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The Truth About How Long Houses Last

The Truth About How Long Houses Last

The simple truth is that it’s impossible to tell how long a house will last. Certainly, various parameters should be adhered to during the build. If all things are as they should be you can get a reasonable estimate of the life expectancy of a building.

But, it’s important to remember that nature plays a part. Earthquakes and other natural disasters occur all the time and they can destroy the house, dramatically reducing its life expectancy. Alongside this, poor quality building practices can affect the stability of the house.

When corners are cut, the building can suffer from subsidence, rot, and a variety of other conditions. It’s also true that a house that is not looked after can be infested with pests. Some of these, such as rats and termites, can do serious structural damage. That’s why you should never purchase a property without using the services of a reputable building consultant Sydney.

Assuming nature doesn’t interfere and the house has been properly built, you can estimate how long your house will last:

  • Stone Houses

The oldest structures in the world are made from lumps of stone. Whether you look at the Pyramids or the Saint-Michel Tumulus in France, they are made from stone and have been in existence for thousands of years.

These types of houses don’t have foundations. The walls are simply huge stones. Over time they can start to lean outward and collapse. That’s why the roof I so important on these buildings. It helps to tie the structure together.

  • Brick

A more modern option is brick. Bricks are generally made from clay and are placed onto a solid foundation and then cemented together. It should be noted that there are many modern variants of this, from the traditional concrete breezeblock to lightweight insulative blocks.

But, they are all based on the same method of building. The foundation needs to be strong as it takes all the weight of the house. With good maintenance, brick houses can last hundreds of years.

  • Wood

Wood is a popular option in many areas because it is easy to locate and relatively cheap to build with. Of course, wood is more susceptible to pests than brick.

For a wooden house to last it needs to be regularly inspected and treated. This prevents pests and wet rot from weakening it. Again, these h0uses should be built onto a concrete foundation. They are then capable of lasting one hundred or even one hundred and fifty years. But, they do need to be taken care of.

  • Metal

Metal houses are becoming more popular as they are easy to build and seen as an environmentally friendly option. The metal used is usually steel and it should be galvanized to protect it from the elements.

Steel is very strong. However, it is susceptible to corrosion, especially if the outer coating is damaged. For that reason, most metal houses only last fifty years.

It’s worth knowing the difference before you purchase your home. After all, you want it to be still standing in your old age!

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