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When Will Your House Fall Apart?

By ELLEN SERFUSTINI
USU extension


Have you ever wondered how long items in your house are expected to last? How long will that remodeling job be good for? Of course it depends on proper care and handling but below is a list of common household items, their estimated life expectancy and how much it would cost to replace them.

House Item Life Expectancy Replacement Costs:

Asphalt Driveway, 15 years, $2-$3/sq. foot; Asphalt Shingle Roof, 25 years, $1 .25-$3.50/sq. foot; Bathroom Basin, 16 year, $200-$350; Bathtub/Tiles, 25 years, $1,500; Carpet, indefinite, $25-$60/sq. foot; Central Air-conditioning, compressor/or heat pump, 11 years; $800-$2,000; Chimney & Liner, 100 years, $4,500-$12,000; Dishwasher, 12 years, $600-$1,000; Exterior Paint, 5 years, $1,000-$2,500; Faucets, 12 years, $150+; Garage-Door Opener, 10 years, $300-$450; Garbage Disposal, 10 years, $150-$400; Hot-Air Furnace, 18 years, $1,000-$2,000; Hot-Water Boiler, 22 years, $2,000-$4,000; Oven/Stove, 20 years, $800-$1,200; Plumbing 20-60 years, $1,500-$4,000; Refrigerator, 14 years, $600-$1,000; Septic System, 30 years, $3,000-$12,000; Shower Pan, indefinite, $900-$1,600; Siding, 40 years, $8,000-$20,000; Sump Pump, 5 years $150-$250; Toilet, 35 years, $300+; Mechanism, 10 years, $100-$150; Vinyl Kitchen Floor, 25 years, $35/sq. foot; Washer & Dryer, 13 years $650-$800; Water Heater, 10 years $350-$800; Wood Deck, 15 years, $10-$15/sq. foot;

Does the warranty cover the entire product or only certain parts? Is the labor included in the warranty? (Sometimes you have to pay labor). Who is responsible for repairing the product? The dealer? A service agency? The manufacturer? Who pays for what under the warranty? Parts? Labor? Shipping charges? Travel charges? How long does the warranty last on the entire product?

On the individual parts or assemblies? If the product is out of use because of a service problem, or if it has to be removed from the home for repair, will a substitute product or service be provided? By whom?

Keep your warranty contract and the sales check for future reference. Insist that the sales slip fully describe the product and any terms of the sale. Record the date of purchase, model and serial number.

Also, record in detail any service or repair work done after purchase. A good storage location for these records might be in a file cabinet labeled "Household Appliances."

Service Help: Nearly one-fourth of all home service calls are unnecessary. Paying a service person to plug in the appliance or trip the breaker switch is expensive. The use manual that comes with appliances lists items to check before calling for service assistance.

If the appliance manual does not help solve the problem, consult with the dealer from whom the appliance is purchased. Explain the problem, being sure to have the model number and serial number for the appliance. The dealer may be able to help or may direct you elsewhere for help from the manufacturer. Several manufacturers of appliances provide a toll-free number for location of parts and service their products.

In addition to service help, some hotlines also handle consumer inquiries about the company's products, plus general questions on the appliance selection, use and care.

Life Expectancy of Different Appliances: Often consumers ask about the life expectancy of new appliances. In the following chart you will see the life expectancy of the most common appliances found in the home.

Estimates on Life Expectancy and Replacement Costs - House Item Life expectancy Replacement Costs: Dishwasher, 12 years, $600-$1000; Oven/stove, 20 years, $800-$1200; Refrigerator, 14 years, $600-$1200; Washer and Dryer, 13 years, $650-$800; Microwave, 11 years, $99-$250; Television (color or black & white), 8 years, $150-$1,500; Water Heater, 10 years, $350-$800; Garbage Disposal, 10 years, $150-$ 400.





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