How Long Do Home Appliances Last

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I never thought about how long appliances last until we moved into our second home. There, we found a kitchen straight out of the 1970s — complete with harvest gold and brown appliances. In fact, the refrigerator was almost as old as I was.

Clearly, it was on its last legs — I mean, how long can a fridge last anyway? So we knew we’d have to go shopping soon for new appliances.

How long do appliances last

Unfortunately, home appliances eventually become outdated. Homeowners regularly face difficult decisions about whether to repair or replace damaged items in the home.

For example, home improvement spending in 2022 was roughly $8,484, according to Angi’s State of Home Spending Report, while emergency spending on home-related needs cost homeowners about $1,953.

To help you plan ahead for home maintenance, Angi (which now includes home improvement referral service HomeAdvisor) compiled a list of the average lifespan of 10 household features. Then, it used its data to estimate renovation or replacement figures.

Additional data comes from the Association of Home Builders, Zonda Media’s Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, and other industry sources. This analysis rounded project costs totaling more than $10,000 to the nearest thousand, and rounded lesser project costs under to the nearest hundred.

How long does a refrigerator last

refrigerator and stove at point pleasant house
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Cost to replace/renovate: $500 to $3,000

The lifespan of a refrigerator depends upon many internal systems continuing to work together. That means performing monthly and annual maintenance can add years to a fridge’s functional life.

For example, vacuuming the condenser coils, located behind the fridge, can extend its life. Same with making sure the top of the refrigerator isn’t cluttered. This will make the appliance run more efficiently.

Even with routine upkeep, however, fridges tend not to function as well after 10 to 13 years. If a fridge has advanced electrical systems and features, such as built-in smart devices, repairs and replacement parts are more expensive. Therefore, it’s more cost effective to just buy a new refrigerator.

Some signs that it’s time to buy a new refrigerator include constant loud motor noises, food spoiling quickly and unusual heat from the coils. Or, maybe you’ll have a fridge misbehave like ours did before we replaced it: the ice dispenser in the door randomly spit out ice cubes.

How long does a dishwasher last

dishwasher with fiestaweare
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 12 years
  • Cost to replace: $970 on average

Like refrigerators, dishwashers can be expensive to replace, depending on size, features and quality. Basic dishwasher models can cost as low as $250. You’ll also need to budget for additional installation costs, including between $100 to $450 to hire an appliance installation professional. Other costs can come from removing an old dishwasher or upgrading older electrical or plumbing systems.

Dishwasher repairs often involve broken overflow systems, leaks or ineffective cleaning. Performing upkeep tasks like cleaning mineral buildup from the spray arms, cleaning the drain tubes and filters, and replacing leaky seals can prevent more costly repairs, and extend the life of your dishwasher.

Also, if you regularly clean out the filter at the bottom inside your dishwasher, you may be able to get more life from it. For example, if dishes are coming out dirty, there could be clogs that a simple YouTube video will show you how to fix.

Water heater lifespan

Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 10 years for tank models; 20 years for tankless models
  • Cost to replace: $1,000 to $3,000

Water heaters often operate in the background of your home, not getting much attention until someone steps into a freezing shower, or worse, the tank springs a leak. While water heaters built in the 1950s and 1960s often lasted for multiple decades, contemporary tanks usually last about 10 years, depending on water quality and home location.

Tankless water heaters are a more recent development in heating technology and are much more efficient — and smaller. They operate by heating water when it moves through the waterline instead of storing hot water in limited quantities in tanks.

These water heaters are more expensive than traditional tank heaters, costing $2,400 on average, but usually have double the lifespan. Luckily, you can typically make minor water heaters repairs rather than replacing it, such as updating the heating element or fixing water pressure.

Shower enclosures

bathfitters bathroom surround point pleasant house
We used Bathfitters to update our tub and shower enclosure. Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 50 years
  • Cost to replace: $1,000 to $8,500, depending on type

The cost and effort of repairing or replacing shower enclosures vary greatly. It all depends on whether you’re making a minimal change, such as installing a new shower door, or larger changes, like adding a tub or changing the size of the shower. The cost of the parts and labor costs will depend on whether you’re using prefabricated or custom materials.

While replacing a shower can be costly, it’s an upgrade that can last — most showers have a five-decade lifespan. However, some people opt to change things sooner because of changing trends or surface-level wear.

Some common shower issues, like a leaky faucet or poor draining, can be fixed fairly easily by replacing a showerhead or using a plumber’s snake tool to clear a clogged drain. Also, if the tiles in the shower are still in good shape but are an outdated color, you can have them reglazed, like we did in the bathroom shown below.

