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Plumbing Remodel Print E-mail
tub with shelf overlooking sunny day Read this article about remodeling,

With tax time here, or just around the corner, many people that are getting refunds are looking to upgrade their dwellings. I read this article from Realtor.org and it confirmed what I already expected: Kitchen and bathroom remodels are a good investment. With so many ways to improve our lives that return nothing monetary, like a big TV or a new (ish) car, why not invest in your biggest investment; your primary residence. Not only will investing your hard earned money in your home have a return if you sell it, it will make life a little better for you now. Kitchen and bath remodels are a good investment for efficiency and asthetics, and according to the article they have a better than 72% return when done modestly. Today I will address some of these modest improvements that you can make to add some appeal to that kitchen or bath as it relates to my field, plumbing.

When remodeling a kitchen or a bath you have to first consider your goal. Some common goals would be upgrading the functionality of your home, increasing efficiency, or adding space on the more costly end of things. For a simple change of appearance you could change out an old dingy toilet for a newer more efficient model that will perform better, enhance the bathrooms appearance, and maybe save some money on your water bill every month. I would recommend a Kohler class 5 or an American standard with the 3” flush valve. The larger flapper allows water to drop faster and flush more efficiently than the standard 2” flush valve. The Kohler would be a nice mid grade with excellent bowl wash and high functionality, where as the American standard would be less costly and offer similar, but lower performance, in my opinion. Either of these toilets can be had for $150 to $300 depending on the specific model.

Another less expensive option in a kitchen or a bath would be to simply change a sink faucet for something with a newer finish option, or something more functional for your daily needs. I would recommend a Delta or a Moen in your favorite style. Delta and Moens are good, not as good as they used to be in my opinion, but still pretty good. The parts are easy to come across from a local plumber, or a home store, they have a good warranty, and they have a huge selection of styles to choose from. Changing a faucet is not hard to do yourself, but I am often called to change one because of my expertise and availability of materials that may be needed to get the job done right. I would stay away from store brands like Glacier Bay, or brands like Price Pfister. These cheaper alternatives do not offer the same water flow as better faucets, are hard to find parts for, and often have less appealing options that Delta and Moen.

Another option is to change a sink basin in a bathroom or a kitchen, the benefit being to have something nice looking and more functional than you are used too. I would recommend higher quality for these due to surface scratch resistance and durability, especially in a kitchen sink. There are a lot of options for a kitchen sink, with extra holes for a hot water tap, a reverse osmosis water filter tap, or a soap dispenser. All of those options can make your kitchen more convenient to use. A good kitchen sink with deep bowls in the mid range is around $150- $200 in stainless steel. A drop in bowl for the bathroom will run in the $30 to $75 range for a basic model. A pedestal sink in the bathroom can range from $60 to $100 for a low/mid model, and will add a sense of style.

A more expensive option with greater return may include adding another bathroom or half bath if you have the room. If you have a crawl space, this is an easy way to add another bathroom that will surely increase the value of your home. An extra closet space that can be converted, an extra bedroom that can be converted, or an extra large room with a bathroom added to a corner. The important thing when adding a bathroom is to have a plumber and a general contractor at least give some advice, as this will help your project come out much better. Ideally you would want to hire such professionals to make the project perfect.

Yet another option may be to just replace a tub/shower in an existing bathroom for more tub space, updated style, or just to seal up any leak problems and protect your house from damage. I have done many of these and they are more costly than people might think, but worth the cost to get what you want out of your house.

The above mentioned ideas are just a baseline for ideas and can spark your imagination as to what you could do to your existing house to add life and function. As always I recommend hiring licensed and insured contractors to handle home projects for your protection and to maintain the value of your house.