South Texas Certified Home Inspections
LIFE EXPECTANCY OF HOME COMPONENTS
LIFE EXPECTANCY OF HOME COMPONENTS
The life expectancy of a typical appliance depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Moreover, appliances are often replaced long before they are worn out because changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences make newer products more desirable. Of the major appliances in a home, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy: 15 years. Dryers and refrigerators last about 13 years. Some
of the appliances with the shortest lifespan are: compactors (6 years), dishwashers (9 years) and microwave ovens (9 years).
Kitchens are becoming larger and more elaborate, and together with the family room, modern kitchens now form the “great room.” Great rooms are not only a place to cook, but also a space where people gather to read, eat, do homework, surf the Internet and pay bills. Kitchen cabinets are expected to last up to 50 years, medicine cabinets for 20+ years, and garage/laundry cabinets for 100+ years. Closet shelves are expected to last for a lifetime.
Masonry is one of the most durable components of a home. Chimneys, fireplaces, and brick veneers can last a lifetime, and brick walls have an average life expectancy of more than 100 years.
Natural stone counter tops, which are less expensive than a few years ago, are gaining in popularity and are expected to last a lifetime. Cultured marble counter-tops 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, 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.
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 last 10+ years.
Floor and roof trusses and laminated strand lumber are expected to last a lifetime, and engineered trim is expected to last 30 years.
Kitchen sinks made of modified acrylic will last 50 years, while kitchen faucets will work properly for about 15 years. The average life of bathroom shower enclosures is 50 years. Shower heads last a lifetime, while 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 flooring has 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 about 25 years, and carpet between 8 and 10 years (with appropriate maintenance and normal traffic).
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 structural systems have extended longevity's: 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, while OSB and particle board are expected to function properly for 60 years.
Garage door openers are expected to last 10 to 15 years, and light inserts for 20 years.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning (HVAC) systems require proper and regular maintenance in order to work efficiently, but even in the best case scenarios most components of such systems only last 15 to 25 years. Furnaces on average last 15-20 years, heat pumps 16 years, and air conditioning units 10-15 years.
Home technology systems have various life expectancy's. While a built-in audio system will last 20 years, security systems and heat/smoke detectors have life expectancy's of 5 to 10 years. Wireless home networks and home automation systems are expected to work properly for more than 50 years.
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.
Custom mill work will last a lifetime, and all stairs – circular and spiral stairs, pre-built stairs and attic stairs – are expected to last a lifetime.
Both interior and exterior points can last for 15 years or longer, however home owners often paint more frequently.
Hardboard panels and softwood panels are expected to last 30 years, while 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 while roofs made of fiber cement shingles have a life expectancy of about 25 years, and roofs made of wood shakes can be expected to last for about 30 years.
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.
Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.
Aluminum windows are expected to last between 15 and 20 years while wooden windows should last upwards of 30 years.
Tankless water heaters last more than 20 years, while an electric or gas water heater has a life expectancy of about 10-12 years. Thermostats usually are replaced before the end of their 35-year lifespan due to technological improvements.
[Note: This report should be used as a general guideline only. None of the information in this report should be interpreted as a representation, warranty or guarantee regarding the life expectancy or performance of any individual product or product line. Readers should not make buying decisions and/or product selections based solely on the information contained in this report.]
Our service area includes but is not limited to:
Conroe, Cypress, Friendswood, Houston, Katy, Kingwood, Magnolia, Montgomery, Pearland, Porter, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands, Willis
South Texas Certified Home Inspections
TREC Professional Inspector # 9962
92 Hillsborough Drive E * Montgomery, Texas * 77356 * 832.363.7041