How Long Should The Major Parts of Your Home Last?

In my last post we talked about some of the simple things homeowners can do to help maintain their homes.  As we discussed, this usually results in big savings from costly repairs and energy savings.  R & R Development talks about home repairs

Today, I wanted to expand our discussion and take a look at what the anticipated life expectancy is for many of the items we previously mentioned.  After all, there comes a time when no matter how well built or maintained a part of your home is, it will need to be replaced.

As we begin to discuss these various areas of your home remember that these are just estimates and general life expectancy for these items.  Your situation can vary more or less depending on where you live and the particular make and model.


A lot of the roof’s longevity depends on the materials it is made from.  Historically the longest lasting have been slate or copper roofs.  Top of the line slate roofs can last up to 75 years, and some roofing experts’ claim a copper roof can last forever. Now, I agree that a slate roof may last forever, but this does not mean what is underneath it will.

This brings us to clay and concrete tiles.  These two materials have an expected life expectancy between 40 and 50 years. Lastly, we have the fiber cement shingles and Asphalt shingles.  These are both expected to last around 20 to 25 years. So depending on what type of materials you have and their age you can determine whether it is time to maintain or replace.


One area R and R Development spends a lot of time working with clients on is flooring.  As you can imagine knowing how long a specific it is going to last is very important for many clients.

Stone is the most durable and like anything else the quality of the stone will determine how well it looks over time.  So, although stone can last over a hundred years it does not necessarily mean that it will look brand new during all that time.  This is why it is important to seal and reseal the stone periodically to help in preserving the look.

Similarly, wood can last over a hundred years when properly maintained.  We have all seen those East coast stately homes going back to revolutionary times still displaying that beautiful wood flooring.  As with stone, the wood needs to be maintained regularly. Even small amounts of water left unchecked over a period of time will permanently destroy the best wood flooring.


This is an area where quality of the materials has a lot to do with how long they will last.  There are great durability records and shameful durability reports for all the various types of windows.  One thing is for sure; the less expensive the window was the sooner it will have to be replaced. Believe it or not, the statistics out there show that wooden windows typically will last above 30 years.  While aluminum and vinyl widows typical last between 15 to 20 years.

Today, there are other reasons to consider replacing windows such as energy consumption and basic overall comfort.  The new technology being introduced into window designs these days can have a substantial effect on your energy bill.  A properly installed new window can eliminate the heat loss that is so common with old windows.  Similarly, new glass coatings can save cooling costs in the summer and protect your furniture, drapes, and other items from direct sunlight.  When you take these cost savings into effect, it may be less expensive to change out an old energy deficient window out now rather than wait until it is completely worn out.

Heating and Air Condition Systems

These items follow the one above very well.   An average furnace is expected to last between 15 to 20 years, and standard air conditioning systems are designed to last between 10 to 15 years.  However, just like in the case with windows, the newer models are going to save you a lot of money on your energy bill.  Thus, it may be better to change them out sooner rather than later. Also, remember that many of these new models come with additional rebates from PG&E.

In this brief article we covered just some of the life expectancy items all homeowners have to contend with. As we have seen, at times it may be better to replace some of these items before they expire in order to save on the reoccurring energy cost.  When R & R Development is involved in a remodeling project we always try to make recommendations to the homeowner whenever there is a possibility of energy savings.  You are welcome to call our office or visit us at

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