So it is with the myriad pieces of all sizes that make up the giant jigsaw puzzle we call a house. According to the National Association of Home Builders, “A well-built home can last for centuries, but many of its parts must be replaced or refurbished on a regular basis.”
With this thought in mind as well as the adage, “They don’t make things like they used to,” I can assure you that building products and appliances are improving every day, thanks to technological advances and better quality control.
And, as products improve, they become so inexpensive-my DVD player in the workshop cost me just $30-that you can throw a broken one away and buy a new one for much less than one of those extended warranties.
Many problems with modem building products-or just about anything-typically arise only when the products are installed incorrectly or maintained badly. You need to follow directions or insist that the installer follow them.
Manufacturers determine the life of a product by testing or by customer surveys. Sometimes they do both, along the lines of Consumer Reports. Most data on appliance longevity is gathered by trade associations.
The associations compile manufacturers’ surveys completed by customers when they buy appliances, asking how long the customer owned the previous washer, dryer, or dishwasher. From the responses, they determine high, low, and average life expectancies. Because of all the variables involved in use, the averages aren’t always on the money, but they are pretty close.