What's the Life Expectancy of Your Home?

Consumerism has taught us to think about fast replacement, instead of "making it last".

How long will your house last? Watching the house restoration shows on TV should give some clues, but here's some specifics from a Los Angeles Times article by Calvin Woodward dated 2/16/1997, and more from the a 2006 National Assn of Homebuilders home life expectancy chart:

Dishwasher - 10 years

Microwave - 9-11 years (mine was going strong at 16 years)

Brick, masonry, stone wall - 100 years

Wood decks - 15-20 years

Garage door openers - 10-15 years

Furnaces - 15-20 years

Drywall -

Heat/Smoke detectors - 5-10 years

Natural stone counters - lifetime

Cultured marble counters - 20 years

Kitchen cabinets - 50 years

Garage/laundry cabinets - 100 years

Gas range - 15 years (that depends, too, some are 50-60 years old or more)

Wood flooring - 100 years +

Vinyl floors - 50 years

Carpet - 8-10 years (depends on traffic)

Roof, asphalt or wood shingles and shakes- 15-30 years; slate, 50-100 and more

Gutters - 30 years

Concrete walk - 24 years

Swimming pool - 18 years

PVC piping - 25 years

Polyvinyl fences - lifetime

Asphalt driveway - 15-20 years

These are general guidelines only, because quality of maintenance is a strong factor in the life of any of these items. Geography is the other: a salt-air climate will have a much different impact than a dry desert climate.

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