50 years vs Aluminum Gutters 20 years

     

    • Copper Downspouts 100 years vs Aluminum Downspouts 30 years

I guess that’s why you’re starting to see so many more copper roofing materials used these days!

 

And I couldn’t help but wonder… what’s the life expectancy of steel metal or aluminum roofs? You see more and more people choosing this form of roofing for their new home, especially log home owners. Did I just miss it in the report?

All in all, I am so thankful to the National Association of Home Builders for doing this study, as the information is worth its weight in gold for homebuilders and remodelers!

Here’s a slideshow: How Long Things Last – Know When You Need To Replace It

 

 

The Chances Of A Breakdown…

Now, what are the chances of various household items breaking down? Do you know which products are most likely to need repaired or replaced?

The following numbers are based on 3- to 4-year old items, beginning with those most likely to need repairs:

    • Refrigerators (side-by-side with icemaker and water dispenser): 37%

    • Washing Machines (front-loading): 29%

    • Washing Machines (top-loading): 22%

    • Dishwashers: 21%

    • Refrigerators (top- or bottom-freezer with icemaker): 20%

    • Ranges (gas): 20%

    • Wall Ovens (electric): 19%

    • Cooktops (gas): 17%

    • Microwave Ovens (over-the-range): 17%

    • Dryers: 15%

    • Refrigerators (top- or bottom-freezer with NO icemaker): 12%

    • Ranges (electric): 11%

    • Cooktops (electric): 11%

Source: ShopSmartmag

 

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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  • Kenyon

    whirlpool refrigerator bought October 1986 and still working great

  • http://twitter.com/jakjones2010 jak jones

    Good list. Thanks

  • andrew

    Kitchenaid fridge compressor failed at 6.5 years. Rowenta iron 3 years . bosch dishwasher 4 years . All linked to cheap components. Sears gave up trying to fix my dishwasher..Made in Germany (export), China, Brazil , god knows where = no life expectancy. Even Toyota cheapened everything… Matrix all bearing failed after 9 years = 1600$ repair bill.
    If anything lasts 5 years your are lucky..

  • cvp

    Thanks much for these data. Trying to decide whether to renew the extended warranty on window air conditioners. Warranty price is about 20% of purchase price, so only seems worth it if time-to-failure is expected to be less than 5 years. Based on the data here… taking my chances without the warranty.

    • http://thefuntimesguide.com/ FunTimesGuide

      cvp – I think that’s the choice I would make as well.