How Long Does It Last? When to Make House Improvements

An inspection can determine when to make house improvements.

An inspection can determine when to make house improvements.

Owning a home comes with a fair share of investment, especially when it comes to its upkeep. Mortgage aside, experts say you should invest one-to-three percent of the purchase price of your home, or $1 per square foot/per year, into ongoing maintenance and house improvements. If you plan to live in your home for the long-term, it’s essential to know what the average lifespan is of your home’s main components. We answer your questions on when and what you should check to help you with your home improvement tasks:


How often should I have my home inspected?

Most prospective homeowners have a professional inspection done by a licensed home inspector or a general contractor before putting a down payment on a home. However, even if the house passes inspection, it's essential to continually check the main components of your home on a seasonal basis, and especially in winter during freezing temperatures and high snow levels.


What should an inspection inside my home include?

A routine home inspection can reveal whether it’s time for something to be replaced or for an interior renovation or improvement to be made. Make sure your inspection includes checking the following: 

  • Electrical for lights not working or flickering and smoke/burn marks on outlets.
  • Walls for signs of moisture damage (mould) and general wear and tear.
  • Floorboards for uneven placement, “bubbles” or creaks.
  • Sinks, toilets, and plumbing for leaks, clogs, or corrosion.
  • Doors and Windows for cracks and excessive condensation.
  • HVAC and air ducts for proper airflow and venting, etc.


When should I replace my main appliances?

The lifespan of your household appliances depends on their use and what type of technology runs them. On average, a gas range will last up to 15 years, while an electric oven is around 13 years. The average refrigerator and dryer last for approximately 12 years, while a washing machine is 11 years. Typically, a dishwasher has a shorter lifespan of 10 years.


How long do HVAC systems typically last? 

With proper maintenance and upkeep, a gas furnace, on average, lasts up to 20 years, while a tank-style water heater typically lasts 12 years. An air conditioning unit that is not overused can last up to 15 years. However, the average expectancy of a window AC model is 5 to 7 years.


When should I have my roof replaced? 

An asphalt or fibre shingle roof typically lasts up to 25 years, while a metal or wood shake roof may last longer. It's essential to inspect your roof for loose shingles and the flashing and seams for separation or cracks.


How long will my home’s foundation and structural system last?

While most foundations and frames should last a lifetime, some elements can compromise the life expectancy of your home’s structural system and foundation. This includes: 

  • Shifting clay or improperly compacted fill soil underneath your foundation
  • Improper drainage
  • Tree root damage
  • Plumbing leak
  • Extreme weather
  • Earthquake


Contact a home restoration expert if you notice significant cracks in your foundation or walls, if the floors inside your home are uneven, or if there is any separation around your garage doors, windows, or walls.

For more house remodelling tips, read what Home Renovations Kelowna Homeowners Do to Boost Home Values.


Rafter 4K is Kelowna’s trusted expert for construction management and home renovations. Contact us for any exterior or interior project, from renovating bathrooms and kitchens to home and suite additions, as well as door, window, and siding installation, and more.


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