Moving into your new home can be a stressful situation. But when plumbing problems occur that stress level can go through the roof. Plumbing upgrades (whether on a new-to-you home or after you've been living there for decades) can be costly depending on what type of pipes, fixtures and other components your home requires.
Dated bathrooms will need an update and an upgrade at some point. You may need to replace the sink, vanity, toilet or tub. Installing new single shower units is another common upgrade in older bathrooms. Faucet replacements are common in the kitchen or bathroom and laundry rooms may require a new laundry tub or replacement valves. Hot water tanks have a limited lifespan as well, and will need replacement every ten to twelve years (or even less, depending on the quality of your water).
More extensive plumbing upgrades include replacing galvanized piping with copper or connecting a wastewater system to the municipal system. These projects are more common in older homes, but will go a long way to bringing your house up to current building codes.
Many homeowners are updating the plumbing to more efficient levels, possibly on the advice of an energy conservation consultant or auditor. These upgrades to low flow toilets or shower heads with aerators will put money back in your pocket through lower utility bills, although the initial cost of the upgrades is up to you.
A Rough Idea
Although it depends entirely on where you are located and the current rate of labor and material in the plumbing industry, it's possible to outline a rough price for typical plumbing upgrades. The following prices will give you a good outline of what you can expect to spend:
Replacement of Kitchen or Bath Faucet - $100 and higher
Replacement of Toilet - $300 and higher
Large Kitchen or Bath Sink (porcelain or stainless steel)- $600 - $800
Replacement of Bath Tub - $1500 and higher
Connect Laundry Tub - $400 and higher
Replacement of galvanized pipes with copper tubing - $2000 - $2500
Hot Water Tank (40gal gas or electric) - $500 - $800
Connect wastewater plumbing to municipal sewers - $3000 and higher
How To Lower the Cost of Plumbing Upgrades
If you are physically able and possess enough skills to do some of the work yourself DIY plumbing could be a good way to cut costs. But in many situations the more intensive work should be completed by a professional to ensure it is safe and efficient. Water damage is a common result of inexperienced homeowners trying to complete plumbing projects on their own. Have confidence in your abilities, but have the professionals handle the work that is beyond your skill set.
In the case of upgrades, it pays to get the right plumber. Find someone you can trust who will complete the necessary work and advise you on the best schedule for upgrades. Some projects need to be done right away, while others can wait. You need to trust that your plumber is guiding you in the best path
Plumbing upgrades may be necessary after moving into an older home or they can be a part of inevitable home maintenance. With the right plumber and maybe a little bit of DIY skill you can control the costs of these upgrades. Call a local plumber to find out what to expect in terms of costs to replace a bathtub, install copper piping in your home or put in a new hot water heater. Then budget for the necessary projects and get to work.
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