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Have you ever wondered how to estimate plumbing in a house? Whether you’re a homeowner looking to embark upon a home improvement project or a plumbing contractor — knowing how to estimate the cost of plumbing will hold you in good stead. 

If you’re building a new home, you need to be on top of the various aspects of construction and what each individual task requires, including calculating the costs for plumbing a home.  Truth be told, the estimate does vary from one plumbing project to another, from one plumber to another.

Plumbing remodel is an essential part of a home renovation. After all, your toilets, bathroom or kitchen sinks, tubs, water heaters, and sewer lines are indispensable when it comes to the functioning of your home. That’s why it’s important to estimate plumbing costs for new construction. Only then can you anticipate the complexities you may run into.

Looking for the best plumbing financing? Kukun offers easy, quick loan options.  

Depending on the scope of the kitchen or bathroom renovation, your plumbing costs can vary greatly — from a few hundred dollars to install a new bathroom sink to thousands of dollars for pipe replacement, plumbing installations, or changing your existing drainage or septic tank.

Let’s take a look at how plumbing prices vary depending on the kind of project. This will help give you a good idea of plumbing costs in the bathroom, kitchen, and around the house.

Read more: How much does plumbing cost for a new house?

Calculate the rough square footage costs

plumbing estimation

Although a plumbing estimation is much more than just the footage, it’s always a good idea to get a rough estimate upfront of how much money you may be dealing with. Once you get this figure, you can go from there to the specifics related to your individual projects.

The national average for plumbing work (rough-in plumbing) comes to around $4 to $5 per square foot. But in some areas, such as San Francisco, the plumbing cost per square foot can go much higher — depending on the professional’s skills, relevant licenses and permits, and the scope of the plumbing work.

For example, a two-story home will require a more elaborate plumbing system than a one-story house. Keep in mind that factors such as variable costs of plumbing fixtures and plumbing materials will also impact the cost of plumbing.

Another point to keep in mind is whether the property in question is a commercial or residential property. The rough-in costs for commercial plumbing are much higher. The reason is that commercial fixtures are more heavy-duty and complex — designed to be able to stand up to heavy public usage. 

Apart from the fact that commercial building codes are much different than residential building codes, the difference between commercial vs. residential plumbing is off the scale too. For example, a plumber may install two to three toilets and sinks in a new house but may install 25 to 50 in new commercial construction. 

Understand how your measurements and materials affect plumbing costs 

plumbing materials

If you’re planning a large-scale plumbing project, you must know the size and material of your pipes beforehand. The right measurement is really important for plumbing work. The reason is that pipe fittings come in different sizes, types of pipe, and the price.

PVC pipes, for example, are one of the cheapest pipes (and the most commonly used pipes) you’ll find. Your other options are copper piping, galvanized pipes (steel pipes), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipes (CPVC), cast iron pipes, and cross-linked polyethylene pipes (PEX).

Depending on the material costs, your piping costs will go up and down. The bigger the diameter, the more will be the cost of pipes and fittings. Understanding your pipes well also aids you in the plumbing project. For instance, it’s a good idea to run a 3-inch pipe for showers to accommodate future renovations instead of a spec pipe, which is 2 inches, for showers. 

The actual measuring of linear footage is best left to a professional. This will save you from the complexities of measuring and estimating. A licensed plumbing contractor will know how to add vent pipes or figure out the right diameter for a drain pipe, a washing machine, or a dishwasher.

Looking for a licensed plumber? Let Kukun help you hire the best professionals.

Take into account the rough-in plumbing cost for new construction

On average, rough-in plumbing costs run between $8,000 and $12,000 for a new construction home that’s around 2,000 square feet with two or three bathrooms. Keep in mind that rough-in plumbing means that the pipework is done, and the pipes are connected to each other and the water pipe main, but there are no sinks, faucets, or toilets installed yet. Once you choose the faucets and fixtures, you can add their cost to your estimate.

In the bathroom, for example, you’ll have to install new fixtures, including bathtubs or showers, sinks, toilets, etc. All this will cost you between $450 and $1,800 per fixture — or approximately $4,000 in total.

Therefore, the total plumbing cost including the cost to install fixtures ranges between $12,000 and $20,000. 

Break the plumbing costs into specifics

plumbing costs

You need to break down the costs, according to the area of renovation (kitchen remodeling, bathroom renovation, or both), the square footage, and the number of fixtures. 

When it comes to a typical kitchen plumbing, you’ll require to install the following fixtures:

  • Dishwasher: $400 to $600
  • Washing machine: $450 to $1,700
  • Dryer: $450 to $1,700 
  • Double sink and faucet: $400 to $600
  • Water heater: $600 to $1,800

For bathroom plumbing, you’ll have to consider the number of bathrooms your house has. To give you an idea, the average cost of plumbing can be about $1,500 to $3,000 (one bath), $3,000 to $6,000 (two baths), $4,500 to $9,000 (three bathrooms), and $6,000 to $12,000 (four baths).

Planning a renovation for your bathroom? Try our free bathroom remodel cost estimator; it’s easy and quick!

Here’s a list of some of the typical fixtures/plumbing work your bathroom will require, and their average plumbing costs:

  • New piping: $1,000 to $2,500
  • Re-routing a single pipeline: $650 to $900
  • Bathtub: $1,500 to $2,000
  • Toilet: $300 to $400
  • Faucet: $200 to $275
  • Shower enclosure: $1,200 to $2,000
  • Replacing shower head: $75 to $150
  • Replacing shower/tub control valve: $200 to $400
  • Bathroom sink: $300 to $450
  • Water heater under the sink: $300 to $450
  • Replacing sink drain: $100 to $200
  • Jacuzzi/whirlpool tub: Starting from $1,300 

Be mindful of the amount of excavation required

If it’s new construction, plumbing additions will require excavation to run drain pipes out of the house. Excavation is also needed to run the water lines from the city main into your house. Unlike a simple shovel-and-dig type of excavation, this process requires the use of heavy equipment and special skills of the excavation crew.

Hiring an excavation team can cost you between $80 and $125 per hour or between $80 and $200 per yard. The rates depend on the size of your project, layout of your home, and the amount of dirt to be removed — among other criteria.

How the Kukun estimator helps users for estimating plumbing on kitchen and bathroom projects

The best tip on how to estimate plumbing in a house is using a reliable estimator such as Kukun. If you’re planning new plumbing for your kitchen or bathroom, the cost estimator will help you calculate the total renovation cost with the click of a button!

You can then plan your home remodel budget — and make your house plumbing job easier and better. And, yes, the tool is absolutely free — giving you the cost estimate in minutes! 

Read more: House plumbing basics: Handy tips to get it right

Expert tips on how to estimate plumbing a house was last modified: February 22nd, 2021 by Ramona Sinha
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