The average lifespan of 10 common home features—and what it costs to renovate them

Published 5:05 pm Friday, January 20, 2023


The average lifespan of 10 common home features—and what it costs to renovate them

Between outdated and broken appliances, fixtures in need of repair, and aging parts of the home, keeping up with home improvement can be expensive—and can generate a lot of waste.

Angi compiled a list of the average lifespan of 10 household features and used its data on average repair costs 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. Project costs totaling more than $10,000 were rounded to the nearest thousand, and project costs under that amount were rounded to the nearest hundred. Projects are roughly ordered by replacement cost.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, home improvement spending in 2021 rose to roughly $10,341 in the average American home, according to Angi’s 2021 State of Home Spending report, while emergency spending on home-related needs was $2,231. Some of this spending came in the wake of natural disasters—particularly in the southern U.S.—but much of it was concentrated among middle and upper-class households where people spent more time at home.

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Not all renovations or home improvement projects are totally voluntary, though. Appliances eventually break, and roofs will ultimately leak. Homeowners regularly face difficult decisions about whether to repair or replace damaged items in the home. Those choices are best made by considering how long home fixtures are supposed to last and how much it costs to replace them.

An open refrigerator full of food in a kitchen with the lights out.



– Lifespan: 13 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $500 to $3,000

The lifespan of a refrigerator depends upon many systems continuing to work together, meaning that performing routine maintenance along the way can add years to a fridge’s functional life. Since the refrigerator’s job is to keep its contents cold, the heat from its machinery must go somewhere. Performing tasks that help dissipate that heat, like vacuuming the condenser coils, which are usually located behind the fridge, and making sure the top of the refrigerator isn’t cluttered, will make the appliance run more efficiently.

Even with routine upkeep, however, fridges tend to not function as well after 10 to 13 years. Repairs have gotten more expensive as fridges have developed more advanced electrical systems and fancy bells and whistles, such as built-in smart devices. Parts are also more expensive, driving up the costs of both repairing and replacing the appliance.

Neatly stacked cups, plates and silverware in a dishwasher.



– Lifespan: 9 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $970 on average

Just like refrigerators, dishwashers can be pricey to replace depending on whether they include top-of-the-line features like Wi-Fi capability and multiple wash-cycle options. Meanwhile, basic models can cost as little as $250. Installation costs are also a factor to keep in mind when replacing a dishwasher: Hiring a professional to put a dishwasher where there wasn’t one before can be expensive, but doing it yourself with existing wiring and pipes can be a cheaper alternative. 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, or even the need to replace the entire appliance, down the line.

A man in a blue hat inspecting a hot water heater.


Water heater

– Lifespan: 10 years, or 20 for tankless
– Cost to replace/renovate: $1,000 to $3,000

Water heaters often operate in the background, not getting much attention until someone steps into a freezing shower one day, 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 around a single decade, depending on how many minerals a home’s water contains and whether cold weather outside means water coming into the home needs more energy to heat up.

Tankless water heaters are a more recent development in heating technology and 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 but usually have double the lifespan. Luckily, water heaters can sometimes be repaired rather than being replaced altogether: Common repairs include replacing the heating element or fixing water pressure.

A bright grey and white bathroom with a white freestanding tub and glass enclosed shower.


Shower enclosures

– Lifespan: 50 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $1,000 to $8,500, depending on type

The cost and effort of repairing or changing out shower enclosures vary greatly, depending on whether you’re looking to install something as minimal as a new shower door or to make larger changes, like adding a tub or changing the size of the shower. Other factors, like whether you’re using a prefabricated shower or doing a custom job, can also affect material and labor costs.

While replacing a shower can be costly, it does not need to be done frequently—most showers have a five-decade lifespan, although 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 sometimes be fixed fairly easily by replacing a showerhead or using a plumber’s snake tool to clear a clogged drain.

A bright kitchen with marble countertop, grey cabinets and big windows.


Marble countertops

– Lifespan: Lifetime
– Cost to replace/renovate: For an average kitchen, somewhere between $2,000 to $5,000

Marble countertops can be an elegant design feature for your kitchen, but they can also be a practical choice, as 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 just for materials, depending on the quality of the stone. This doesn’t include the installation cost, which can add thousands of dollars. Labor costs often vary based on the size of the job, individual contractor rates, and any additional supplies required.

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

Blue vinyl siding on a house.



– Lifespan: 20 to 40 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $5,400 to $15,500

Siding is meant to protect the structure of your home from the outside elements, but it is also an aesthetic choice. Different materials have pros and cons, ranging from durability and lifespan to price, environmental friendliness, and upkeep. Vinyl, for instance, is on the lower end of the price spectrum and is estimated to last between 20 and 40 years, but it discolors and is more easily damaged by extreme weather. Brick or stone lasts much longer but costs more upfront. Repairs and upkeep can make siding last longer. Common maintenance includes cleaning, patching holes, and checking for rot.

A red tile roof on a home.



– Lifespan: 20 years or more, depending on the material
– Cost to replace/renovate: $6,000 to $12,000

Roof damage can occur from falling tree limbs, debris, extreme weather, rot, and even animals making a home under shingles. While some damage is minimal enough that patching or reshingling a small section could be enough to restore a roof to full functionality, some roofs, particularly older ones, may need to be replaced entirely.

Depending on how extensive the roof’s damage is—like whether there is rot under the shingles, for instance—costs can vary. Other factors affecting the cost include materials and individual labor costs, which can range from $1 to $3 per square foot. Common roofing materials include asphalt shingles, which are cheap and fairly durable, and slate, stone, or even copper, which are more expensive.

A kitchen with all white cabinets and an island.


Kitchen cabinets

– Lifespan: 50 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $12,000 to $20,000

Changing or replacing cabinets can transform the appearance of your kitchen, but brand-new ones come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, cabinets have a very long lifespan and are usually replaced for aesthetic reasons than because they have worn out. Cabinetry cost depends on the level of customization and materials and is generally priced by the linear foot.

To avoid the cost of replacing cabinets, there are many ways to refurbish existing cabinets 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.

A wood deck with two adirondack chairs and a railing.


Wood deck

– Lifespan: 20 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $19,000

A wood deck can offer more ways to enjoy your home’s outdoor space, but its exposure to the elements means upkeep to ensure the deck is safe and looking its best. Decks can be expensive to build from scratch, and larger decks generally cost more than smaller ones. 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.

Upkeep varies based on the materials used and the types of weather the deck is exposed to. Softwoods, like pine or spruce, are cheaper but tend to warp and deteriorate more quickly than hardwoods, like oaks or beeches, or composite decking, which is made of a mix of recycled materials, woods, and plastics. Maintenance like regular cleaning, resealing, and removing debris will help any deck last a long time.

The second story of a beige home with big windows.


Vinyl windows

– Lifespan: 20 years
– Cost to replace/renovate: $20,000

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, including window coatings which improved energy efficiency, as well as vinyl framing, which insulates better than traditional wood. They’re also cheaper than other types of windows.

Vinyl windows do 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 and need to be replaced more frequently.

This story originally appeared on Angi and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.