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Building material life expectancy and when to replace.

House is a system that contains many components. During the planning phase of home remodel, our client often asked us if their current components needs replacement. There are many factors that would influence the lifespan, these include level of maintenance, intensity of use and quality of installations.

Major appliance life expectancy

Freezer: 11 Years

Refrigerator: 12 Years

Water Heater, Electric: 13 Years

Water Heater, Gas: 11 Years

Room AirConditioning: 9 Years

Central AirConditioning: 11 Years

Boiler, Gas: 20 Years

Furnace, Gas: 15 Years

Heat Pump: 12 Years

Dryer: 9 Years

Washer: 9 Years

When to replace your appliances: You should replace your appliances if you start noticing obivious malfunction include leakage, rust, noise, and strong odur after usage. Appliances repair cost can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the part and labour involved. Newer appliances is the best option in most cases as technology around energy efficency and function continue to evolve and it will be worth while replacing. If you are planning a home remodel and plan to change your appliances, make sure to flag this to your design consultant. Your consultant can help you budget and plan accordingly.

Cabintry and storage life expectancy

Plywood cabintry boxes and mdf/maple doors: 50 Years

Particleboard cabinetry and veneer doors: 15 Years

Closet Shelves: Lifetime

When to replace your cabinetry: From a durability perspective, cabinet can last a very long time with proper maintaince. If you started to notice wear and tear with the interior of cabinet or veneer door peeling, then it’s time to replace. Aesthetically, cabinet style may only last 5-7 years before it goes out of style for good. If you are moving into a home with these old cabinets, and you are doing other renovation work, it may be a good time to factor this in.


Stone life expectancy

Granite*: Lifetime

Quartz*: Lifetime

Cultured Marble*:  20 Years

Quarry*: Lifetime

Masonary*: Lifetime

When to replace stone around the house: Any stone product may crack depended on usage. Natural stone product will require sealing every 6 months to a year. If you notice large amount of crack or un-removalble stain, it’s probably best to replace them. It’s also a good time to replace when other component attached to the stone is getting replaced, ie: cabinets, drywall, etc.

Window and Doors

Vinyl window: 20 Years

Aluminum windows: 40 Years

Frameless shower doors: 20 Years

Hollow core interior doors: 20 Years

Solid core interior doors: 30 Years

When to replace windows and doors: Geographical climate plays a big role in the life expectancy of window and doors. If you notice window leaking, this can be repaired using caulking and weathering strip. If you notice the window and door is severly warped then it definitely need to be replaced. If you are in the process of kitchen or home remodel, you will need to let your designer know the size of your new window casing. This will impact the placement of cabinets.


Wood Planks: Lifetime

Porcelain: 60 Years

Marble: 15 Years

Vinyl Sheet: 20-30 Years

Carpeting: 10 Years

When to replace floors: If you have a flooring that was put in recently and it was damaged or warpped, you can replace that single piece. If you have flooring from over 10 years ago, it may have discolored or out of style. It would be a good time to replace when doing home remodels. Wider wood plank and large format tiles are very popular in the 21 century.


Exterior paint: 7-10 Years

Interior paint: 5-10 Years

Wallpaper: 5-7 Years

When to repaint: Bathrooms will need to be repainted when condensation leaves a mark on ceiling and wall. Interior walls can be repainted when colour goes out of style. Exterior can be repainted every 10-15 years when exterior repair is required. 

Source: Angie’s list and Appliance Magazine. 2009. “32nd Annual Portrait of the U.S. Appliance Industry: The Life Expectancy/Replacement Picture.” Appliance Magazine 2009(9):37.

Source: NAHB, Feb, 2007