Home Remodeling Plumbing Guide
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is not only the company you want to call if you have a plumbing emergency, we are also highly experienced plumbing contractors. We’ve performed hundreds of upscale plumbing remodels, renovations and upgrades to enhance the home experience, as well as striking aesthetic notes in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Advantages of a Plumbing Contractor Over an Emergency Plumber
Remodeled home plumbing can have a spectacular effect on your entire home. But even the simplest remodel projects with a modest budget requires a number of decisions that can greatly affect the quality of results.
While many plumbing firms will tell you that they also are remodeling contractors, often their expertise lies in emergency repair. You need to check their history and customer testimonials or referrals if you plan a remodel.
Here are a few points that separate a plumbing contractor from a basic plumber:
- Contractors are generally less expensive than on-call plumbers as they plan ahead for the project and can provide a more accurate overall price based on project outcome, rather than by the hour.
- Contractors often have volume discount lines into a wide range of fixtures and renovation materials that can make your budget go a lot further.
- As a leading Bay Area plumbing contractor, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is deeply immersed in the latest designs and trends that reflect the finer things in life without the cost of “ultra-luxury” extravagance. We see what works well and can present to you many exciting choices in fixtures and layout that are cutting-edge technology and aesthetic, but within your budget.
- A plumbing contractor is skilled in all related tasks such as working with drywall, tile and necessary carpentry needed to ensure a correct fixture fit.
- A contractor can work with you if your plans are to change the plumbing footprint of your kitchen, bathroom or utility space. Evaluating issues such as moving supply lines and waste pipes that add to the cost of the project, a plumbing contractor can work with your vision and suggest ways avoid the need to reroute pipes.
- Contractors are up-to-date on the extensive list of codes and restrictions that can make or break remodeling plans and can offer experienced advice on how to proceed within the code. There is nothing more frustrating than a remodel that is up to code and becomes an issue when trying to sell a property. It is well worth having the job done right the first time. Permits are required for all bathroom remodels that include the removal and replacement and/or relocation of vanity cabinets, sinks, toilets, showers/tubs, electrical relocations and even the removal and replacement of wallboard.
Planning Your Remodel
- Unless you are making major structural revisions to your house and the plumbing remodel is just a part of it, it is always best to plan your remodel around existing soil stacks (the waste lines from toilets) and waste pipe lines (the lines from tubs, sinks and washers) to minimize the expense of rerouting.
- Your contractor will inspect your existing plumbing and suggest materials upgrades where needed. If you have galvanized freshwater pipes, this is a good opportunity to change them out for copper or PEX pipe (which is far less expensive than copper, but for indoor use only). Do not neglect this step as it can add many years of longevity to your remodel if completed at the same time.
- Go over with your contractor design ideas you have and the fixtures you plan to upgrade, and your general idea about the details, including bathroom toilet layout. You can then be shown the range of sink, counter, toilet and tub fixture styles now available.
- The same holds true for the kitchen. Now may be the time to upgrade your kitchen counters, sinks, dishwasher and refrigerator. Whatever your initial vision, a good plumbing contractor can show you exciting ways to get there – and often for less money than you’d expect.
- You don’t have to know everything before consulting with a plumbing contractor. The whole idea of bringing in an expert is so that you can get professional guidance. Most of us are too busy to spend time understanding a plumbing remodel. Leverage expertise to enhance your vision.
- Once you and your contractor have agreed on a plan, the contractor can obtain the necessary permits that cover the entire project.
There is no one-size-fits-all remodel. Every home presents its own unique challenges, has its own history and every homeowner has budget limits. The age of the existing plumbing can greatly affect the cost of the upgrade. What every homeowner wants is a reasonable expectation of what they will have to spend – without surprises.
- Particularly in bathrooms, much of the existing piping is hidden behind walls and cannot be casually inspected. If a quote is given based on “expectation,” that figure can change, sometimes several times, when for example banned polybutylene pipe is discovered, or copper pipe or joints from high mineral areas are found to be corroded.
- If the remodel involves tying new lines into existing plumbing systems, the changes may cause problems with the old system, especially leaking joints. A contractor needs to advise you up front if this is a potential issue and you may have to sign a notice that limits the plumber’s liability if leaks develop due to changes in water pressure.
- If the contractor encounters an existing system that has not been built to legal specifications, he or she will most likely have to replace it by law as part of the remodel.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing: We’ve Got This.
There are a lot of complexities that lie just below the surface of every significant plumbing remodel. When fixtures are removed, when you discover inadequate venting that must be added, color matching fixtures, frozen pipes, joints or shutoff valves, and other challenges can change the course of the remodel.
Expert inspection and high-level experience with remodel projects and what can go wrong with them are what makes Ben Franklin Plumbing projects so routinely successful.