Reglazed tub, before and after. Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

How long do marble countertops last

kitchen with marble counters
Photo credit: Canva.
  • Lifespan: Lifetime
  • Cost to replace: $2,000 to $5,000

Marble countertops are an elegant design feature for your kitchen. However, they can also be a practical choice. That’s because they are typically durable enough to last a lifetime.

That durability comes at a price, however. Buying a new marble countertop costs between $40 and $100 per square foot for materials, depending on the stone’s quality.

This price range doesn’t include the installation cost, which can add thousands of dollars. Labor costs often vary based on the size of the job, contractor rates, and any additional supplies required.

After the initial investment, the countertops won’t likely need much upkeep or repair. Depending on the stone’s quality, the marble may need to be periodically resealed. You can often make small repairs inexpensively using an at-home repair kit.

Quartz is another durable material for kitchen countertops. Here are tips for cleaning quartz.

How long does house siding last

Old siding, top, and new siding, bottom. Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 20 to 40 years
  • Cost to replace: $5,400 to $70,000

Siding protects the structure of your home from the outside elements, but it is also an aesthetic choice. You can choose from many different siding materials, each with its own cost factors. These factors include durability, lifespan, price, environmental friendliness and upkeep.

For example, vinyl is on the low end of the price spectrum at $3 to $12 per square foot. This type of siding lasts between 20 and 40 years. However, it can discolor and often doesn’t stand up as well to extreme weather.

On the other hand, brick or stone siding lasts much longer. However, they cost more to purchase and install. You can expect to pay $10,000 to $75,000 to replace brick siding.

Repairs and upkeep can make siding last longer, including maintenance tasks like cleaning, patching holes and checking for rot.

How long does a roof last

roof west water street house
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 20 years or more, depending on the material
  • Cost to replace: $6,000 to $12,300

Roof damage can occur from falling tree limbs, debris, extreme weather, rot and even animals making a home under shingles. Some damage is minimal. Therefore, you can get away with patching or reshingling a small section in order to restore a roof to full functionality. However, some roofs, particularly older ones, may need to be replaced entirely.

Roof replacement costs vary based on the extent of the damage, but you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $12,300. Other factors that affect the cost include materials and labor costs, which can range from $1 to $3 per square foot.

Common roofing materials include asphalt shingles. These are inexpensive and fairly durable. Compare that with slate, stone, or even copper, which may look nicer but cost way more.

Lifespan of kitchen cabinets

stone marble countertop point pleasant kitchen
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 50 years
  • Cost to replace: $12,000 to $20,000

Changing or replacing cabinets can transform the appearance of your kitchen. However, brand-new models come with a hefty price tag.

Luckily, cabinets have a very long lifespan and homeowners usually replace them for aesthetic reasons rather than because of wear and tear. Cabinetry costs depend on the level of customization and materials and are generally priced by the linear foot.

Homeowners can avoid the cost of replacing cabinets by refurbishing existing ones to give them a completely new look—particularly if they’re made of wood. Painting or restaining cabinets, replacing rusty or broken hinges, or changing out the hardware, can give the appearance and feel of new cabinets while keeping costs low, both economically and environmentally.

Also, you can resurface cabinets. Think about it like getting veneers for your teeth. Installers put a new front on the cabinet doors only, and they look brand new.

Wood deck

wood desk point pleasant house
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Cost to replace: $19,000

A wood deck can offer more ways to enjoy your home’s outdoor space. However, it is constantly exposed to the elements. Therefore, its upkeep is essential.

Decks can be expensive to build from scratch, and larger decks generally cost more to build or replace than smaller ones. For example, pressure-treated wood costs about $15 to $20 per square foot. Building from scratch also involves other considerations, like whether the deck will rest on the ground or if it will be raised, and creating the structure accordingly.

Deck maintenance varies based on the level and type of weather exposure and materials used. Softwoods, like pine or spruce, are less expensive to install but tend to warp and deteriorate more quickly than hardwoods, like oaks or beeches, or composite decking. Maintenance — like regular cleaning, resealing and removing debris — will help any deck last as long as possible.

How long do vinyl windows last

vinyl windows point pleasant house
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Cost to replace: $100 to $900 per window

Vinyl windows — or windows framed with vinyl, as opposed to wood or aluminum — have become increasingly popular since the 1970s. That decade’s energy crisis spurred innovations in window technology. This included window coatings which improved energy efficiency, as well as vinyl framing, which insulates better than traditional wood. Vinyl windows are also less expensive to install than other types of windows, such as composite or fiberglass

Vinyl windows tend to deteriorate over time, however. Their semi-flexible nature can eventually lead to sagging or warping, depending on temperature and humidity. They’re also generally less durable than wood frames. Therefore, you may need to replace them more frequently.

This story originally appeared on Angi and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio. This article has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

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