How Long Do Things Last In A House
Why remodel your house or perform a bathroom or kitchen remodel? How long do things last in a house? Eventually, things stop working and must be replaced. Below is a list of life expectancies.
Coatings – Wood floors
Coatings – Interior Doors and Trim
– Adding gravel every 5 years
Faucets 10-15 years
Fire Extinguisher 12 years
– Interlocking 15-25 years
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms
Vent fan (exhaust fan)
Waterlines, exterior below grade
The estimated longevity of items in this list assumes proper maintenance.
These estimates were gathered from a variety of associations, retailers, manufactures and repair services. These figures should be viewed as the maximums. The country where manufactured plays a big part in how long a product will last along with how it was installed. The best products will fail prematurely if installed incorrectly, especially if the installer was inexperienced and/or used substandard materials and installation methods.
In my over 45 years in remodeling, important factors such as temperatures, humidity and moisture, dirt, plants, rodents, insects, proximity to the ocean, maintenance, frequency of use, and the quality of the originally installed item have a significant impact on how long things last.
Regarding how long things last in a house, are the figures always accurate?
No. There are exceptions. For example, in Orange County, I have never seen residential new home builder installed outlets last 15-20 years as noted in the above table – except those hidden behind a piece of furniture. Most are damaged or broken within 5 years and become fire and electrocution hazards. Only a few contractors, such as DAD’s Construction, install high quality outlets that are much stronger, safer, and reliable than standard outlets. What is the difference in cost between a low quality and high quality 15amp duplex outlet? It’s about $0.10 – ten cents!
A final note on appliances (this includes washers and dryers). Truth be told, over the last 20 years, appliances have steadily fallen in their life expectancy. Regardless of brand, price paid, or who installed it, consider yourself extremely lucky if you get 10 years before calling for repairs. I highly recommend purchasing an extended warranty on all appliances.
I hope this helps you answer the question “How Long Do Things Last In A House?”