What is the typical life expectancy of the major components of a home? While weather conditions and the
quality of materials can certainly affect longevity, here are some general rules of thumb.
* Foundations are typically designed to last for the lifetime of the home – or about 100 years if they are
concrete or masonry products.
* For exterior materials, plan on about 20 years for an asphalt roof… 50 years for a slate roof… and 30
years for aluminum gutters.
* Drywall, plaster and other interior materials are designed to last a lifetime… as is a home’s electrical
* Wood and flooring can last a lifetime… vinyl as much as 50 years… and carpet usually 8 to 10 years.
* Most major appliances will last 10 to 12 years… with many gas ranges lasting upwards of 15 years.
* Most heating systems can last 25 years… central air conditioning 10 to 15 years… and water heaters
about 10 years.
The introduction of new models with new features – and that are less costly to operate – may cause
homeowners to replace items sooner and tax credits may also be available to partially offset the cost of
replacing items with more efficient options.