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Art Doesn’t have Obsolescence!

by | Oct 17, 2016 | Musings | 0 comments

Art Doesn’t Depreciate!

It isn’t your imagination. Products don’t last as long as they used to. How long you can expect many of the products that you have “invested in” inside and around your home to last?

“Customers are surprised when told that the average life expectancy to replace their 20-year-old refrigerator is seven to 12 years.” according to Neal Asbury, CEO of the Legacy Companies, a manufacturer and exporter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

He feels his companies’ products – all made in the U.S. – are durable. For instance, his Omega juicers have a 10-year warranty. “We don’t design failure into a product,” he says.

Consumer products don’t last as long as they did several decades ago, “when a lot of what was produced were products that needed to last forever, or at least as close to forever as people could possibly make them. Times were tougher then, earnings and income tended to be lower and the products we invested in had to last. We are more affluent now and are a more “disposable” society.

Around the house. If you have an air conditioner, you can expect it to last 10 years, according to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components. Carpet? Eight to 10 years. A linoleum floor fares better at 25 years, and a laminate floor can last 15 to 25 years.

Here are the life expectancies of more home products:

  •             Gas range oven: 15 years
  •             Refrigerator: 13 years
  •             Trash compactor: 6 years
  •             Dishwasher: 9 years
  •             Microwave oven: 9 years
  •             Washing machine: 10 years
  •             Electric or gas dryer: 13 years.
  •             Food waste disposer: 12 years
  •             Electric water heater: 11 years
  •             Gas water heater: 10 years
  •             Electric boiler: 13 years
  •             Gas boiler: 21 years
  •             Water heater, tankless (on demand) 20+ years
  •             Smoke detector: 10 years
  •             Air Conditioner (room size): 10 years


How long should your mattress last? According to Consumer Reports, about 10 years if you don’t let your kids use it as a trampoline. Mattress advertising campaigns suggest you should buy a new one every eight years. However, your backside is probably the best judge of when to replace your mattress.

Electronics are infamous for not lasting as long as consumers would like, but they probably break down less than one might think. According to a December 2013 issue of Consumer Reports, if you buy a flat-screen TV, there is a 3 percent chance of it dying within the first four years of ownership, and if you purchase a laptop, there’s an 11 percent chance it will give out within three years. It’s not a good thing if you’re among those 3 or 11 percent of buyers, but generally, Consumer Reports says electronics are reliable enough to make an extended warranty unnecessary.

Still, while your TV will probably last longer than four years, you’ll be lucky to have it in, say, 14 years.

Your house. A typical roof made of asphalt shingles should last about 20 years. Roofs made of fiber cement shingles should last 25 years, and roofs made of wood shakes are typically good for 30 years. If you have a roof made of slate, copper, clay or concrete, you can expect it to last 50 years.

The foundation and frame of your house should last a lifetime if they were properly built. And while the walls should also last the lifetime of the house, aluminum windows are only expected to hang around for 15 to 20 years. Wooden windows should last as long as 30 years.

Your garage door opener won’t have as lucky a fate, however. Expect it to last 10 to 15 years.

Let’s say you buy a garage door opener today. Perhaps when it conks out in 15 years, consumer products will have turned a corner, and the next one will last 30 years. That’s doubtful, according to Chip Manning, director of the Babson Center for Global Commerce at Sewanee–The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

“Planned obsolescence isn’t a new concept in business but an ever-evolving and important one,” he says. “Any manufacturer of goods wants your loyalty but also wants you to keep buying product.”

Exceptions: Classic cars (or cars with an inherent outlook to become a “Classic,” i.e., sports, exotic, or limited or small production run vehicles); of course, they also must have low mileage and be well maintained or preserved.

Stamps, coins, collector cards, china, antiques, jewelry, etc. and well cared for/preserved.

Gold and Silver bullion – fluctuates with market.

Typical Colour C Type Print Lifespans

The following gives a guide to different environments and average expectant lifespans of Colour C Type prints, dependent on placement in light filled room measured in Lux. Lux with a mixture of indirect and direct sun and artificial illumination in the evening. An average day over the year would be around 200 to 400 Lux illumination, dependent on the season.

Museum (150 Lux): Over 100 years

Office (450 Lux): 35 years

Commercial Display (1000 Lux): 8.5 years

High Intensity

Commercial Display (5000 Lux): 20 months

Artists’ painting or sculpture: 50 – 450 years!

AND, how many of the above listed items will you be able (or even WANT) to pass on to your kids?

AND, how many of the above listed items will have APPRECIATED in VALUE, so that when you do pass them on to your kids those art pieces will be worth something more (Sentimentally as well as economically)?

DUH… isn’t it time you invested in something that doesn’t have “Planned obsolescence?” SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTISTS!

            Some editorial material reprinted from Neal Asbury, CEO of the Legacy Companies blog about the lifespan of appliances.

Click, CLICK.


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