Gone are the days when big-ticket home appliances lasted for decades. With some exceptions, the life span for most appliances is ten years or less. All the more reason to do your homework as a prospective buyer and check the age and condition of the appliances in any home you’re seriously considering. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
More than 10 years. If you have researched and chosen a quality brand, expect 12 to 15 years from your refrigerator, gas range, oven, and clothes dryer. With the exception of the dryer, most of these have few moving parts.
Ten Years or Less. With some exceptions, you’ll be doing well to get ten years from your clothes washer, dishwasher, food disposal, microwave oven and water heater. With maintenance, a water heater can exceed ten years. Both dishwashers and clothes washers can experience circuit board failures that run a couple hundred dollars in parts and labor.
Infrastructure life spans. If built well, the foundation, framing and electrical system in a home should last a lifetime. Plumbing should last for decades. Roofs should last a minimum of 20 years, but eventually the outside elements take their toll. An asphalt-composition shingle should last 20 years and slate or metal roofs last 50 years or more, barring catastrophic storm damage.
Heating and air conditioning systems should last 10 years or more, depending on the quality of the brand and whether you’ve maintained them as recommended. Today’s air conditioning units are made so energy efficient that they operate far cheaper than ones made just a decade ago.
Flooring life varies by type, but figure quality carpet to last about eight years. Most tile and hardwood floors will last decades. Hardwood floors usually can be refinished rather than replaced.