You can rest assured that a house that was built with quality materials will outlive you by many decades, if not centuries.
Some of the elements that go into making up a house, on the other hand, have a propensity to have shorter lifespans and, in order to withstand the test of time, either need to be repaired or replaced.
As a result of the fact that many houses in Australia are only intended to have a lifespan of thirty years, as well as the fact that some of these homes may only last for the duration of the builder's warranty before requiring major repairs, a significant amount of embodied energy is being wasted in our housing stock. Without a doubt, we ought to be designing buildings that will outlive us.
There are some examples of homes in Australia that are between one hundred and two hundred years old. Many of the houses that are still inhabited in other countries are even older. However, true longevity requires more than just holding out for a certain amount of time.
Finding the right home constructions company Melbourne is an important decision. Check out our range of the best home design constructions at Hitch Property Constructions.
Why do houses age?
It is helpful to have an estimate of how long your new house will last on average, but do you understand why this is the case? There are a variety of factors that can have an impact on how structurally sound your build will be over time.
If you are aware of these factors before building, while you are building, and after your build is complete, you can help ensure that your home will withstand the test of time and the conditions that it is subjected to.
These are the contributing factors:
There is no doubt that higher-quality materials and products have a longer lifespan, and the same is true when it comes to your new home: constructing your home out of materials that are both environmentally friendly and of high quality can ensure that it will continue to be a source of pride for future generations.
Keep in mind that things that are used more frequently will deteriorate faster over time, so make sure that you invest in the appropriate products for your home so that they can last for many lifetimes.
These are some examples of materials that can last a lifetime (60 to 100 years or more):
- Stone that is natural
- Bricks (They need less maintenance and can provide better insulation) Bricks can provide better insulation. Nevertheless, they have the potential to lengthen and increase the expense of the building process.
- If it is not properly maintained, wood is more susceptible to damage from elements such as wind, water, and fire. Wood, on the other hand, is more commonly used in regions that are prone to earthquakes because of its greater flexibility.
- Metals (Slate, copper etc.)
- The majority of insulating materials
- Materials sourced from the immediate area
This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your house will last for a very long time. The workmanship of high quality can delay the onset of problems that might otherwise be brought on by a questionable join or an apparently "innocent" crack.
A house that was built poorly will deteriorate much more quickly than one that was meticulously built and attention was paid to every detail.
Because there are tens of thousands of houses constructed every year, there are bound to be a couple that slips through the cracks and can have an issue or two. However, this is the case with any mass production, not just home construction.
In order to prevent something like this from occurring with newly constructed structures, thorough evaluations are performed at each stage of the construction process. These evaluations cover everything from the measurements and materials used to the analysis of the potential outcomes of each decision.
In addition to this, they are required to adhere to the rules and regulations with utmost diligence in order to guarantee that everything is maintained to the same high standard of quality in order to provide you with a house that will last for generations.
For your peace of mind, the vast majority of recently constructed homes will include a certificate guaranteeing the structural integrity of the home for a period of ten years.
Your best bet for ensuring that the work done on your home is of high quality and the professional standard is to locate a builder or contractor who comes highly recommended. As a result of sloppy workmanship and poor design, problems, replacements, and repairs may arise much sooner than they would otherwise be necessary.
It is inevitable that things will wear out over time, whether they are living or non-living, and that they will sustain damage and breakage; the same is true for your brand-new home. In the first few years, it's possible that you won't have to perform a lot of maintenance, but that time will come. You can ensure that your house will last for a significantly longer amount of time if you stay on top of the maintenance it requires.
Your house is made up of a variety of parts, and while your house itself may be structurally sound for a good number of years, the parts that make up your house and give it its identity may not be as sturdy or last as long.
