Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Do You Replace The Roof? And Other Home Systems... Ask Anyone Of The SitePro Professional Inspectors


Many homes for sale boast claims that the appliances are new, the roof replaced, and kitchens and baths recently "updated."  But just how soon can you expect to start repairing and replacing major home components and appliances? A lot depends on how well the sellers (and prior owners) maintained the property, as well as how you've been using the space. Other factors that influence the lifespan of major home systems include the materials used to build them and your climate.

The typical roof, for instance, is designed to last approximately 20 years, according to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). However, a roof's lifespan is affected by the slope of the roof, the material used to build the roof, and the weather conditions in your area. Maintenance can extend a roof's life five to 10 years. Similarly, a slate roof will last up to 75 years, whereas a roof made of selvage- or asphalt-based materials could show significant signs of wear within 12 years.

Here's a look at how long most major home systems last, based on data from Freddie Mac*, the lender, and data published in Realty Times. These time frames can help you plan when to address different home systems either as part of a home maintenance regime or a planned remodeling project. If you're in the market to buy a home and you have the opportunity to ask a seller or the seller's agent how old the home's different systems are, or if that information is contained in the home's listing information, then you can plan when you'll need to replace these home components - or negotiate on them with the seller.

If you're planning to sell a home soon, consider whether you're willing to fund repairs and replacements beforehand - or if your pre-listing inspector will give an estimate of how long various systems seem like they'll last. Home repairs and replacements can be expensive, so the more information you have as a buyer or seller, the better equipped you'll be to handle the inevitable expenses they create.

Appliances or system           Lifespan (years)

Kitchen appliances
Dishwasher                              5-12
Disposals                                 5-12
Microwave                              10
Refrigerator                              15-20
Stove                                       15-20
Trash compactor                      10
Washer/dryer                            8-12

Roofs and gutters
Asbestos shingle roof                 30-50
Asphalt roof                              15-20
Copper gutter/downspout    Life of home if well-maintained
Fiberglass roof                           15-20
Galvanized gutter/downspout      15-20
Slate roof                                   40-75
Rolled/asphalt roof                     12-20
Wood shake/shingle roof            15-20

Heating and cooling systems
Warm air furnace                       8-12
Heat pumps                               8-12
Air conditioning compressor       8-15
Gas hot water heater                  8-12
Electric hot water                      10-15

Bathroom and plumbing
Septic disposal system               15-25
Galvanized water pipes              30-50
Toilet                                         5-6
Sink                                          45-50
Tub                                           50

Other systems
Doors to exterior                        12-15
Garage door opener                   10
Driveway                                    5-8
Deck                                          10-12

*Data provided here are intended as estimates only. The health of home systems varies widely based on ongoing maintenance, the type of home system in use, and climate.

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