When your old plumbing system gets beyond saving with minor pipe repairs, or you already see visible signs of corrosion or rusting– that's the time to consider repiping your entire home.
The cost to repipe a standard 2 to 3 bedroom house can run from $1,725 to $17,000. It translates to an average price of $5 per square foot for new construction. A more definite average cost to repipe a house is $8,625, regardless of whether you're going with copper, PEX, or CPVC pipes.
Plumbing issues are inevitable for every homeowner, but we can't stress this enough– the sooner you do a whole-house repiping, the better. Corroded water pipes notoriously cause the pressure to drop. Hence, you might deal with frequent leaks that will only increase your water bills, rusty-tasting water, or burst pipes eventually.
Doing so will save you from the stress of residential piping network damage. In the long run, this may also cost you up to thousands of dollars in repairs.
Before you search for "local piping experts" or "repiping specialists near me," let's discuss the essential cost factors of your home repiping project.
Factors Affecting Home Repiping Costs
Keep in mind that the cost to repipe house will depend on various factors, including the size and stories of the house, plumber labor costs, pipe type, and plumbing materials. Some properties may need to secure building permits for a repiping project, which you will also need to factor in the total project costs.
Here are some defining factors to keep into careful consideration as you set the proper budget for house repiping costs:
Number of Plumbing Fixtures
Simply put, the more fixtures you have– the more expensive costs you'll end up paying for a whole-house repiping project. It is primarily due to the increase in needed materials and time spent for installation work.
Fixtures are generally connected to the plumbing system, as they drain and deliver water in different areas of the home. Note that plumbing fixtures in your home could refer to the bathroom, dishwasher, faucets, shower, toilet, water heater, washing machine, and the like. Your plumber will need to separately replace the secondary drain as well as incoming lines for every fixture. (Related: Mandatory Fixes After A Home Inspection)
Access to Every Fixture
More than just the number of total fixtures in your home, if these are located in high, difficult-to-reach areas– you will need to pay your contractor more. Expect that it will take them longer to complete the job.
If your plumber can only access parts of the plumbing system through the crawlspace, closet, or slab foundation, this will also increase the total average cost to repipe a house. It will need additional effort, time, and expertise due to the limited space.
As you repipe your entire house, one crucial decision you’ll face is picking the type of piping material. Typically, you have three primary options in copper, PEX, and CPVC pipes. Each one has its own set of pros and cons. Your plumber can recommend a good material based on their preference or experience with previous clients.
It's best to understand the three different types of pipe to make an informed decision. Refer to the table below for a quick overview:
$9,200 - $23,000
Environment-friendly, crack resistant, expensive piping material
PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene) Pipes
$4,600 - $6,900
A durable and flexible plastic that’s easy to install
CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) Pipes
Rigid plastic that may be brittle in the long run, withstands hot water temperatures
As the total diameter of your repiping project increases, the same applies to your preferred piping material. In some cases, you may also need to pay extra costs to your plumbing company to remove older pipes.
If you want to save money, you may keep the unused steel pipes just behind the walls.
Home Size and Number of Stories
The bigger your house is, the more expensive the cost of whole-house repiping will be. You will need more materials, time, and extensive labor to complete the new plumbing system installation.
In contrast, a smaller home will only require fewer materials and less installation labor. It will have cheaper project costs. Repiping a multi-story home will cost you more since you will have to demolish walls for vertical pipe replacement.
In some cases, repiping a house may need to drill around 8 to 20 holes in your walls and ceiling.
A local contractor will usually conduct an on-site assessment before giving you a cost estimate for whole-house repiping. With that said, labor costs may vary depending on a company's overhead costs.
Once you have chosen a contractor, it's essential to secure a written contract with all project details. It will give you complete transparency on where your expenses will go.
Pro tip: Prioritize insured contractors with solid ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You may also do a quick online search to browse online reviews from previous clients.
Major plumbing renovation projects will need inspections and permits. The local permit fees may vary per state, but expect to spend $80 to $460.
After an inspection, chances are your plumbing system may require several upgrades to abide by code. Note that this may only increase the cost to repipe house.
Fortunately, most plumbing contractors will include the necessary permit fees in their initial bid.
You can also consider some upgrades and other plumbing-related renovations while having your residence repiped. Think of it as hitting two birds with one stone– you’ll end up saving money.
What is the Most Cost-effective Choice for Repiping?
If you're working with a limited budget for a whole-house repiping project, you may benefit from PEX piping material. The cost to repipe house with pex is around $4,600 to $6,900.
It is less expensive than other piping material choices due to its lower labor and material costs. With that said, PEX pipes offer you a substantial cost-saving opportunity without necessarily sacrificing quality.
This flexible plastic hose can be easily twisted into the walls, creating minimal to no visible signs of damage. The flexibility of PEX material decreases the need for wall demolition on your end, which is a likely requirement if you choose rigid copper pipes.
What are Some Signs that I Need to Repipe my House?
A complete house repipe is a significant investment. You might want to consider it as your next home project, given how it’s worth the effort and money. Replacing old pipes is highly unavoidable in most cases.
We have listed down some of the reasons why you might need to repipe your house:
How Long Does Repiping A House Take?
Repiping an entire house may take a few days to one week to complete. Smaller homes will only take as quickly as two days, while large residences may take longer (especially those with multiple bathrooms).
Fortunately, you can still use your plumbing system throughout the repiping project. Your plumber will typically build a new plumbing network aside from the existing pipes. Once the change is made from the old system to the newly-built one, that may be the only time you will be without water.
Checklist in Hiring a Local Plumber for Whole House Repiping
A residential repiping project is a critical task. Going the DIY route is out of the picture. Instead, you will need to focus on the most qualified local plumbers to carry out the job.
You wouldn't want to waste paying someone for their so-so service, who does the installation work haphazardly. It will only cost you more money on costly repairs in the long run.
Accordingly, here are some crucial considerations in hiring a plumbing company:
Entire home repiping sounds like a complicated job, but there's no need to be intimidated. As long as you take the time to understand the work involved, your local plumbing company or repipe specialist can get the job done correctly, quickly, and safely.
Repiping is one significant financial investment, but you will undoubtedly benefit from paying for a reliable plumbing network that you can use for a lifetime (Not an exaggeration, by the way). If you think it's time to change your old, worn-out pipes, consider a repiping project and get in touch with a reputable specialist today!