What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Here’s our best estimate of the functional lifespan of the components of a home. If the component name is underlined, click on it to link to more detailed info about the life expectancy of that item. For the average life of the house itself, see our blog posts What is the average life expectancy of a house? and What is the life expectancy of a modular home? and What is the life expectancy of a mobile home? 

AIR CONDITIONING and HEATING
Split Sytem Condenser (outside unit) - 10 to 16 years
Split System Air Handler (inside unit) - 14 to 18 years
Ductless (mini-split) - 10 to 16 years
Package Unit - 10 to 16 years
Gas Furnace - 15 to 22 years
Window Air Conditioner - 5 to 8 years
Ceiling Fan - 6 to 10 years
Attic Fan - 5 to 15 years
Whole House Attic Fan - 10 to 20 years
(Go to How do I determine the age of my air conditioner? to find out how old it is)

APPLIANCES
Gas Range - 15 years 

Electric Range - 15 years
Washers - 10 to 15 years

Clothes Dryer - 10 to 15 years
Refrigerators - 10 to 13 years
Dishwashers - 10 years
Microwave Ovens - 9 years

CABINETS and COUNTERTOPS
Kitchen Cabinets - 50 years
Medicine Cabinets - 20 to 30 years

Closet shelves - 60+ years
Mica Laminate - 20 to 30 years
Cultured Marble - 25 years
Natural Stone - 50+ years

DOORS
Exterior
Fiberglass, E - 80+ years
Wood, Exterior - 40  to 80+ years
Garage Doors - 30 years
Garage Door Openers - 10 to 15 years
Sliding Glass - 20 to 30 years
Interior
Wood, Hollow Core - 25 to 40 years
Wood, Solid Core - 50 to 100+ years
Wood, French - 30 to 50 years

ELECTRICAL
Panel - 50+ years
Circuit Breaker - 30 to 40 years
AFCI or CAFCI Circuit Breaker - 30 to 40 years 

GFCI Circuit Breaker - 30 to 40 years  
GFCI Receptacle  - 15 to 25 years  
Wall Switch - 30 to 40 years
Receptacle Outlet - 50 years
Wiring - 100+ years

Whole-House Generator - 12 years   

EXTERIOR SIDING/VENEER
Aluminum - 25 to 40 years
Vinyl - 25 to 40 years
Wood or Composite - 20 to 40 years
Plywood (T-111, RB&B, etc) - 20 to 40 years
Engineered Wood Siding - 50+ years
Fiber-Cement Siding - 60+ years
Brick - 100+ years
Stucco on Wood Frame - 50 to 60 years
Stucco on Block - 60 to 80 years
Manufactured Stone - 50+ years

FOUNDATIONS
Slab on Grade (monolithic concrete) - 100+ years
Concrete Footing - 100 + years
Concrete Pad and Masonry Piers - 100+ years
Concrete or Brick Pier on Grade - 50 to 80 years
Stacked Concrete Block on Pad (Mobile Home) - 25 to 50 years
Thickened Edge Slab - 100+ years
Treated Wood Piers - 30 to 50 years

ENGINEERED LUMBER
Roof Truss - 100+ years
Floor Truss - 100+ years

PAINT and CAULK
Paint, Exterior - 7 to 10 years
Paint, Interior - 10 to 15 years
Caulk, Exterior - 7 to 10 years
Caulk, interior - 7 to 15

PIPING
ABS pipe - 50 to 70+ years
Cast Iron - 50 to 65 years

Galvanized Steel - 40 to 60 years
Copper - 50 to 70+ years 

Orangeburg (bituminous fiber) - 50 years   
PEX - 40 to 50 years
CPVC - 50 to 70+ years
PVC - 50 to 70+ years 

PLUMBING FIXTURES
Faucets - 15 to 25 years 
Hose Bibb - 15 to 25 years
Sinks, Tubs, Toilets - 40 to 80 years
Fixture Shut-off Valves - 20 to 25 years
Water Heater - 10 to 20 years
(Go to How do I determine the age of my water heater? to find out how old it is)

ROOF SYSTEMS
Asbestos Cement Shingles  - 30 to 50 years
Asphalt Singles, 3-Tab - 15 to 18 years
Asphalt Shingles, Architectural/Dimensional - 24 to 30 years
Metal (Galvalume) - 30 to 45 years
Concrete Tile - 35 to 50 years
Built-up or Modified Bitumen - 10 to 16 years
Built-up and Gravel - 20 to 30 years
EPDM - 20 to 30 years
SPF - 20 years   
Roll Roofing - 6 to 10 years
TPO - 20 years 
Roof Sheathing - 60 to 100+ years 

SITE
Termite Ground Treatment - 12 years
Sprinkler Systems - 20 years

SWIMMING POOLS
Concrete - 25 to 40 years
Concrete Pool Interior Finish - 9 to 16 years
Fiberglass - 25 to 35 years
Fiberglass Pool Interior Finish - 15 to 18 years
Vinyl Liner - 7 to 10 years
Pool Pump and Filter - 10 years
Pool Heater - 8 to 10 years 

TECHNOLOGY
Radon Mitigation System - 50 to 70 years 
Radon Mitigation Fan - 5 to 20 years

WALL STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
Brick - 100+ years
Concrete (monlithic) - 100+ years
Concrete Block - 100+ years
ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) - 100+ years
Natural Stone - 100 + years
Wood Stud Frame - 100+ years 

WELL and SEPTIC SYSTEMS
Above-Ground Pump - 8 to 15 years
Submersible Pump - 8 to 15 years
Steel Pressure Tank - 10 to 20 years
Fiberglass Pressure Tank - 20 to 30 years
Septic Tank System - 25 to 40 years
Well - 20 to 50 years

WINDOWS
Wood - 30+ years
Fiberglass - 20 to 40 years
Aluminum - 20 to 40 years
Skylights - 10 to 20 years
Vinyl -  25 to 40 years
Insulated Glass - 10 to 20 years

DECKS
Wood - 10 to 20 years
Composite - 20 to 30 years 

    While not an exact predictor, average lifespan is still a valuable piece of information. For example, let’s say you are buying an 20-year-old home with its original shingle roof, air conditioner, and water heater. If you look at the listing of expected lifespans below, you’ll see that all three of them would be either right at, or past, their average life expectancy.

   And while it is possible that one of those three costly replacement items may have a surprisingly long life, it’s also true that the likelihood of one of them requiring replacement soon is almost 100%.

   So average lifespan charts help you to estimate what big-ticket replacement expenses you can reasonably expect in the first years after you purchase a home. Condo association managers use the charts also, to prepare detailed budgets for expected replacement cycles for each building component. This forms the basis for part of the monthly assessments—setting aside an amount each month for the estimated future date of a roof replacement for the entire complex, for example. You can do the same thing on a smaller scale, as a buffer against the inevitable future expenses of owning a home.

    Also, see our blog posts How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful? and How does the number of people living in a house affect its durability and life expectancy? for insight on their value.

    Visit our LIFE EXPECTANCY page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMade, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.

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