Appliance Longevity: How Long Should It Last?

Find out how long those kitchen appliances, flooring, fixtures, and more should really last.

February 1, 2009

Replacing a home’s windows, appliances, or roofing can be pricey. So knowing approximately how long before the refrigerator is likely to stop working or the roof might spring a leak can have value to buyers and home owners.

Buyers may want to factor in replacement costs for aging components when they make an offer. Owners can use the information to decide whether to replace a component before a move. Now, a new study by the National Association of Home Builders provides some insight that can help your clients estimate the average useful life of more than 100 household appliances and building materials.

The true longevity of any household material depends on maintenance, use, quality of installation, and climate conditions, so use these averages as a general guide. The NAHB report still beats asking handy Uncle Fred.

100 Years or More

  • Brick siding: Lifetime of the home
  • All wooden floors: Lifetime of the home
  • Cellulose insulation material: 100-plus years

50-100 Years

  • Slate, copper, and clay and concrete roofs: 50+ years
  • Copper gutters: 50+ years
  • Kitchen cabinets: Up to 50 years
  • Modified acrylic kitchen sinks: 50 years
  • Vinyl floors: 50 years

30-50 Years

  • Thermostats: 35 years
  • Wooden windows: 30 years
  • Wood shake roofs: 30 years
  • French interior doors: 30–50 years

10-20 Years

  • Built-in audio system: 20 years
  • Aluminum windows: 15–20 years
  • Cultured marble countertops: 20 years
  • Asphalt shingle roofs: 20 years
  • Faucets, kitchen sinks: 15 years
  • Gas ranges: 15 years
  • Interior and exterior paints: 15+ years
  • Dryers and refrigerators: 13 years
  • Air conditioning units: 10–15 years
  • Lighting controls: 10+ years
  • Electric or gas water heaters: 10 years
  • Air conditioners: 10–15 years
  • Furnaces: 15–20 years

5-10 Years

  • Security systems: 5–10 years
  • Heat and smoke detectors: 5–10 years
  • Dishwashers: 9 years
  • Microwave ovens: 9 years
  • Carpet: 8–10 years

Access the full report (PDF) and view a complete list of products reviewed in the study.


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