The following is a list of some of the components of your brand-new house that have a shorter average lifespan and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced:
- Aluminium coating for the roof (3 -7 years)
- Enamel steel sinks (5-10 years)
- Protection apparatus (5-10 years)
- Carpet (8-10 years)
- Smoke detector (less than 10 years)
- Faucets (10-15 years)
- Garage door opener (10-15 years)
- Cooling system (AC) (10-15 years)
- Asphalt (12-15 years)
- Protection against termites during construction (12 years)
- A compact refrigerator, a microwave oven, and a humidifier are some of the items included (9-10 years)
When it comes to your new home, you need to make sure that it is built for the environment that it is in. Unfortunately, we do not have any influence over mother nature; therefore, it is imperative that you construct your home appropriately for the surrounding natural features. Your house will need to be sturdy enough to withstand years and years of exposure to severe weather and anything else that mother nature decides to throw at it.
If you want to ensure that your home will last for a long time, one great option is to use materials that were sourced locally. This is because locally sourced materials were manufactured with the climate and conditions of your environment in mind.
It is essential to ensure a good construction and adequate upkeep of your home by keeping in mind the environment and weather to which it will be exposed. This will provide you with a home that will last for a long time.
Long-Lasting Building Materials Every Homeowner Should Consider
If you want to construct a house that stands the test of time, you need to give careful consideration to the materials you use. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of home renovations.
The following is a list of long-lasting building materials that you should keep in mind as you work through the planning and selection stages of constructing your new house.
Brick is one of the most durable building materials in existence, which is something that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. If you take a look at some of the most well-known buildings in the world, such as the Great Wall of China, the Pantheon, the Roman aqueducts, and the Taj Mahal, you'll notice that the majority of them were built with brick in some form or another.
"Give me a brick, and it becomes worth its weight in gold," was a quote attributed to the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It did not appear that he was trying to embellish the truth. Brick structures have a greater chance of keeping their value over the course of time, primarily due to the incredible durability of the material.
Stone is yet another material that has been utilised for decades and has demonstrated its capacity to remain intact over the course of time. The stone has taken on a variety of distinct looks as a result of the development of more efficient quarrying methods.
It is possible to instal it in its unfinished form for a more traditional appearance, or in its finished form for a more elegant and contemporary one. Stone has the ability to defend homes against a wide variety of environmental dangers because it is so long-lasting when it is cut and polished properly.
Steel is a material that has, over the course of the years, been utilised predominately in industrial and commercial architecture; however, in recent years, it has been gaining popularity as a construction material for residential structures, particularly in the case of steel windows and doors.
One of the most significant advantages is that they are extremely long-lasting; with the right maintenance, they can even last a lifetime.
Steel windows, like any other component of your house, will require some maintenance over time; however, if you protect them properly and take care of them, they will last for more than seventy-five years. Steel that has been galvanised and painted is simple to maintain.
On-site repairs for inevitable wear and tear, such as touch-up painting, can be completed by a homeowner or a handyman with little more than a few paintbrush strokes.
Concrete is another material that maintains its strength over long periods of time. Concrete is praised for its ability to be moulded into any number of shapes and then hardened for incredible strength. Concrete is made up of a combination of stone, sand, cement, and various binders.
There is a common misconception that concrete can only be used for driveway applications; however, there are many advantages to utilising concrete for a variety of other purposes. When concrete pavers are used as flooring, not only do they look good, but because they don't absorb and hold heat, they are more comfortable to walk on in the summertime. This is especially true in hotter climates.
Some of the issues to consider when designing houses that last
To begin, there is no point in designing a house to last if it does not have all of the fundamentals correct. These fundamentals include a good orientation and aspect, internal thermal mass (where appropriate), and a location with access to transportation as well as a connection to the community and services. Alterations can be made at a later time, but if the house's foundation isn't solid, owning it could turn out to be more of a liability than an asset in the long run.
It is possible that homes already on the market do not have these fundamentals. It is of even greater significance that we make the most of the housing stock that we currently have and that we renovate it effectively whenever this is possible.
When designing for sustainability in our current climate, one must also take into account the possibility of a warmer or more variable future climate. For instance, in certain regions of Australia, where heatwaves are becoming more frequent, what part does thermal mass play?
