Q: What is Life Cycle Analysis?

A: Life Cycle Analysis is a study of how long products last (functional or style) that are used in a home. Most often you will budget for future maintenance and replacement. If you budget for the future it helps take the pain out of the funding of replacing a high cost items like the furnace, roof, appliances, cabinets, flooring etc.

When you purchase an existing home you are buying into what and how the previous homeowner(s) did or did not do in regards to deferred maintenance. You are also buying into the beginning, middle or end of the effective use of products. A simple example is the roof. Really understanding the quality and maintenance of the roof system will save you headaches later. A quality home inspection will help in this process. If done properly it will give you an edge in negotiations.

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New construction gets really tricky. Builder grade products most often do not give you the life expectancy of other products that might cost a little bit more upfront. Builders use these products to give you attractive upfront pricing. Does it give you a fair cost analysis over time?

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A simple example of this is the exterior paint we use. We use the best available from Miller Paint. The material does cost more upfront but the labor doesn’t. This material has an extended life—the paint job will last longer than one with builder grade paint. This saves significant money down the line.

When choosing all products in a home I suggest keeping a keen eye on life expectancy. You will be surprised how much this will save you over time.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!