Life Expectancy of House Components

life expectancy of house components


When buying a house, we always factor in how old the major components of your house. If everything is on its last legs – we may want to ask for a home warranty. But we will tell you to start saving to replace these items.

The one thing to always keep in mind, though, just because something is older doesn’t mean you can ask the seller to replace it. If the AC is 20 years old but it’s functioning just fine – you can’t expect the seller to pay for a replacement.


#1: Roof

Even though you may purchase a new shingle roof that says it will last 30 years, we want to tell you the truth.

The climate we deal with in New Orleans means your roof will last about 18-20 years. If your roof has been through a few hurricanes, it will last maybe 15 years.  Please note that asphalt shingles don’t last as long as architectural shingles – there is a difference!

A metal roof will last longer than a shingle roof, but they are more expensive to insure. However, metal roofs have been known to last 40 plus years. So, there is a trade-off!

In most environments, a slate roof can last about 125 years. This doesn’t mean that the roof will not need maintenance, though. Make sure you get a roofing inspection every so often to make sure no pieces have come loose.



#2: Water heater

Water heaters don’t last forever – though you will find some that are 20 years old and still working great!

Your standard water heater has a life expectancy of 8-12 years. However, a tankless water heater is slated to last 20 years.

Tankless water heaters need to be de-scaled every year to help keep them functioning properly. We recommend getting a water leak detector for your water heater as well to try and prevent any sudden surprises!



#3: HVAC

Before we give you a time frame on an HVAC unit, let us remind you of this – every unit is different, and there are outstanding ones and some not-so-great ones. How you maintain your AC unit and how often you use it will all factor in their longevity. With this being said, they should usually run for 12-15 years. (some even go to twenty!)

We have absolutely sold homes that have 25+-year-old units that have been well-maintained and work wonderfully, though!

If you have a ductless unit, those can expect to last for 20 years.


#4: Electrical

Experts suggest that a house rewire should last anywhere from 20 to 40 years. As time passes, the wires’ insulation breaks down, and then you will need to rewire. If you’re buying an older home with aluminum wiring, start saving some cash to pay for the upgrade.



#5: Plumbing

There is no set time for replumbing your home. However, if you have galvanized piping – go ahead and get a quote to change that out.

If you’re having low water pressure, rust-colored water, and/or recurring leaks, I would speak to a plumber ASAP to see what needs to be repaired or replaced.

If your sewer lines are terracotta but in good shape, you should be fine for a while. However, we would still recommend trying to replace it all at some point.


#6: Foundation

In New Orleans, since we have so many raised homes, you can usually crawl under your house and check out your foundation. Do you see any new cracks or breaks in the piers? If so, get a foundation person out there ASAP. You always want to tackle foundation issues as early as possible.

What if you had your entire house shored or had lots of work on your raised foundation? Most experts recommend having it checked once a year. Though, others might say even 2 years. The point is, have it looked at, and don’t wait 10 years down the line when the issue could have been caught earlier.


#7: Appliances

  • Washing machine: 10 years
  • Dryer: 10 years
  • Refrigerator: 10-18 years
  • Stove 13-15 years
  • Microwave: 7 years
  • Pool Pump: 8-10 years


Put your pennies away and consider investing in a home warranty yearly so these repairs and replacements won’t hit your wallet as hard!


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