Changing the plumbing footprint during a kitchen or bathroom remodel requires some careful planning. That’s because the further you move fixtures and appliances away from existing pipes, the more complicated the plumbing becomes. So, here are some steps you can take to help minimize headaches and hassles.
As you work on planning a remodel, you’ll want to make sure your customer’s existing plumbing system is in good condition. This step will help you avoid any annoying surprises later on. And it can help you assure a high-quality remodel for the homeowner. For example, if you see signs that a home’s pipes are old and corroded, you may have to recommend installing new ones as part of the remodeling project. Or, if you discover leaks, sewer-line problems or other issues, you may have to make some repairs.
The easiest option for a reconfiguration is to run piping through paths that have already been designed for plumbing, since those were created to accommodate long piping tubes. This is much less costly and less time-consuming than creating new pathways.
Another option is to design a new plumbing layout around floor joist locations. You can move almost any large fixture, as long as the new configuration allows drainpipes to run between and parallel to the joists. Just make sure all new drain lines conform to local building codes. Also, since floor joists help support the structural integrity of a house, you should never cut those in order to install new drains.
Reconfiguring plumbing lines through floor joists shouldn’t be too difficult if the customer’s home has a basement. But if the home sits on a slab, rerouting a drain line can be a major project. It will involve breaking out concrete to tie the new drain into the home’s main drain.
Most counties require a permit any time significant plumbing work is done. So, you will probably need to secure one before any work begins.
It’s also important to be aware of all current building codes that apply before you starting planning a plumbing reconfiguration. This will help ensure that your finished project get a “thumbs up” from a local building inspector. The inspector will be responsible for ensuring that your work is in compliance with national, state and local ordinances.
For a Kitchen Remodel:
For a Bathroom Remodel:
After completing all of the steps listed above, you’re ready to create an actual plumbing plan for the room that is going to be remodeled. This plan should be a birds-eye floor diagram drawn to scale, with all of the reconfigured plumbing clearly marked. In other words, it should show all plumbing fixtures, as well as all of the piping for freshwater coming into the room and waste going out.
The best way to sketch a diagram like this is with project visualization software loaded on a mobile device. High-quality digital software will have automated measuring and sketching capabilities that allow you to design a new floor plan in a matter of minutes. And you’ll be able to drag and drop preset symbols and lines to fill in the plumbing details.
It’s a fast, easy and effective method for planning any plumbing reconfiguration. Plus, you can use your digitally drawn plan for three other purposes:
1. to present a clear scope of work to your customer
2. to help you develop an estimate for labor and materials
3. to guide the actual work when your project is underway
Reconfiguring plumbing is a good idea if it can improve the appearance and functionality of a kitchen or bathroom remodel. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. The key to making the actual work go well is to walk through some preliminary steps and develop a plan ahead of time. Do that, and you will help ensure that your overall project is successful!
Continue reading our guide on how finish carpentry can improve a remodel.
Or find out how to estimate a kitchen remodel.
Head of Product & Marketing