Dick Clarke and Chris Reardon, who passed away before they could finish their work, tackled the complex issue of designing for climate change in detail in ReNew 130 (and in a recent series in Sanctuary). Long-lasting designs have to be malleable enough to accommodate a variety of potential climatic conditions.
The concept that spaces should be flexible and adaptable is referred to as the "loose fit," and it is one of the terms that is bandied about when discussing long-lasting design.
People's requirements for housing change over time; for example, young children prefer to be in the same room as their parents, which is why an open floor plan is optimal; however, adolescents prefer to have more space between themselves and their parents, as well as more privacy; and eventually, the house may become a home for multiple generations, with parents and adult children (and their partners) residing together, or it may be occupied by people who have outgrown their need for children at home.
A house that has been thoughtfully designed should be able to adjust to the shifting requirements of its inhabitants without the need for frequent remodelling. One approach to this problem is to provide flexibility for everyone through the use of universal design.
Technology is yet another aspect that undergoes significant evolution over the course of time. Who knows what kinds of kitchen appliances, for instance, will be on the market in the next 30 years?
Your new kitchen may look nice with a microwave and coffee machine that is built in but ask yourself if you really want to have to replace the joinery in the kitchen if either of those appliances breaks down.
A design that isn't too snug and has shelves and panels that can be moved around gives you the flexibility to accommodate new appliances or leave room for ones that haven't been invented yet.
The less complexity a system has, the less there is that can go wrong with it and the simpler it will be to fix if it does. When choosing a system to instal in a home with a long lifespan, it is important to consider whether or not it can be repaired in the event that the manufacturer of the system goes out of business or stops producing the product or component in question.
For instance, close-coupled solar hot water units are superior to split systems. This is because close-coupled systems do not require a pump to move water from the panels into the storage tank. Another example, which may be more debatable, is the preference for timber window frames over thermally broken (insulated) aluminium.
This is due to the fact that the hardware used to operate timber window frames is easier to replace and requires less effort. In the event that it is necessary to do so, the frames are capable of being repaired and even partially rebuilt.
When considering a design that is meant to last for a long time, a lot of people probably give first thought to how durable it is, but I believe that factor is less important than the ones listed above.
Very few materials can go 100 years without requiring any kind of upkeep or replacement. The components of your home that are made of materials such as wood, brick, or concrete are subject to weathering, as well as general wear and tear.
However, provided that the protective coatings on them, such as paint, are kept in good condition, certain materials can last for a very long time.
There is also a vast supply of materials on the market that have been engineered to have a longer lifespan. These materials are frequently developed with the marine environment in mind, where everything deteriorates at a much more rapid rate.
You can determine the expected longevity of the material by looking at the length of the warranty period that is provided for it. Along with reviews written in the style of choice and those written by customers, a lengthy warranty is the most reliable piece of information we have at this time.
There are additional things that governments could do in this regard, such as regulate longer warranties and end-of-life disposal requirements for manufacturers, which would make it more appealing to build quality into products.
When it comes to housing in general, the more solidly built a house is, the longer it will last; just think of all the different examples from Europe in this regard.
Stone, brick, concrete, and rammed earth are all examples of masonry materials that can all last for very long periods of time.
The use of these materials as a protective skin, on the other hand, is not without its drawbacks; in many climates, it is possible that they will require additional insulation in order to achieve optimal thermal performance. In addition to that, a few of them have a high level of embodied energy.
Materials for inert metal cladding, such as zinc and copper, have a higher initial cost but typically require no maintenance for a period of sixty years or more. There are numerous examples, such as church roofs in Europe that have survived for more than two centuries.
Another illustration of this would be conventional metal roof sheeting that comes with a premium finish such as Colorbond Ultra and a warranty that lasts for 25 years in a coastal environment (which is known to be particularly hard on materials).
Even low-cost and lightweight materials like fibre-cement sheets have the potential to last for a very long time; just think back to the beach shacks that were made of fibre-cement in the 1970s. After forty years, the base material appears to be in good shape.
