The life expectancy of housing components varies depending on the following factors:
1. The level of maintenance
2. The weather and climate conditions
3. The intensity of use
4. The quality of installation
Many times the components of homes may have a life that is longer than their obsolescence because of changing styles, efficiency in new products. Your toilet may work fine but it waste much more water than the new one on the market today and the pink color is out of style.
Here are some of the statistics on home components from the survey performed by the National Association of Home Builders and sponsored by Bank of America. This research was conducted in the summer of 2006. For the complete report check out www.nahb.org.
- Appliances – 6 to 18 years
- Cabinetry- 10 to 50 years
- Concrete & Masonry – 100+ years
- Countertops – 20 years to Lifetime
- Decks – 20 to 25 years
- Doors – 20 to Lifetime
- Electrical – 10 to a Lifetime
- Engineered Lumber – 30 to Lifetime
- Faucets and Fixtures – 10 to Lifetime
- Carpet – 8 years
- Engineered Wood – 50+ years
- Linoleum – 25 years
- Tile – 75 to 100 years
- Vinyl – 50 years
- Foundations – Lifetime
- Framing and other structural systems – Lifetime
- Garage door openers – 10 to 15 years
- Heating & Air Conditioning – 10 to 20 years
- Insulation – Lifetime
- Mouldings – Lifetime
- Paints – 15 years
- Roofing – 20 years to Lifetime
- Siding Stucco – 50 years
- Fiber Cement – Lifetime
- Windows – 15 to 30 years
As you can see many of our home components do outlast their useful life in terms of style. But more importantly one should be cognoscente of the items that have a short lifetime that does have a severe impact on other components in the home. For example, I went on an estimate the other day for a house repaint. Well, the fascia board on the south-west side was so beat up from the sun’s rays that the paint not only peeled away but the wood was damaged and had to be replaced. Unfortunately sometime when this happens, some of the roofing needs to be re-installed because these components are all inter-connected.
There are tons of examples of neglected maintenance that lead to much high cost to repair which could have been avoided with proper scheduled maintenance. The most intrusive of all damaging culprits is water. Keep an eye out for areas where water collects. Caulking and paint staves of not just water but those annoying little critters called termites.
Though the comparison of a home to a automobile is simple to demonstrate, remember that a home (historically) appreciates in value and an car depreciates in value over time. The exceptions are easy to see. Take a home that is run down. No maintenance let alone any upgrades. “bottom dollar” for this condition. Conversely, take an old car and recondition it, now you have a collector’s item and the value is greater then it’s original cost. Keep your house it tip top shape and your most valued asset will appreciate with time.