You want to sell your home but you’re worried the plumbing issues will make it impossible.
Maybe you’ve had multiple pipe leaks, discolored water, and drainage problems and just never got around to fixing them. Now you want to sell your house but you’re thinking — “who would buy a house with plumbing issues?!”.
Faulty plumbing can decrease the overall value of your house. So your only option is to replace the plumbing. But how much does it cost to replumb a house? Well, you might be surprised.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the cost of replumbing your home.
How much does it cost to replumb a house?
The total cost to replace the plumbing system in a typical 2,000-square-foot home averages between $3,000 and $16,000.
You need to find out exactly what the plumbing issues are. Do you need to completely replumb your home in the first place? Or just make repairs in some parts of the house?
It’s not always simple. You can hire a local trusted plumber with great reviews to help you figure it out or use this cost estimator to get an idea.
Why bother replumbing your home?
Pass buyer’s inspection
If you’re thinking of selling your house, the buyer will more than likely arrange a property inspection. Many buyers won’t buy a home without an inspection. Most lenders won’t offer financing to the buyer without an inspection and the buyer wants peace of mind.
Buyers will be put off if the inspection finds outdated or rusty plumbing, leaks, water damage, and other challenging problems. If it’s superficial problems like broken faucets or a faulty water heater, they are usually accepted and the buyer will fix them.
Reduce water damage
Water leaks, whether small continuous ones or one-off disastrous ones cause water damage in some form for another.
Types of water damage includes physical damage to drywall, insulation, and other materials in the inner workings of your home. Water can also cause wooden floors, doors, and window frames to swell and warp.
Another big issue is mold, which is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Mold can form and spread within 24hrs after a leak. The spore can spread and penetrate wood and drywall in a matter of days cause discoloration and health risks.
Avoid contaminated water
The Environmental Defense Fund has recommended that homeowners replace their lead pipes. Lead pipes have been scientifically proven to contaminate drinking water.
With over 9 million homes still getting their drinking water from the tap, that is a lot of children and adults at risk of contamination.
What affects the cost of replumbing?
The actual cost depends on many factors which we will highlight here for you.
Type of existing plumbing
Do you know the type of plumbing you already have in your home? As we already mentioned, lead pipes should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid water contamination. The types of pipes you have will depend on how long they last.
Galvanized steel, brass, and copper pipes last 70-100 years. Drain line pipework made of cast iron lasts 80-100 years whereas PVC pipes only last 25-40 years.
Different pipe materials deteriorate at different rates depending on the surrounding environment and the ‘hardenss’ of your local water. Checking the integrity of the plumbing is a key aspect of home maintenance that shouldn’t be skipped.
The age of your house
What year was your home built? If it was built in the 1950s or 60s and still had the original pipework, it’s likely it needs replacing due to wear and tear. If your home was built before the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act, the plumbing may have lead pipes or lead solder in the system.
Perhaps your house was built between 1978 and the mid-1990s. If so, it’s highly likely you have polybutylene pipes in your plumbing system. These were used as a cheaper option and are now known to be prone to cracking and leaking.
It has been suggested by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors that you should replace any polybutylene pipework you have in your home before a problem occurs.
Homes built in the 50s and 60s may also have galvanized steel pipes that are prone to corrosion, or cast iron pipes which become brittle over time. So it’s a good idea to find out when your house was built and it may give you an idea of what kind of pipes you have.
The size of your home
House size can certainly play a part in the cost to redo plumbing in a house. You have probably already guessed that replumbing a big house will be more expensive than a smaller house. Replumbing projects are usually calculated by the square footage of your home. However, if you’re just replumbing a portion of your home, this will alter the cost.
The types of replacement pipework you choose will affect the price. The two most common pipes to use are copper or PEX.
Copper is the most expensive option at $3-$8 per foot. It’s estimated it would cost between $8,000 and $16,000 to repipe a house with copper. It also takes a lot longer to install so the labor costs would also be higher. However, copper is the best quality plumbing option.
PEX is the budget option. It is a flexible plastic tubing that can be fed under the floor and behind walls making it very easy to install.
PEX has no risk of it leaking or bursting from water freezing inside and it is corrosion-resistant. It retains the heat well for use of hot water which will conserve energy in the long run. The only downside is that it is fairly new on the market so it hasn’t had the test of longevity yet.
Local plumbing companies generally offer competitive pricing. It’s always a good idea to get two or three quotes from different companies and compare.
It probably goes without saying but always try and use the most experienced and trusted local plumbing company to carry out your work. If you’re going to the effort and expense of replacing the plumbing in your home, you want someone who will do the best job!
They may offer a quote for completing the job with copper or PEX piping. Copper will take longer to install so of course, the labor will be more expensive.
Where the pipes are located
If your home has the majority of its pipework is hidden deep in the walls or in the floor, the amount of time and damage it will take to get to them with increase the overall cost of the project.
If the majority of the main plumbing works are in the basement, attic space or cupboards, they are easier to access. The plumber will be able to work on the pipes without causing as much surrounding damage that will need to be fixed after.
Signs that your house needs replumbing
Some obvious signs that you seriously need to consider replacing the plumbing in your home as part of responsible home care are:
- Rusty colored water caused by corrosion or rust in the pipes
- Consistent or reoccurring leaks from the pipes or fixtures
- Slow water pressure could be caused by blockages or mineral build-up
- Visible corrosion on galvanized pipes or rust on cast iron pipes
- Brittle or flaking on cast iron pipes
- Calcium build-up around faucets and drains
- Lead pipes
These are some examples of basic warning signs you can look out for in your home. But if you have one or more of these signs, you should contact a trusted local plumber to offer you some professional advice.
Solving your plumbing problems in your home will not only give you peace of mind that no further damage will be caused, but also that you can put your house up for sale without having to worry about the inspection.
Get an instant offer on your house
So now that we’ve answered your question “How much does it cost to replumb a house?”, you can start thinking about how you’re going to sell your home.
Working with a realtor can be a very costly and time-consuming process and takes days or weeks for an offer on your home.
You can sell your home faster and easier with iBuyer. Find out the value of your home, post it on our website and get an instant cash offer.