Identifying the Age of Building Systems and Components

components bookA Handbook for Home Inspectors, Contractors,
Appraisers, Engineers, and Other Professionals


Mark Reinmiller has written a handbook that is very useful for determining the age of building systems and components. You can view a sample of the book by clicking the link below.

You can order a copy by sending a check for $19.00 payable to Mark Reinmiller at 101 N. Stone Ridge Drive, Lansdale, PA 19446. The cost includes postage and handling. If you wish to pay by credit card please send an email to and you will receive an invoice by email payable through PayPal.

There are many reasons why it is important or useful to determine the age of a building, system, building component, appliance, etc. When performing a building inspection an inspector is often asked questions about the age of buildings and many of the various systems and appliances in the building. Age is a significant factor in estimating useful remaining service life.

Date codes on components such as windows, doors, electric service panels, heating and air conditioning systems, etc. can be helpful in determining the age of a building, or an addition to a building. This can aid in determining the age of other components, such as roofing, where age cannot typically be determined by date codes. Date codes can also be helpful in determining when major renovations were performed. The age of renovations can give a more complete picture as to the overall condition of an older building that has been substantially renovated. Similar date codes on numerous components may also indicate when an event such as a fire or flood occurred.

Determining the age of components can be very useful when evaluating problems in buildings. As an example, water level lines on heating systems, water heaters, appliances, etc. can indicate the approximate timeframe of when water accumulation occurred in a basement. Date codes on sump pumps or PVC piping used for a sump pump discharge pipe may be an indication of the age of a sump pump or drainage system installation.

The age of a structure or age of significant renovations can be used to determine the timeframe related to specific concerns (e.g. aluminum wiring; lead paint; asbestos), or can be useful when evaluating code compliance issues. The age of components or systems or the timeframe when a structure was constructed or renovated can also be useful when performing forensic evaluations or when serving as an expert witness.