Life Span

Houses are built to last a life-time, but certain components wear out periodically and will need to be replaced on a fairly regular time cycle. The following life cycles are not personal opinions, but are based upon the individual manufacturers suggested service-life of these components. The life-expectancy of some components may vary with the severity of the local weather, the design, the type and quality of the original components, the quality of the installation, and the level of maintenance that the component has received. Also, please remember that these components and systems are like people: some fail early in life and some last much longer than we ever thought possible.


Compressors, 6-12 years

Blowers / fans, 10-15 years

Heat pump / condenser (the outside unit), 8-15 years


Forced-Air / gas furnace, 15-20 years

Electric furnaces (heating elements may need periodic replacement), 20-25 years

Electric baseboard heaters, 10-15 years

Gas boilers (cast iron), 30-60 years

Gas boilers (steel), 20-35 years

Radiators / expansion tanks, 30-45 years


Hot water heaters, 10-15 years

Galvanized water supply lines (with spot replacement of some sections), 35-65 years

Copper water supply lines, 60-100 years

Plastic supply lines (PVC, CPVC, ABS, PEX), ?

Cast iron drain lines, 45-90 years

Copper drain lines, 50-100 years

Plastic drain lines (PVC, ABS), ?

Builders grade faucets, etc., 20-30 years

Builders grade tubs, toilets, sinks, etc., 35-50 years


Garbage disposal, 5-10 years

Dishwasher, 10-15 years

Gas Ranges, ovens & cook-tops, 20-35 years

Electric ranges, ovens & cook-tops, 15-25 years

Built-In microwave, 5-10 years

Trash compactor, 6-12 years

Refrigerator, 10-20 years

Humidifiers (with regular maintenance), 5-10 years

Laundry equipment (Washers/Dryers), 10-20 years


Aluminum / galvanized gutters (if well maintained), 15-25 years

Composition shingle roof (first layer of roofing), 16-20 years

Composition shingle roof (second roof on top of existing shingles), 12-16 years

Roll roofing (composition), 6-10 years

Wood Shake Roofing, 15-20 years

Wood shingle roofing, 14-18 years

Slate roofing (depends on type of slate and quarry they came from), 45-150 years

Clay, tile, or concrete roofing, 30-50 years

Metal roofing (as long as kept from rusting), 35-70 years


Paint (wall, ceiling, trim), 5-10 years

Drywall (walls & ceilings), 50-? years

Plaster (walls & ceilings), 60-90  years

Ceramic tile (wet bead), 45-80 years

Ceramic tile (mastic bead), 15-20 years

Carpeting, 10-12 years


Exterior paint, 5-10 years

Wood decks, 12-16 years

Aluminum siding, 25-40 years

Vinyl siding, 30-45 years

Hardboard / composition siding (depends on moisture entry), 15-40 years

T-111, wood or plywood, 20-40 years

Stucco (hardcoat conventional), 60+ years


Well pumps, tanks, sumps, 15-25 years

Septic leaching fields (depends on factors such as regular maintenance), 10-50 years

Concrete septic tank, 20-40 years

Steel septic tank, 15-30 years