Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Avoiding expensive plumbing repairs

While owning other houses, we learned a few random lessons that followed us while planning our new home. Simple changes can sometimes be made that hopefully save money in the future.

Plumbing can leak. Be prepared in case of future problems. 

We looked at the floor plans with an eye to were plumbing would be located in the walls. Secondly, we looked to see what was on the opposite side of that wall that could be affected if the wall had to be opened for plumbing repairs.

A bathtub in the secondary bathroom had plumbing in a shared wall with the dining room. But the wall wasn't accessible because it was behind a fireplace, which means the shower surround might have to be removed, which could get expensive, if the wall ever had to be opened . We switched the tub orientation so the plumbing would be in a wall that had a bedroom on the other side.

But one of my "BIG" concerns involved the plumbing for the master bathroom whirlpool. The tub is in an alcove  so we needed a "skirt" in front of the tub. In a previous house, we had a whirlpool with a marble "skirt" in front. The couple times the plumbing had to be accessed, I was always worried this skirt would be broken when it was removed. Thankfully, that never happened.

This time I wanted a different look so we had the drop-in tub front closed up with simple, yet pretty trim. Our trim men built a simple front with 3 openings. The openings have removable raised panels surrounded by trim pieces. They are held in with tiny nails so they can be popped off easily if there is a problem.

Our faucet and handles are accessible without upsetting the tub itself. If we put the faucet at the back of the tub, it would have been a disaster if it had to be replaced or repaired because it was on an outside wall. We did not want to disturb the tub by having to remove it. With the plumbing at one end, all is well in case of future problems.

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