The Roof, the Fridge – How Long It All Lasts

August 25, 2007

I found this article on and thought it was interesting enough to pass along. To figure out when you might need to replace something in your home, just add the number they give you below from the year your house was built or, if you’ve recently renovated, add the number to the year you renovated/remodeled.

The Roof, the Fridge – How Long It All Lasts

This survey by Bank of America Home Equity and conducted by the National Association of Home Builders gives real world estimates of the life expectancy of a variety of home components. By Les Christie

Gas ranges: 15 years or more
With no motor or many moving parts, gas ranges are the most trouble free of appliances.

Refrigerators: 13 years
The compressor on refrigerators work hard and run often. Add complications, such as automatic icemakers and there’s more to go wrong. That they last as long as they do is a tribute to their generally high quality.

Dishwashers: 9 years
This appliance gets widely varying amounts of use, depending on the household. Big families may have them running a few times a day while a bachelor may keep his sitting empty most of the week.

Cabinets: 50 years
Good quality cabinets are built to last a long time but styles go in and out of fashion. Many homeowners replace cabinets after a fraction of their useful life.

Concrete and masonry: 100 years plus
Concrete foundations, including chimneys and fireplaces, should last a lifetime and brick walls have a life span of 100 years or more.

Countertops: 20 years to forever
Granite could outlast you – by a long shot, absent of a destructive child with a five pound hammer. Cultured marble has a life span of about 20 years.

Decks: Up to 20 years
With wooden decks the key is the weather. In moist climes, decks will rot much quicker than in ones that expose decks only to dry conditions. In ideal weather, figure 20 years. In monsoon conditions, you can’t count on much more than half that.

Electrical: 10 years to a lifetime
You shouldn’t have to replace good quality copper wiring but switches and other controls may have to be updated every 10 years or so.

Plumbing fixtures: 15 to 50 years
A kitchen sink has a life of 50 years or more but faucets go bad after about 15. Shower heads should last a lifetime but whirlpool baths, which get widely differing amounts of use, can last 20 to 50 years.

Floors: 25 to 100 years
Hardwood is good for 100 years or more, as is stone. Expect 50 years out of vinyl and 25 from linoleum, but you’ll probably tire of the pattern long before that.

Roofing: 20 to 50 years
Local weather conditions are critical but, on average, slate, copper and clay/concrete tile roofs last the longest, 50 years or more. Figure wood shake roofs for 30 years, fiber cement shingle 25 and asphalt shingle 20.

Siding and accessories: 20 to 50 years
Brick, stone, engineered wood and fiber cement siding should last a lifetime. Wood shutters should give 20 years of use and copper gutters 50 years and aluminum ones 20.

Windows: 15 to 30 years
Think wood, which lasts upwards of 30 years while aluminum windows have a life span of 15 to 20 years.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

paul wiederhold October 12, 2007 at 12:44 pm

i am a slate, tile, and copper roof technician. just wanted to impart my experience on different roof materials.
s-1 quality slate 100 to 300 years, copper roofs 75 to 125 years, tile 75 to 150 years, concrete tile 50 to 100 years; just like the concrete foundations and chimneys your list references.
as with any product, if you pay for quality it will last longer. unfortunately there are inferior roof slates and tiles. but i think this list is on the lower end of the life range.


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