Nothing lasts forever, and unlike a fine wine or masterpiece of art, most things do not increase in value as they age. In a previous blog we talked about how long you can expect common household appliances to last, but what about the materials your home is made of? If you are contemplating an addition or remodel, or if you’re faced with deciding whether to repair or replace something in your home, it’s a good idea to know approximately how many years of service you can expect from the materials you are choosing from. You may have heard it said that many things just aren’t made like they used to be. For some household items, this is definitely the case. The good news is, many of the materials used in your home are being made better in recent years and will last much longer.
If you are looking for longevity, natural is best when it comes to flooring materials. Floors made from wood, marble, slate, and granite should all last at least 100 years. Tile can be expected to last almost as long, from 75 to 100 years on average. Manmade products tend to have a much shorter lifespan, with vinyl topping the list at almost 50 years. Laminate flooring products will survive 15 to 25 years and linoleum should last around 25 years. If you are considering purchasing new carpeting for your home, you should think of it as a temporary flooring solution – even with regular maintenance, carpeting will only last you 8-10 years on average.
Kitchen & Bath
Natural materials win again, as countertops of wood, tile and natural stone will usually last a lifetime. Cultured marble on the other hand, while beautiful, will only last about 20 years, which is about the same as laminate countertops. Bathroom and kitchen faucets generally last about 15-20 years, and toilets shouldn’t need to be replaced until they are 50 years old, though parts such as the flush assembly and seat will likely need replacing two or three during that time frame. When it comes to sinks, lifespans vary greatly by material. An enamel-coated steel sink will last 5 to 10 years, while stainless should last at least 30 years. For a true long-term solution, purchase a sink made of slate, granite, soapstone or copper. These materials are known to last for 100 years or even longer.
Brick has the longest life expectancy of any commonly used housing exteriors – you can expect it to last 100 years or even longer. Aluminum siding comes in next at 80 years with stucco needing repair and replacement after only around 25 years. The life span of wood siding varies significantly due to climate and level of maintenance. Depending on where you live and what elements it is exposed to, wood can last as little as 10 years or beyond 100 years. When it comes to your roof, you can expect slate or tile roofing to last about 50 years. Wood and metal shingles are good for 25 to 30 years, and asphalt roofing will last for about 20 years.
When you’re deciding what materials you should use for remodeling and construction, keep in mind the lifetime you expect to see from your home. Will you be downsizing when the kids move out, or are you building a dream home that will be passed on to an heir later on? Are your concerns mainly with resale value or appearance? Whatever your needs, research the products involved and make an educated decision for your home.