When you make the decision to add on to your home, there are so many factors to consider. Most likely, you will be adding space and functionality that you didn’t have before. If you are adding bathrooms or kitchens, plumbing needs to be a priority in your planning.
Whether you are hiring a general contractor or a plumber, or doing the work yourself, keep these plumbing considerations in mind:
1. Do You Need a Permit?
Check with your building authority, early in the planning stages. Even small plumbing projects sometimes need a permit to comply with local building codes. If you fail to obtain the correct permits, you may end up with project delays and extra costs.
2. Have You Set a Budget?
Be sure to plan for all your plumbing costs, from upgrading pipes to purchasing new fixtures. Don’t just plan for the addition but have a look at your current plumbing situation too. Include a little extra, in your budget, for unexpected expenses along the way.
3. How is Your Sewer Line?
You’ll want to start your project by knowing when your responsibility ends and the city’s or township’s begins. If you are on town water, the municipality’s duty usually begins at the street and water to your house is left up to you. Now is great time to check the line to the street. Make sure the pipes are not clogged, broken or damaged and that water is running efficiently.
4. Can Your Septic Handle the Extra Load?
If you are on a septic system, make sure you check the most recent building code requirements. You may need upgrades to your septic capacity and design if you plan to add kitchens or bathrooms, and accommodate more people.
5. Will You Need to Replace or Upgrade Your Water Heater?
If you plan to increase water consumption, your new addition, you might need to increase the size of your water heater, to handle the load.
6. Should You Replace Old Plumbing?
If you are working with existing systems, look for cracks, rust, corrosion, galvanized or lead pipe, as older pipes can break or fail over time. Replacing worn out materials now can save you time and money in the future.
7. Will You Be Installing Sinks, Tubs or Toilets?
Will your addition include another kitchen or additional bathrooms? If you already have a plumber in for the big jobs, this might also a great time to check current sinks, tubs and toilets for clogs, drips or other necessary repairs. While everything is open, this is a great time to fix and prevent moisture issues, averting future problems down the road.
8. Updating Old Fixtures
Old plumbing fixtures may add charm and beauty to your home, but they may show signs of wear and tear, or may be working inefficiently. By replacing them now, you can improve water flow, pressure and conservation throughout your home.
9. Choosing New Fixtures
So many options are available, from antique to modern style, that it may be difficult to choose. Lower priced fixtures may be flimsy and contain plastic parts which can break easily. Other products may look luxurious and be extremely durable. Most plumbers will recommend mid-priced products which provide the best value for your dollar overall.
Since you’ve already called the plumber, or you have the knowledge and experience to fix things yourself, it makes sense to think of all your plumbing needs now. Thinking in advance, you may be able to avoid issues throughout the process and when the project is complete.