How Long Do Houses Last? The Average Lifespan of a Home

August 31, 2021

There are so many factors that go into determining a home’s lifespan that it’s hard to deliver a straight answer to this question. So, let’s take a look at some studies and some of the factors likely to influence how long you can expect your house to last.

What does the research say?

One study analyzed a couple hundred buildings that were condemned and demolished in North America. Of these, a majority were less than 50 years old. But when broken down by age group, 12 percent of the buildings were less than 25 years old, and many more were 26 to 50 years old.

The same study indicated most buildings demolished due to material failure, however, were not torn down until closer to 90 to 100 years of age. This means that you can probably expect a home to last at least that long, so long as you’re taking care of it. Earlier demolition is usually due to negligent maintenance on the part of the homeowner.

Looking at the components of your home

The single largest factor in how long you can expect a home to last is the condition of the foundation.

A poured concrete foundation can last approximately 200 years, while a cement foundation usually will need repairs after 50 years. This means that, assuming the rest of the house is properly maintained, you can probably get about 200 years out of a home. While there are plenty of historic buildings that last much longer, they’re usually given special maintenance and care that are not afforded to other types of buildings.

Other individual components can also influence how long your home lasts. For example:

  • 100-plus years: Some of the components of your home that you can expect to last at least 100 years include a poured concrete foundation (200 years or more), brick or stone walls, electrical wiring, exterior overhangs and concrete block foundations.
  • 50 to 100 years: Components of the home that will typically last 50 to 100 years include the following: cast iron bathtubs, toilets, staircases, slate roofing tiles, aluminum siding, and some drywall and plaster walls (some may have a shorter life).
  • Less than 50 years: Components of the home that will usually last less than 50 years include garage doors, appliances, fiberglass tubs and showers, laminate countertops, paint, stucco, plaster, HVAC systems, sump pumps and well pumps.

Water damage is one factor that could significantly lessen the lifespan of a house. Serious water damage can structurally weaken the building and make repairs much more difficult. Some materials cannot resist water properly.

For more information about how long you can expect your home to last and the kinds of maintenance you can perform to ensure a long life, contact the team at Coyote Hollow Construction today.

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