Things you might need to replace

The National Association of Home Builders did a survey of manufacturers, trade associations and researchers in 2007 and produced a report called “The Life Expectancy of Home Components,” with estimates of life spans for everything from appliances to windows. Based on the association’s research and the research of others, here is how long you can expect these 10 home components to last. 

Roofs: Slate, copper and tile roofs can last more than 50 years. Homeowners with wood shake roofs should expect them to last about 30 years, while fiber cement shingles last about 25 years and asphalt shingle/composition roofs last about 20 years, the NAHB found. Climate and weather conditions, such as snow, hail and hurricanes, can cut the life span of all types of roofs. 

Air conditioning system: These last 10 to 15 years. Having your unit serviced every year or two, keeping filters clean and trimming bushes around the outdoor unit can keep your it working longer, but eventually the components wear out.

Water heater: A conventional electric or gas water heater typically lasts about 10 years. If you have a tankless water heater, expect it to stick around for about 20 years.

Appliances: Expect most popular appliances to last no more than 15 years: refrigerators (six to 15 years), ranges (10 to 15 years), washers and dryers (eight to 12 years) and dishwashers (eight to 10 years), Angie’s List reports. The NAHB estimates the life span of a microwave to be nine years. In its report, the NAHB also noted that appliances are often replaced before they quit working because consumers want new styles or technology.

Furnace: A furnace lasts 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is nearing the end of its life, upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model can also cut your heating bills.

Decks: Because of weather, the life span of a deck varies. In optimal conditions, a wood deck can last 20 years, the NAHB study found. A deck can last 20 to 25 years in dry areas, but is likely to last only 10 to 15 years in the South, where there is more rain and humidity.

Doors: Exterior doors made of fiberglass, steel and wood will last for decades, or the lifetime of the house, as will closet doors, according to the NAHB study. Screen doors last about 40 years, and vinyl doors typically last about 20 years.

Floors: Wood floors last 100 years or more, as do marble and slate floors if they are maintained well. Tile floors can last 75 to 100 years, and terrazzo lasts more than 75 years. Linoleum lasts about 25 years and vinyl up to 50 years, while laminate floors have a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years. Most carpet needs to be replaced every eight to 10 years, even if it’s maintained well.

Gutters: Aluminum gutters last about 20 years, while copper gutters last about 50 years.

Windows: Wood windows can last more than 30 years, while aluminum windows are expected to last 15 to 20 years.