A re-piped home is the ultimate stress reliever!
As a homeowner of a house built in the 50’s the fear of a plumbing predicament has been a nagging worry for years. Last year, just two weeks before Christmas, the old, original galvanized piping started leaking under the slab and oozing out a puddle of water alongside my house. At the same time my water bill arrived, and it had tripled! The local plumber referred me to a leak detector and after several hours he narrowed the search to a location underneath my tile floor in my laundry room. The next step – yes you guessed it - jackhammering my laundry room to find the offending pipe.
Apparently in the last century home builders thought it was a good idea to bury the pipes in the concrete! After destroying the floor, the HOT water pipe was found to be leaking so badly that a clamp could only be a temporary fix. The pipe basically got a “band-aid.” The prognosis – it was going to get much worse. The treatment - a complete re-pipe of the home was necessary and urgent. This is where I got a real education in shopping for a quote. My first plumber quoted $6500 to re-pipe the home. The next plumber (who I shall not name here) asked me if I knew how much it would cost and when I said I have no idea, he quoted $16,000 and that I would also need to hire someone to come in afterwards and re-patch all the walls. He also warned me against accepting any quote under $9,000.
As a long-time Loan Officer, I know about finding my clients the best home loan, but I know nothing about plumbing a home or the costs of a re-pipe. I was in turmoil – do I spend $6500 and maybe it’s not done right, or shell out $16,000 and be ripped off? But one red flag went up for me right away, the high-priced plumber said, “we can do it without a permit and save you some money”!
That evening, I posted on Facebook asking for guidance and the response from friends and local neighbors was overwhelming. Ultimately, it was one of those FB referrals to a commercial plumber, Wayne Shrewsbury of CWB Shrewsbury Plumbing Inc who sent me in the right direction and advised me to contact a RE-PIPE SPECIALIST. He also told me that based on my home size, bathroom count etc. the cost should be about $4500 and recommended PEX piping. He also explained that a re-pipe company will include re-patching the walls in the cost.
I got two written estimates and ultimately went with Care Plumbing who quoted $4400 for a complete home re-pipe. The work was expertly done in one day, including a new shower fixture (supplied by them) and installation of new faucets (supplied by me) on my sinks. The Building Inspector came the next day and said the work was excellent, and this was followed up by another efficient team, the drywallers, who came for a few hours and did a beautiful re-patch job. Finally, the Building Inspector visited one more time and signed off the work as complete. The nightmare was over!
So, what did I learn from this experience?
1. I wish I would have re-piped my home years ago, even before the leak. Had I known it was a $4400 job and I could have had peace-of-mind, perfect water flow and non-rattling pipes I would have. Also, I could have avoided destroying my laundry room. (That leaking galvanized hot water pipe was capped during the re-pipe and so breaking concrete wouldn’t have been necessary).
2.Don’t trust any contractor who says, “we can do it without a permit.”
3. Use the power of Social Media for advice.
To summarize: Worried about your home plumbing? Call in some re-pipe specialists for estimates. Know your options. Believe me…. A re-piped home is a wonderful stress reliever!
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