I love this song from my youth, but have you ever considered these words with regard to your home? Our friends at ServiceMaster by Mason shared this fantastic infographic on their Twitter showing a part-by-part guide of how long various items in and around your home are estimated to last. Why is this important to know? It will help you create a maintenance and replacement plan. If you know that various items all have a relatively similar life span, that means a big impact to your house budget all at once. BUT this list could help you budget and plan replacements on your own timetable.
As you can see from this image, if you bought your home new you could potentially be looking to replace your deck, dishwasher, carpeting, washing machine, microwave, air conditioning units and electrical outlets at about the same time. Of course any appliance can go kaflooey at any time, but for planning purposes let’s just take this list at face value.
So what could you do to proactively protect your budget from being hit hard all at once? You could consider replacing the carpeting with different flooring that has a longer life and is easier to maintain. Or keep on the hunt for great appliance sales and replace your machines individually when they are still in working order. This way you can upgrade AND sell your old appliance to defer some cost of the new one!
You could also look at preventive maintenance for various items as well. Take a good look at your wood deck. Do you treat it yearly with waterproof stain? This can go a long way in helping to extend its life. A few years ago my husband even flipped the boards on our decks! The underside of the boards were almost pristine and he is dedicated to treating them every year and we have extended the life of our deck by years.
Proper maintenance and cleaning of small appliances can extend the life and increase their effectiveness as well. We had our washing machine for 15 years as a result of my husband learning how to take it apart, clean it and replace some vulnerable parts. Our dryer is still going after 17 years as we vacuum it regularly and have replaced the drum belt. Fingers crossed that our workhorse keeps up her job for a few more years!
While not all house components can be taken care of on your own, don’t be afraid to take steps to learn how to maintain the ones that you can. YouTube has proven to have a wealth of legitimate “how to” videos by areas in their field. It often feels as if we live in a “throw away” era, that we’ve lost the “do-it-yourself” ideals of previous generations. Perhaps we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that electronics have made things beyond our reach. But with a little time, patience and a willingness to learn, you could become quite the home handyperson and help keep your house in good shape for years to come and keep that budget in line!