Life Expectancy of
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
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
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 Other
Framing and structural systems have
extended longevities: 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 particleboard 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.
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.
Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Heating, ventilation, and air
conditioning 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. 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
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.
Paint, Caulks and
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
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.
[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:
Cinco Ranch, Cypress, Damon, Friendswood, Houston, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial, Missouri City, Montrose, Pearland, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, Sugarland, The Galleria, The Woodlands, Tomball, Victoria
South Texas Certified Home Inspections
TREC Professional Inspector # 9962
11114 Dawson Springs Drive * Richmond, Texas * 77406 * 832.363.7041