How long do new homes last? This is one of the most important questions to ask when buying new construction. When you sell it or hand it down to family, you want to know that it’s built value well – and, of course, while you’re living there, you want to know it is structurally sound and durable. So, how long will new construction homes in Palm Beach County last?
The first element to look at is structural longevity. Just a few decades ago, homes were designed to last decades at a time. That’s a pretty solid home, but standards have improved upon this. Today, homes are built with structural longevity that can be measured in centuries.
This may sound outlandish, but consider how many sturdy homes and buildings all over the country have lasted a century already. Those were built in the early 1900s! Materials and techniques have advanced by incredible leaps and bounds since then.
This does not mean that every home you look at buying can meet this standard, but reputable new home builders will be able to talk to you about this when buying new construction. New construction homes in Palm Beach County have to meet strict standards about structural longevity. They have to be built to reasonably withstand hurricane winds and drain potential flooding before it becomes a problem.
Foundation & Framing
- The most durable foundations are concrete and poured-block footings and foundations. They’re rated at over 80 years, and many will last longer than that. These foundations are waterproofed, which will last about 10 years.
- Frames are rated to last about the same amount of time: timber frames are rated at 80+ years.
- Insulation and infiltration barriers in the form of batts and rolls, cellulose, fiberglass, foam board, loose fill, and rock wool are all rated at more than 100 years.
- Masonry in the form of brick, hybrid block, concrete masonry, stone, and veneer are all rated at more than 75 years.
Individual Home Elements
Structural longevity speaks about the home’s entire construction. It talks about durability and ability to withstand wear. Individual elements of the home will have different lifespans, however. For instance, well-built cabinets such as those you might find in kitchens and bathrooms should last 50 years or more. A smaller medicine cabinet hanging from the wall should last 25-30 years. Shelves in a closet should last more than 100 years – so long as you don’t push their weight rating.
Not all elements will last so long. An entertainment center gets heavy use, and technology will continue speeding ahead. This means such an entertainment center might only last 10 years before needing a replacement. A home office is similar. While a sturdy, purpose-built desk might last decades, the most basic variety may only last you 10 years. Even the nicest office chair is unlikely to last you much longer than that if it sees everyday use.
Consider the use something is built for as well. For instance, pre-built stairs will last more than 100 years because they’re built for everyday use. Pull-down attic stairs, on the other hand, are built to move, change form, and be used less often – they’re only rated for 50 years.
Many of these elements depend upon the quality of build and the material from which they’re made. Nowhere is this represented more obviously than in flooring.
100+ Year Flooring
- Wood floors will typically last you more than 100 years. In Florida, you’ll just want to ensure that spills are cleaned up quickly and that humidity is controlled in enclosed rooms. This prevents warping or other damage.
- Bamboo is an exceptionally hard, durable, and beautiful floor material that’s worth mentioning separately. One of the best parts is that today, flooring manufacturers source bamboo from sustainable farms.
- Granite and marble floors will also last you more than 100 years. There’s less worry with these when it comes to humidity and moisture having an effect on durability, plus they’re always cool underfoot no matter the temperature.
50-100 Year Flooring
- Tile floors can get you up to 100 years of service. They’re also very easy to maintain. Just make sure to keep grout lines clean.
- Slate and terrazzo are other alternatives that may last up to 100 years.
- Engineered wood is a great choice that’s inexpensive to install and will last you more than 50 years in most cases.
- Concrete flooring has come a long way and can be artfully designed in many ways. It’s reliable for upwards of 50 years.
25 or Fewer Year Flooring
- Vinyl flooring is often rated around 25 years. Technological advances have enabled it to emulate the look of much more expensive flooring materials very accurately – even hardwood and marble.
- Linoleum can make it 25 years, but it will start showing its wear before then. That said, it is relatively easy to maintain.
- Laminate flooring will last you 25 years at a stretch, but only half that if heavily used.
- Carpet that’s made for home use will typically only last you 8 to 10 years. That’s a huge downgrade, though especially high quality carpets can improve this by several years.
The list goes far longer than this, but the point is that new construction homes in Palm Beach County are built to last. State requirements are strict for a reason, and builders seek to meet and exceed these requirements so that their homes last an exceedingly long time.
One of the biggest advantages of buying new construction is that the value of these homes will build better than the value of older homes. New construction includes better materials with better durability, more technology, and much greater energy efficiency. They are also less expensive to run, and are easier to maintain. They’re a good investment whether the house will one day be sold or passed to family members.
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