How to Estimate Plumbing Costs for a New Construction Project – 2020 Guide

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Plumbing your house is something you have to plan for before and even after building your house. However, coming up with plumbing costs isn’t easy, and it varies from project to project and from one plumber to another.

While collecting quotes from different plumbers, you shouldn’t always settle for the least expensive and compromise on quality. Your plumbing should be done right if you want it to serve you longer without frequent fixes.

Factors That Affect Plumbing Cost for a New Construction Project

Despite the discrepancies, there are essential considerations all plumbers look for before making a cost estimate. The considerations are wide-ranging, from square footage pricing to the individual cost of materials used in the entire plumbing process.

Here are some of the factors top-notch plumbers like Plumb-tech Missoula consider before coming up with plumbing costs.

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1. The Size of the Home

Plumbers estimate the size of a home using linear or square footage. However, size alone is not the only determinant of the price here. A larger house can cost you less to plumb than a smaller one elsewhere due to the house’s demand location.

For instance, a house situated in a high demand location like Washington DC could cost you more than one in a low demand area even though they are of the same size. The national average for a plumbing project in the US is around $4.50 for every square foot.

If the national average cost for plumbing per square foot is anything to go by, then the bigger the house, the more expensive it is to plumb. The bigger your house is, the more fixtures you will need, and the pipes will have to run farther. That means more costs for more fixtures.

2. The Number of Water Fixtures Available

Plumbing involves water pipes’ connection to various devices in the house that will need water to operate normally. Such devices include faucets, showers, water heaters, dishwashers, drains, sinks, and many others. The more these fixtures are, the more you pay for the plumbing.

If your house has several bathtubs or showers with multifaceted shower heads, extra sink kitchens, and several washrooms, you will be paying more for all these fixtures. Several companies have charged between $3,500 and $10,000 per fixture, but this can fluctuate hugely.

With an experienced plumber, though, you can get a generalized charge when the number of fixtures is too many. Therefore, you should consider what fixtures you want to be included based on your budget before calling the plumber to start the work.

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3. The Plumbing Materials to Use

The most commonly used plumbing materials for pipes include cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) and copper.  Despite being a plastic material, PEX is durable, affordable, and safe to use. It is also flexible, which means it won’t burst when water pressure hits the highs.

However, you can only use PEX for indoor plumbing as it breaks down when exposed to UV rays. You will spend an estimated between $5,000 and $21,000 for a PEX pipe piping to be done for you. This cost is not fixed as it depends on several other factors of construction.

Copper, on the other hand, is naturally strong and more durable than PEX. It can withstand snapping during earthquakes and can resist bacteria easily. It is also easy to install. However, it is more costly to install and prone to bursting when water pressure is high. It will cost you an average of between $7,000 and $26,000 estimated cost.

4. The Amount of Excavation Needed

If you are building a new home, you will need new excavations to connect to the existing sewer lines or septic tanks and city water. Sometimes, you may need that catch basin and drainage systems to be dug around the building. All these attract extra costs.

You will be luckier if you are building a house in high-end areas or cities as locating a sewer line or water supply is easier. But if you are working from the rural areas, the cost might shoot even higher. Locating a sewer line from these remote areas is not easy, which will cost you a fortune to link up.

The more excavation work is needed, the more you will have to pay. So, when looking for land to build in, you should make such projections early enough and calculate the costs and risks of building in a far off location.

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5. The Extra Space beyond the Square Foot

Plumbers will certainly charge per square or linear foot when connecting the pipe within your house. However, this concept works well with a single-story house. A two or three-story house, or more, will require additional work fixing the pipes along the walls.

Such extra work means you will have to pay more. Also, adding pipes and excavations on top of a building that already existed will demand surcharges. These can be the fees for cleaning and protecting the existing house from dirt and debris.

The Plumbing Cost Estimation

With all the above factors affecting plumbing costs, you can easily estimate an almost correct cost. The plumber might ask that you provide a list containing your house’s plumbing needs to help them estimate the cost. The list can include:

  • The number of fixtures you need
  • The type of pipes you want to use
  • The complication of your fixtures, i.e., will you use a multifaceted showerhead or the normal single one? Etc.

These are a few examples of what the plumber will ask you before visiting your home for inspection. During the inspection, the inspectors will figure out what they need to work with and bring the estimation even closer.

Working with an estimation allows you to gauge whether you can afford the whole project early before starting it. It also allows you to look for several items’ market prices, which helps you pay for the exact price rather than what your plumber tells you to pay.

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Final Words

With the above factors affecting plumbing cost, you can never fall too far away from your estimations’ actual cost. When you have the right plumber by your side, the work becomes even easier and your estimation even closer to the actual cost. Ensure you do budget correctly with the estimated costs before starting any plumbing project.

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