It's the age-old question for property owners: to replace or not to replace building products and appliances? A new study might just make that decision a little easier.NAHB's “Study of the Life Expectancies of Home Components” provides guidelines on the average life expectancy of a wide range of household items, from kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and gas ranges to building materials and structural systems, including concrete, masonry, and framing.

The life expectancy varies greatly by product. Some components are expected to last anywhere from 50 years to 100 years, such as kitchen cabinets; wood, marble, slate, and granite flooring; various types of insulation; kitchen sinks made of modified acrylic; and slate, copper, and clay/concrete roofs. Other parts of the home, however, have a much shorter life span. Just a few examples: Wood decks should last about 20 years; kitchen faucets, 15 years; linoleum floors, 25 years; and interior or exterior paints, 15 years or longer.

Interestingly, while many products have a longer life span now than when NAHB last did this survey in 1993, some products have a shorter existence, particularly appliances. This is partly because items have more complex features than a decade ago (i.e., refrigerators with built-in TV screens), says Gopal Ahluwalia, staff vice president for research and surveys in NAHB's Economics Group. Oh, the sacrifices we make for television.

COUNTING THE YEARS

COUNTING THE YEARS
COUNTING THE YEARS