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When your plumbing system has reached its expiration and has been damaged beyond the stage of small pipe repairs, it’s time to get it repiped. If you’re wondering about the average cost of repiping a house, this guide will walk you through all the important cost factors in detail.
Keep in mind that repiping your home needs to be done at the earliest. Corroded pipes can cause the water pressure to drop, noticeable leaks (increasing your water bill significantly), rusty drinking water, or worse — the pipes of your home could burst under a slab foundation.
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Repiping a house takes about 1 to 5 working days. It is typically done in a way that it doesn’t disturb the plumbing much and you can continue to stay in the house during the re-plumbing. The contractor will install the new pipes first, transfer the water supply to the new plumbing system, and then drain and dispose of the old pipes. Usually, the water supply is turned back on each evening to avoid inconvenience to you.
Repiping costs of a standard-sized house with 1 to 2 bathrooms and a half bathroom can run $1,500 to $15,000 or more, depending on the size and stories of the house, type of new pipes, and number of plumbing fixtures.
For example, the average cost to plumb a 2,000 square foot home with two to three bathrooms ranges from $8,000 to $12,000.
The average square feet cost of repiping comes to about $4.50 per square foot for installation in new construction. Keep in mind that this cost estimate depends on factors such as plumbing materials, etc.
As mentioned earlier, the total amount you’ll actually pay for your plumbing project will depend on some crucial factors. Let’s explore these in more detail.
Plumbing fixtures include your bathroom or kitchen sink, bathtub, shower, toilet, washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, etc. And, the more fixtures you have, the more expensive the piping job will be.
Replacing more pipes requires more workers and pipe length, which increases the cost to repipe. The plumber has to meticulously replace the secondary drain and incoming lines for each plumbing fixture separately.
Repiping fixtures in hard-to-reach areas of your home cost more simply because it takes longer to do the work — thereby increasing the cost of labor. For instance, if you need repiping in a crawlspace, closet, or slab foundation, be prepared to pay more.
The type of piping you choose to replace your old pipes determines your total costs. Although there are various types of pipes available, here are three of the most popular ones.
|Piping material||Cost per linear foot||Features|
|PEX pipes||$0.40 to $2||Made of cross-linked polyethylene|
Easy to install
|CPVC pipes||$0.50 to $1||Made of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride|
Rigid plastic; may become brittle over time
Can withstand high water temperatures
Ideal for hot water lines
|Copper pipes||$2 to $8||Environmentally friendly |
Resistant to cracking
Most expensive pipe
May develop pinhole leaks due to hard water
Copper remains a premium pipe material. However, it comes with its disadvantages over a PEX piping. While copper piping is durable, its installation is not as simple as that of a PEX piping. Generally, it requires wall demolition and almost twice the amount of time.
A copper pipe is also subject to corrosion over time and hence requires maintenance and care. If not maintained properly, copper pipes can leave blue-green stains in sinks, showers, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures. Sometimes, it may even integrate with the water supply and cause water leaks throughout the plumbing system.
Another reason PEX is better suited for repiping is that while copper piping has a lifetime of around 50 years, PEX can last for 100+ years. Once you’ve installed them, you needn’t replace the piping during your lifetime.
Most importantly, PEX allows for greater water pressure and is more flexible than copper pipes. The plastic pipes can easily expand and contract during a freeze — reducing the possibility of pipes bursting.
Needless to say, the bigger your house, the more expensive the repiping job will be. You will require more piping material, more installation time, and extensive labor. Also, repiping in a multi-story house will be a more costly affair as the repiping installers will have to navigate through the walls and ceilings for the pipe installation. They will have to demolish some of the walls in order to replace the vertical pipes.
Remember that repiping a house could require cutting 8 to 20 holes in the walls and ceilings.
A contractor will typically inspect your house before giving you a cost estimate. Once you zero in on the right one, ensure that the contract includes all the details regarding the project planning, equipment as well as material acquisition, area preparation and protection, setup, and final cleanup.
Make sure the contractor is insured, with no customer complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Furthermore, you must check their online reviews regarding the quality of work and customer service.
Avoid a plumbing company that demands full payment upfront or refuses to pull the necessary permits and conform to the local building code.
A major plumbing renovation requires permits and inspections. While the permit fees vary from one state to another, it generally costs between $70 to $400. If the inspection reveals that your plumbing system requires some upgrades to get it to code, it will raise the cost of repiping your house further.
Usually, your plumbing contractor will include the permit fees in the overall bid on your replumbing project.
If the pipes of your older home have been damaged beyond repair — showing signs of corrosion, rusting, or decay, it’s time to get your water pipes replaced. And, the earlier the better. You don’t want the leaks and holes to lead to water damage in your house, causing you thousands of dollars in damage to your building and belongings.