When thinking about how long something will last, timber requires careful consideration. After approximately 25 years, exposed external timber surfaces may require replacement depending on the species and orientation of the wood.
Painted weatherboards have the potential to last for a significantly longer period of time but require more frequent maintenance. Internally polished timber floorboards can only be sanded back three times before they become too thin; therefore, for longevity purposes, use oil finishes that can be touched up without sanding, or provide coverings to areas that see the most wear and tear.
It is important to take into account embodied energy; one of the primary reasons we want long-lived buildings is to cut down on the amount of embodied energy that is wasted by those buildings.
The amount of energy that is used to manufacture the materials and products that are used in our homes is enormous, as is the amount of energy that is used to transport the products to the construction site.
According to some estimates, the construction industry is responsible for forty per cent of the waste that is sent to landfills. This includes new materials that are thrown away because they are offcuts, imperfect, or because were ordered by mistake.
Bricks, lime for concrete, aluminium, and other materials like these all have a higher embodied energy than other materials, but this can be balanced out by considering the product's lifespan, the amount of maintenance it needs, and the location where it is manufactured (hence transportation requirements).
Anything that has been used before or that has been saved from the landfill is preferable to new materials (reduce, reuse, recycle). Reusing what was previously present in a space is likely the single most effective step we can take to cut down on the amount of energy that is "embodied" in the process of building our homes.
When it comes down to it, longevity is determined not only by how long the materials last but also by a combination of factors including appropriate design, durability, maintainability, embodied energy, and reusability. You have to take all of these things into consideration in order to arrive at intelligent choices.
How can you increase the lifespan of your home?
There are a few different steps that you can take in order to extend the amount of time that your house will remain habitable. The majority of it boils down to common and fundamental practises that can forestall the occurrence of a catastrophe. Check out our Melbourne home repairs to help you to build your dream house.
If you check it on a regular basis, you will be able to spot any new damages, breaks, or wear before it becomes too expensive to repair or replace entirely.
Things such as these can help maintain the structural soundness of your home for a longer period of time:
- Routine cleaning helps prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms like bacteria, mould, and fungus, which could otherwise cause damage to your home.
- Separation and disposal of waste in an appropriate manner
- Check for termites, pests, and insects. Doing so protects your home and its surroundings from the potentially irreparable damage that could be caused by termites, pests, and insects.
- Be on the lookout for seepage, water leaks, and walls that are damp.
- Perform a thorough inspection of the plinth, foundations, and bases of all structural components.
- The appropriate material catering to the necessities and prerequisites of your home
- Maintenance that is performed regularly and correctly
The above averages can give you an idea of how long your home and the features in it will last, but they do not take into account factors such as the weather, excessive use, abuse, or neglect, all of which can speed up the deterioration process.
When you are out looking for a house, keep this in mind when you evaluate the age of the property in relation to the potential home improvements you might have to make if you were to purchase it.
FAQs About Home Constructions
What is it about these buildings that makes them so incredibly hardy and resistant to the effects of natural disasters? They are typically built out of exceptionally long-lasting materials such as concrete, steel, and stone, and many of them have been engineered to respond to and adapt to the punishing effects of a natural or man-made disaster. In other words, they are extremely resilient.
The triangle is the most stable shape because it maintains its shape, has a base that is very strong, and also has a support that is robust. The shape of the triangle can be found in a wide variety of building trusses and supports.
Brick Buildings Built to Last
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (IACHI), brick buildings are built to last 100 years or more. Of course, that only happens with proper maintenance and normal wear and tear.
Because they have fewer corners, homes in the shape of domes are the most energy-efficient type of home. This makes it possible for wind to easily pass over the house without causing changes in air pressure; as a result, air penetration is reduced, and the home is able to keep a more consistent temperature.
Building costs are reduced and the construction process is facilitated when rooms are kept straightforward and rectangular in shape. The construction costs of homes with a square shape are typically lower than those of homes with a rectangular shape.