Do It Right The First Time: New Construction & Remodeling
The importance of doing it right the first time can never be understated. Using high-quality materials, not cutting corners, and planning for the future can help avoid headaches and unforeseen expenses.
A client recently purchased a home built in the late 1950s. It had good bones but the former resident was an elderly lady and hadn’t updated the interior in years, if not decades. The new owners knocked out a wall to make a common living space, painted all the rooms and ceilings, and had the hardwood floors redone.
The existing bathroom was small by today’s standards – only 5’ x 6.5’ – and contained a small vanity, toilet, and tub/shower. The new owners knew it needed to be updated because, as they put it, “The sink looks like something you’d find in an airplane lavatory.”
They had everything removed from the bathroom down to the studs and put up new tile on the walls and floors. Instead of installing a new tub, they had a walk-in shower installed in order to open up the small space. They also mounted the vanity inside the wall to minimize items extending into the usable area of the bathroom.
Before any of that was done, they realized that it would probably be a good idea to replace the existing piping. Luckily, the majority of the pipes were within a 10’ x 10’ area. The utility room was right next to this bathroom so getting access to the washing machine and the water heater pipes was breeze. The only labor intensive task was running hot and cold water to the kitchen sink. The house was small so it wasn’t too far to go to replace these pipes but it was a tight squeeze in the crawl space.
The owners made good use of an existing situation by replacing the old metal piping with the more modern Pex hard-plastic piping. While the bathroom was down to the studs, we had free access to all bathroom and washing machine plumbing. The water heater was only a six-foot run under the foundation and – as mentioned – the kitchen was about ten feet beyond that. The new piping resists freezing – which became important this past winter – and is typically easier to work with than older, metal materials.
We also installed a “water fuse box”. This manifold system routes the main hot and cold water system through a device much like your fuse box and allows for the control of water to individual locations. So if there’s a problem with the kitchen sink, you can turn the water off to that location but still use the toilet, shower, bathroom sink, and washing machine.
The owners saw the importance of doing things right and using the right materials. They took advantage of an existing remodel to fix things that, though they weren’t problems yet, could have turned into problems in the future.
Just like this couple did, make sure the plumbing, wiring, and basic infrastructure of your house is done right the first time. Crystal Lake Plumber is proud to offer plumbing installation for both new construction and remodeling along with tankless water heater systems, sump pump installation, and water treatment installation to the northern Illinois communities of Kane County, Huntley, Lake County, and McHenry County.