Life Expectancy of Essential Home Components

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Life Expectancy of Essential Home Components

When you’re building a new home or renovating an existing property, significant effort goes into choosing appliances, mechanical components, and finishes. Even the highest-quality products can have limited life spans and are subject to repair down the line. Some features of the home, however, when constructed properly, should outlast both you and your family. So how long can you expect each part to last? The exact numbers depend on several factors. You’ll want to check with your homebuilder regarding specific product types. And of course harsh weather in coastal towns such as Greenwich, Westport, and Fairfield, CT may play a role as well. The following guidelines provide a general idea of how a properly constructed home will stand up to the test of time.

Shuldman Front Night

Footings, Foundations, and Home Framing
If built properly, your home’s concrete foundation should last a lifetime. Similarly, your home’s framing and stairs will remain usable until the structure itself is compromised.

Flooring
Wood floors can be expected to endure for a century or more, and the same is true of marble, slate, and granite, although proper maintenance, such as surface treatment, will be needed to ensure these products last. Carpeting that endures regular traffic will wear down every eight to 10 years.

Plumbing and Electrical Systems
Residential plumbing and wiring has a lifetime rating and should last the life span of the home. If you live in an older home, you’ll want to be aware that certain systems may need to be updated when housing codes are revised. The fixtures attached to those systems have a shorter life span. Electrical outlets and switch plates probably will need replacement after 10 to 15 years, with a similar life span for faucets. Sinks, showers, and tubs should last 50 years, while whirlpools and custom plumbing fixtures will last 20 to 50 years, depending on use and maintenance.

Counters and Cabinets
As a rule, the cabinetry in your home will last a lifetime. Countertops made of natural granite or other stone will last just as long.

HVAC Systems
Unfortunately, because of their complicated nature and moving parts, HVAC systems need regular care and parts replacement. Air conditioning units will need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, because of both system wear and technological improvement. Furnaces will last 15 to 20 years, and heat pumps will need to be rotated out at 16 years.

Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular in luxury homes for several reasons: They cost less over time, they save on space, they provide on-demand hot water, and more importantly their life expectancy is twice that of traditional water heaters, which need to be replaced every 10 years.

Roofing
Even though the roof takes a severe beating from the elements, some roofing materials have extremely long life spans. Most brands of asphalt shingles are guaranteed for 20 to 30 years. Metal will typically last two to three times longer than asphalt. Properly installed wood roofing has a life expectancy of 30 to 50 years. Slate will provide a 100- to 150-year life span. A clay tile roof is one of the most durable and longest-lasting roofs. Clay, considered a lifetime roof, will often outlive the base material beneath it.

Decks
Expect your wood deck to need replacement at 20 years. This will depend heavily on the weather and the decking used. Because decking is exposed directly to the elements, it is critical to regularly maintain the surface of your deck with wood stain or a sealing agent.  On average, a transparent stain will need to be reapplied every year, while a solid pigment stain will need to be reapplied every five years.