It is true what they say, all good things must come to an end. Yet, when you sign on the last dotted line and finally move into your house, with wide eyes and a Pinterest board full of ideas, you are likely not thinking about the inevitable demise of the various elements of your newly acquired dream home. Regardless, time makes fools of us all, and your once gleaming home will eventually be in need of some serious TLC. When, exactly, will that day come? Well, here is a look at the average lifespan of some of many of the important parts of your home. Let’s begin by taking a look outside...
Exterior paint job
There are a lot of factors in play when figuring the lifespan of your home’s paint job. The area of the country in which you reside, as well as weather, including rain, snow and average temperature (as well as temperature fluctuation) can affect the length of time that your paint keeps that fresh look. Paint will age more slowly in a humid climate than it will in a dry, arid one. Unsurprisingly, homes located in areas where the weather is more mild year round will hold up better than ones in areas with heavy snow and drastic changes in temperature.
However, if we are looking for a general rule of thumb, the typical answer is anywhere from 5-10 years to keep your home looking magazine-worthy. This being the case, your HOA may begin subtly nudging you to update your paint if it has been about this long since you’ve brought out the paint brushes.
Other factors, that you may not have immediately thought of, can affect the amount of time between paint jobs. Bold, darker colors can make your house feel modern and chic, but they also absorb more lights, causing them to fade faster.
Similar to your home’s exterior paint, your roof’s life expectancy greatly depends on where you live. In areas that receive more snowfall, hail and severe storms, you will likely see more damage to your roof, necessitating repairs or even replacement. Interestingly, while your home’s paint may hold up better in a humid climate, humidity can actually be detrimental to the life of your roof, depending on what it is made of.
The materials used in your roof’s construction is another huge factor in determining how often it will need to be replaced. According to Bob Vila, a name we all know and trust, a roof made up of asphalt shingles will last anywhere from 15-30 years. A roof made of wood shingles can be expected to last about 30 years. Clay tile roofs can last 50 years or longer, while a metal roof can last over 70 years. While that may sound impressive, the undisputed winner in this contest is the slate tile roof, which will last 100 years, meaning that it could be your grandchildren who end up having to replace it. However, considering that, overwhelmingly, the most common type of roofing material used today is asphalt shingle, you’re likely looking at replacing your roof every 25 years or so.
While you may not think of it, your driveway does some serious work. It spends its life supporting the weight of multiple, heavy vehicles, which provides its fair share of wear and tear. In colder areas, it spends its winters and springs being frequently covered in deicing salt, which can eat away at materials, causing pitting and potholes. Even if you decide to skip the science and choose to remove your snow the old fashion way, your poor driveway can still suffer. The constant scrapping of the shovel, especially if it isn’t in the best condition, can gradually damage its surface. Taking all of this into consideration, it is pretty clear that your poor, unassuming driveway takes a serious beating on a regular basis.
If you notice wide, or long cracks begin to appear, you'll want to pay them some immediate attention. Some smaller cracks can be repaired before they create a bog problem, but some may necessitate a full overhaul. Poor drainage can also cause parts of your drive to sink. There are products that can be injected under the concrete with the intent to lift it back to its original position, but the effectiveness of these products is up for debate, so you may just decide to pull the trigger and have the whole thing replaced. While you are at it, you’ll want to address the root of the issue, the drainage, so that you don’t find yourself in the same position next year.
On average, the driveway of a typical home will last around 30 years, however, if yours takes a bit more punishment than the norm, then you may find yourself calling out the cement truck a bit sooner.