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Should I Repipe When I do a Remodel?

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Planning a remodel in an older home? Repipe first.
Planning a remodel in an older home? Repipe first.

If you are planning a remodel in an older home, you may be wondering if now is the time to also replace your old water pipes.

Here at Repipe Specialists, we perform hundreds of complete home repipes a week, and frequently come across situations where we are coordinating with remodels and renovations.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of repiping before, during, or after a remodel.

The TLDR: repipe before your remodel (and you can request a free repipe quote here).

Should I Repipe When I Do a Remodel?

When embarking on a home remodeling project, one major consideration is the condition of the home's existing plumbing system, particularly the fresh water lines in the home.

Whether you are remodeling a kitchen, a bathroom, or completing a full home renovation, repiping alongside a remodel can help remove hazardous old galvanized plumbingoutdated polybutylene pipes, and prevent future slab leaks (by re-routing your plumbing outside the slab), ensuring the integrity and longevity of your plumbing. If you want a new remodel to last, you should have an up-to-date plumbing system to match.

If you have already decided on repiping when you remodel, you will need to weigh up whether to complete a repipe after, during, or before the remodel. We have put together a list of the pros and cons for each to help you make an informed decision. The short answer is that we recommend repiping before you start a remodel.

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Postponing a Repipe Until After Remodeling Completion

Pros of repiping after a remodel

Repiping after the remodel ensures that the remodeling project can be completed without any interference. This allows you to focus on functional improvements without the need to coordinate multiple construction activities simultaneously.

Repiping after a remodel may initially seem like a cost-effective option since it allows you to postpone the expenses until a later date. However, as we will discuss in the cons section, this approach can be just as expensive, if not more expensive, than hiring a specialist to repipe before the remodel.

Cons of repiping after a remodel

If your existing plumbing system is old or deteriorated, it could result in plumbing issues during the remodeling process. These issues might disrupt the progress of the remodel, leading to delays and additional costs that can far surpass the cost of repiping your home before a remodel.

Delaying repiping until after a remodel means you'll have to continue living with aging and potentially faulty plumbing that may still use old galvanized plumbing and polybutylene pipes. This increases the risk of unexpected leaks, bursts, or other plumbing emergencies that could cause significant damage to your newly remodeled areas.

Undertaking a repipe after a remodel means you'll have to revisit completed areas of your home, which can be inconvenient and add additional expenses. It may involve opening up walls, floors, or ceilings that have already been renovated, potentially leading to damage and the need for further repairs.

In short, we believe postponing a repipe until after a remodel is the worst option.

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Combining a Repipe and Remodel Project

If you are considering doing the repiping at the same time as a remodel, then you are likely considering having your remodel general contractor include a repipe in the scope of the remodel project.

Benefits of a remodeling contractor performing a repipe

Having your remodeling contractor handle the repipe, means you only need to deal with one primary contractor, and can have the combined projects billed together. Your remodeling contractor can also plan the timing of any repiping to fit in with the overall remodel project schedule.

Cons of a remodeling contractor performing a repipe

On the surface - it can seem like having your remodel GC integrate a repipe into a remodel project would be the most convenient and lowest cost option. However, that may not be the case.

Your remodeling general contractor will most likely be using plumbing contractor subs that specialize in remodeling projects (or are general plumbers). These types of plumbers tend to work in teams of one or two, and would have limited experience in performing whole home repipes efficiently.

Here at Repipe Specialists, our repipe crews work in large teams, with sufficient manpower to complete a full home repipe in a single day, returning another day for wall patching. Because our crews are repiping specialists - they can also typically complete the job in fewer man-hours relative to a general plumber. So less time (convenient for you), and fewer man-hours (which means a lower cost for you). We have another article that covers why you should hire a specialist repipe company over a general plumber.

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Repiping Before Starting a Remodel

Repiping before starting a remodel is the best option.

If performed by Repipe Specialists, the repipe project is likely to be far less disruptive (and likely less costly) than most people realize. It will certainly be completed in less time, and most likely at a much lower cost than your overall remodel project. Here at Repipe Specialists, we can handle everything from permits to wall patching, along with the repipe itself. We usually complete the repipe in a single day, returning another day for any wall patching.

Completing the repipe first, will ensure that your new post-remodel fixtures are getting clean water (if replacing galvanized plumbing - no rust!), and you won't need to worry about newly renovated areas being damaged by leaks from old faulty plumbing. If you get remodeling quotes both inclusive and exclusive of a repipe - we'd expect the "inclusive" quote would be both longer in time, and more costly, than having a specialist handle the repipe portion separately.

There will be some extra planning to coordinate with any subsequent renovations post-repipe. For example, there might be some repipe savings if we leave old fixtures and pipe in place for the section of home due to be remodeled. Depending on the nature of the remodel, we could also leave any wall patching to your remodel contractor. Our repipe consultants can cover these details with you at the time of preparing a repipe quote.

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Receive a Free Full Home Repipe Quote

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced the plumbing in over 75,000 homes since 1991. We continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their overall home repipe experiences. We often exceed their expectations on:

  • Speed: Our repipe crews typically complete a repipe in a day, returning on another day for wall patching.
  • Convenience: Through our One-Stop Repipe™ Process, we handle everything from permits, to wall patching, to inspections.
  • Cleanliness: Our crews are trained to protect your home while working (we cover all surfaces with protective sheeting), and to clean up fully at the end of each day.
  • Peace of Mind: Repipe Specialists is a fully licensed plumber in every state we operate in, and we back all of our repipes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Financing programs: To help take the sting out of unplanned repipe expenses, we offer several financing programs.
  • Price: As a specialist that performs hundreds of repipes a week, we can deliver high quality repipes at a lower cost vs generalist plumbers. Our quotes typically range from $4,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and complexity of your project. We have an article that covers repipe cost factors in detail.

Schedule a free in home consult, and a local Repipe Consultant will explain all your repipe options, and provide you with a written, fixed price quote. Repipe before you remodel and ensure the integrity and longevity of your plumbing.

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About Repipe Specialists

Expert Repiping at an Affordable Cost

Since our founding in 1991, we've been completing residential and multi-family building repipes to the highest standard.

With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our One Stop Repipe™ process: providing you with a high quality and convenient repipe experience while offering significant savings compared to traditional plumbers - plus, our work is guaranteed for life.

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